Sunday, January 23, 2005

Gender Biases

Another article is talking about President Summer's remarks. This time its by William Saletan from Slate.

One of the things that has really annoyed me about this is that it has brought out the worst of the Left. Yet few have had the stones to call them on it. What do I mean? The right-wing religious community is widely criticized, especially by the left, of putting our faith about facts or reason. Yet on this issue I have heard more than a little reactionary rhetoric coming from the left.

I have heard several people say that anyone who would consider that men and women may have different capabilities in different areas are neanderthals. In spite of the fact that:
The inferable difference in genomes between two people of visibly different races is one-hundredth of 1 percent. The gap between the sexes vastly exceeds that.
Yet we consider racism foolish.

Similarly god forbid someone suggest that there might be a statistical disparity of ability. Quoth Saletan:
It's a claim that the distribution of male scores is more spread out than the distribution of female scores--a greater percentage at both the bottom and the top. Nobody bats an eye at the overrepresentation of men in prison. But suggest that the excess might go both ways, and you're a pig.
I actually think the greater variance concept is very interesting. I had thought that men and women would have difference means but a similar variance. This turned me on my head, but its actually a "better" result politically anyway.

Neither of those are touching on the folks that think we should stop researching this now. What if men and women are different? It could lead to horrible things so it is better to just live the lie. But don't forget conservatives are the closeminded ones.

(HT: The Volokh Conspiracy)

No comments: