Sep 20 2005

It’s A Study-Off!

Remember the "study" perpetrated by that racist motherfucker "proving" that men are smarter than women, largely, it seems, because (surprise!) they appear to achieve greater success within the patriarchal paradigm*? Well, here’s another one, this time conducted by a woman, that shows "gender differences are negligible on mathematics problem solving, verbal and abstract reasoning, talkativeness [!]  and leadership effectiveness, among other things."

I chafe when fucktards use science to justify bullshit social policy, so naturally I get a warm goopy feeling when somebody with a psychology degree takes in the big picture and correctly perceives that the only thing men are naturally "better" at is aggression.

*The excellent Gendergeek rips it a new one here


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  1. Chris Clarke

    When I first heard about the situation facing Twisty Faster, I immediately wanted to know more about the case from a medical standpoint. I asked myself, just looking at the newspaper reports, is Terri clearly in this diagnosis called obstreperal lobe failure?

    And the answer was no. And my curiosity was piqued even further because of what seemed to be unusual about the case.

    Obstreperal failure, which is what the court has ruled – I question it. I question it based on a review of the recent blog posts which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office here in the Capitol. And those posts, to me, depict something very different than obstreperal lobe failure.


    Senator Bill Frist

  2. CafeSiren

    Holy f*ck!

    My favorite comment from the article (attributed not to one of the morons conducting the “study,” but rather to a controversial BBC host): “Buerk said men had been reduced to little more than sperm donors because of the female dominance of society.”

    It’s like he’s the anti-Twisty: “I blame the Matriarchy.”


  3. Xavier Harkonnen

    Although the links between intelligence and acheivement seemed highly speculative, many other studies have shown that men have a greater variability of IQ (though about the same on average.) This means more mentally impaired men and more really smart men. At least that’s the idea. Stephen Jay Gould has made a compelling case for there not being a single intelligence factor, and that in fact IQ tests try cobble together different measures of mental ability into one score. Is the difference in variability demonstrated in both math and verbal, or just math, or what? IQ proponents are likely not to even ask this question because they assume that intelligence is a one-dimensioned thing.

  4. Tishie

    As Xavier said, when IQ tests find more men on the extreme high end, they also find more men at the extreme low end. I don’t see these Bell Curve jackasses bleating that from every rooftop.

    Also, IQ is a construct; IQ tests are not that construct.

  5. CafeSiren

    I’m glad Xavier brought up Gould. I’d like to bludgeon the study authors with copies of “The Mismeasure of Man” — second edition, if possible. The fact that someone in *this* century is still claiming a correlation between brain size and intelligence is freakin’ pathetic.

    As someone who has had to take a number of standardized tests in her lifetime, I can say that the only thing they measure well is one’s ability to take a standardized test. Period.

  6. norbizness

    There’s only one way to settle the question of gender supremacy for all time: an open challenge to any woman on the planet to defeat me in a game of Tecmo Super Bowl on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

    Wait, wait! Not yet! I get to be the Houston Oilers, and I’ll need a few months to get back into playing shape. Even with a large male brain, it will take me a while to perfect the timing patterns of the Jack Pardee run-‘n-shoot offense.

    Academics from across the land will be invited to gather data for their studies; if they’re lucky, their findings may someday rate a few paragraphs on The Milwaukee Channel.

  7. Mandos

    Are you sure that the study implied “naturally” as part of “better at aggression”? If so, what does aggression actually mean, anyway?

  8. Twisty

    Are you sure that the study implied “naturally” as part of “better at aggression”? If so, what does aggression actually mean, anyway?

    From the article on the gender-differences-are-neglible study: “The research did find men outranked women in verbal and physical aggression, physical strength, speed, body esteem and activity level.”

    I think “aggression” means, you know, “acting out hostility.”

  9. Mandos

    Yes, but “body esteem” seems to be a social character, not a natural (ie, biological) one. *Similarities* can show that gender differences are *not* natural. But *differences* between men and women don’t prove that they *are*.

    “Aggression” can also imply “drive” or “ambition” or whatever. I think it’s a pretty slippery word. “S/he’s such an aggressive bargainer!”

  10. Denise

    I have been engaged in a debate on another forum now for days with respect to this article in which my opponent insists that feminism means that we’re trying to make women superior, and that he is experiencing the effects of a matriarchy due to affirmative action discrimination in hiring. Perhaps he’s just missing a few shreds of white male privelidge.

  11. Tony Patti

    Back in the carefree and feckless 1970s, when women were more openly oppressed than even today (Promise-keepers excepted, of course “You promise to fetch me beers and I promise not to kick your ass”) there was a quaint and laughable notion called something like – get this, kids – the Equal Rights Amendement.

    Yes, my little ones, back in those now comparatively progressive times, women actually had the temerity to propose an Equal Rights Amendment. I believe some of the men in Congress actually considered it before they called a woman named Schlafly to devise a media blitz to laugh it out of town.

    Nothing ever came of it, and I wasn’t surprised. I mean, come on. After centuries of oppression, women need a Superior Rights Amendment. That was my stand then, and it still is today.

  12. CafeSiren

    Twisty, Is it within the range of your patriarchy-blaming superpowers to call down a rain of fire on the heads of at least one jackass (or jackass team — kind of like the Nobel prizes) per year? ‘Cause I think these guys win, on the basis of being both patriarchal fuckwits, *and* unabashedly ignoring over a century of science.

    Failing the rain-of-fire option, may I humbly suggest you hold an annual “Fucktard of the Year in the Field of Patriarchy” contest? Both men and women would, of course, be eligible as nominees, though I’m sure men’s bigger brains would mean they dominated *this* category, too.

  13. TimT

    Cafesiren, random acts of violence such as a ‘rain of fire’ are the domain of my gender, and shall be viciously defended!

    On a more serious note, here is my favourite stereotype-breaking website on matters scientifical.

  14. ae

    Cafesiren, I like the way you think. And Chris Clarke better come back soon, cos I’m thinking of making out w/ Tony Patti now. Damn these fickle internets!

    I saw Schlafly recently (brrr), and I swear she hadn’t aged a day, considering she was 102 in 1973. I say this not to reinforce lookism but to note that she is a voracious succubus who feeds on the life force of young women. I nominate her for Cafesiren’s jackass follies.

    Actually, maybe ol’ Phyll should get a Lifetime Aggrievement Award instead. It’d be worthwhile ferreting out new candidates every year.

  15. Anna

    Well I’d counter that with the fact that girls get better grades AND do more of the caring nad good stuff in this world. No brutish violence for us. Our socialisation is clearly superior. ;-)

  16. sherry

    Please forgive the long post. I also have degrees in psychology and my areas of specialization are human performance measurement, learning and attention.

    The problem with IQ tests, as noted by others here, is that they measure performance on the test, not ability. In fact, it is physically impossible to measure ability because it is not directly observable. We measure performance and infer ability.

    The thing these guys don’t know or conveniently fail to consider is that many things in addition to ability affect performance, such as:

    performance anxiety (see this article on “stereotype threat” in Scientific Americanhttp://www.sciam.com/print_version.cfm?articleID=000AB254-3CFA-11E7-BB5883414B7F0000. I’ve seen another article, which I can’t find now, that describes how it may not only negatively affect women’s performance on “male” tasks, but also disproportionately affects the best performers),

    motivation (some studies show that males try harder on tests of abilities, such as map reading, that are associated with masculinity),

    amount of relevant prior experience (e.g., “boy’s toys” versus “girl’s toys”. Have you seen those articles on how playing violent, misogynist video games is actually good for you because they improve visuo-spatial ability? Some are available in the http://www.slate.com archives.),

    and, a big one: speed-accuracy tradeoff. People who fear making mistakes could complete the test tasks faster, but they don’t because they’re being extra careful. When you see large gender differences on spatial ability tests, you will typically see much faster performance by males, but slightly more accurate performance by females.

    When researchers give examinees lots of practice and train them to manage speed-accuracy tradeoff (by maintaining high, but not perfect, accuracy) so that all are at their peak performance level, gender differences disappear. This means that women aren’t dumber than men. It means that we aren’t measuring performance correctly, let alone ability.

  17. Twisty

    Thanks for taking the time, Sherry. Always good to hear from a voice of reason.

  1. Pandagon

    Sometimes you just want to hang up the blogging

    I was going to write about this article from the Guardian about how the supposedly huge inborn differences between men and women are bunk, but Twisty got to it first and killed off anything insightful anyone else could say. Remember…

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