Statistics “Proves” Men And Women Are The Same

Science Quiz. The male is on the: A) right, B) left, C) there is no way to tell because gender is a social construct
Science Quiz. The male is on the: A) right, B) left, C) there is no way to tell because gender is a social construct
There are just as many women in prison as men. So too are there equal numbers of male and female ob/gyn patients: this is because the sexual aparatuses on both is identical. New measurements have determined men and women are similarly shaped, being equally tall, broad, and heavy. Facial hair grows at the same rate for both sexes.

When given the opportunity and when in groups, individuals of each sex will co-mingle and not preferentially segregate, which is not surprising given the last two findings (they cannot tell each other apart). A reexamination of history has proved just as many women as men were famous generals and mathematicians.

Perhaps the most fascinating discovering is that men and women have always treated members of the opposite sex in just the same way as members of the same sex; this includes all behaviors, like one sex denying voting rights to the other sex.

If you understood that last paragraph (and most won’t) then you will know that the modern fascination of “proving” men and women are the same, given the historical evidence, is based on a fallacy. If men and women were the same then we could never have the argument that men and women should be or are the same.

Consider the list (the internet loves lists), “Top 100 Mathematicians of All Time!” married to the proposition, “the sexes have equal mathematical talent.” Now you may earnestly believe and cherish that proposition, but you must then ignore the evidence of the list. Or you may believe the list, which forces you to abandon the proposition. If the two are held simultaneously, there is a fallacy.

Incidentally, the statistical evidence “boys and girls have equal mean scores on many but not all tests” is not inconsistent with either the list or the proposition, it supports both equally. The problem is the statistical evidence is incomplete: comparing only means ignores the variability and distribution of ability. Examining only means is statistically foolish.

Enter Bobbi Carothers, a psychologist featured in Popular Science‘s “Science Confirms The Obvious: Men And Women Aren’t That Different”. Everything wrong with that title is everything wrong with modern thinking. “Science” has not done what is claimed; “science” cannot do anything, only people can. And all that’s obvious is that Popular Science doesn’t want to be screamed at for denying the subtitle, which itself is obviously false.

Carothers fixated on the idea that other people (not her) thought that if men and women are different, they should be categorically so. Men are tall, women therefore cannot be. But sexual differences in heights are distributional: there are many tall women, but there are more tall men. Height, like most other traits, is therefore not categorically different.

Since Carothers set out to prove paucity of categorical differences, it therefore comes as no surprise she succeeded. “Men and women consistently overlapped in attitudes and traits like empathy, fear of success and mate selection, indicating that sex differences are not categorical, but more a matter of degree.”

Like an inveterate gambler, she did it the hard way. No plain observation for her, no sir. Instead, unnecessarily complicated statistical assays like “taxometric methods of mean above minus below a cut, maximum eigenvalue, and latent mode”. And while she gave a cursory look at obvious differences, she concentrated on academic constructs like “openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism”, each trait defined via officially approved psychological “instruments” (i.e. questionnaires; the faith academics have in these is absolute; nobody ever lies to an academic).

In one sub-study she asked 30 WEIRD boys and girls to record five activities they and the opposite sex enjoyed doing. This produced 129 items, which were re-rated by other WEIRD people. “28 items that revealed significant sex differences for both ratings and no order effects were retained.” A third panel whittled those 28 down to 10. The overly complicated statistics finally proved that men liked boxing and construction and women scrapbooking and applying cosmetics. Tax dollars at work.

She went on and on and then on some more like this, asking questions to see where and if men and women answered differently. The closer the scale came to academic constructs, the more similar were the sexes; likewise, the closer the scale matched real-life activities, the more distinct the sexes.

Her sense of triumph was obvious as she stated a conclusion which nobody ever questioned, that all differences between the sexes do not have “sharp boundaries”, but often are a matter of degree. Which is to say, the differences are real and not apparent, a corollary she neglected to mention.

Team Dorner And Race

Contrary to common wisdom, it is acceptable to discuss race and not harm one’s career or social status. But it can only be done in two ways: (1) to list racial disparities, as long as these favor whites, and (2) to speculate on how whites wrongly achieved these disparities.

But that’s it. Even stating this obvious truth, which itself does not fall under either exception, is itself bound to cause discomfort. “Where is he going with this?” “Wait a second…” The statement, in other words, is not acceptable, though it is true.

Many large police departments have entrance exams. (Murder is: (A) Illegal, (B) To be discouraged, (C) Yellow light, (D) Okay if they deserved it.) It has been found that over a large number of people, in widely different circumstances, and through time that on average blacks score less well than whites on these tests. This is not surprising as blacks are found on average to score less well than whites on aptitude tests of all kinds (ASVAB, SAT, etc.).

These disparities, which favor whites (I’m okay so far), have not gone unnoticed. The standard argument is to call the tests “racist”, to claim that they are “biased” against blacks. This is so even though nobody can point to any question which disfavors blacks or which (say) causes them psychic pain. It is so even though everybody agrees that the tests predict success in the fields for which the tests were designed.

Still, if blacks do less well than whites on average, the problem must lie with the tests and not with those who took the tests. This theory has been confirmed all the way up to and including the Supreme Court. Since all efforts at fixing the tests have failed, the next logical step (accepting as true the theory) is to either eliminate the tests (as the Chicago PD might) or to “race norm” them.

For example, the military used to race norm tests for promotion by adding to each black’s score the amount on average (or thereabouts) that blacks score less than whites. Whatever you think of the theory, race norming does fix the mathematical disparity. So as not to cause hurt feelings, the military and other institutions try to keep quiet about these affirmative actions; unfortunately, people keep these facts in the back of their mind.

Now there are also disparities in crime, particularly violent crime, such that blacks proportionately commit from around seven to eleven times as many murders (for example) as whites. The rate varies by locale, usually increase in cities, but blacks are everywhere on average the less law abiding.

It is therefore natural and expected that arrest and conviction records should mirror the crime rates. Many more blacks than whites will be stopped, arrested, prosecuted, and convicted. This is bound to, and does, lead to ill feelings between blacks and cops. Even black cops can become suspicious that these street “aptitude tests” (arrests, etc.) are therefore “biased” against blacks, that cops doing their jobs are “racist.” This is, is it not?, the theory of the land, confirmed from on high.

Enter Christopher Dorner, an LAPD cop who claimed he did not like his job. To exact his revenge he, in cold blood, murdered the (non-white) daughter of a retired police captain. And since the daughter’s fiancé was standing next to his inamorata when she was cut down, Dorner killed him too. He then ran. As he was chased, he killed at least two others and wounded one or two (the full count is not verified at this writing; the cops initially chasing him shot at anything even vaguely Dorner-shaped).

Next arose another disparity. Some people cheered Dorner’s exploits, even comparing him to the title character in the movie Django Unchained. Jamie Foxx, who starred as Django, said, “I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?” Foxx’s comment is curious because Dorner started by killing non-whites. Anyway, those that cheered Dorner were overwhelmingly non-white; his detractors mostly white.

On Twitter the tag #TeamDorner was created. Here are two relevant tweets.

(Many more tweets can be found here.)

The smart money says the media will adopt this theme: He shouldn’t have done it, but he must have had his reasons. “Bob Smith is reporting live from LAPD headquarters. Bob, is it true the LAPD is racist? What about Rodney King?” The test is biased. It could not have been his fault.

Solution? None.

Update I am not La Griffe du Lion. I noticed an unusual number of searches for my name tied to his. I am more cougarish than lionish. One enormous clue: I do not have the sense to remain anonymous. Another, technical one: I do not love the normal distribution, as regular readers will know.

DC Comics Fans Call For Boycott Over Orson Scott Card’s Same-Sex “Marriage” Views

Reading comics leads to this
Reading comics leads to this
“Batwoman has been a lesbian since 2006.” I wonder what made her change her mind?

Turns out that Alan Scott, a.k.a. Green Lantern, also turned gay in 2012. Maybe it was the jewelry? And who knows what the X-men—or should we say X-people?—get up to. Rumors of wedding bells between same-sexed mutants abound. One dares not peer into the Bat Cave.

I learned these (I won’t call them facts) items from the Guardian which is beside itself that Orson Scott Card has been asked to write one of the many, and proliferating, episodes of Superman. Why? Card is a faithful Mormon and isn’t keen on same-sex “marriage.”

There’s only one correct belief to have about SSM, and those who are discovered or suspected not to have it must face consequences. Such as being deprived of work, and therefore the means of making a living. (Yours Truly understands where this places him.) Card doesn’t subscribe to the proper view which is why some comics fans are “outraged” and calling for his dismissal.

Naturally, there’s a petition to let Superman’s publisher DC Comics know that fans are “outraged” and will forever withhold their trade unless Card is silenced. I’m sure these fans are sincere and that if DC keeps Card the fans will sate their passion for word bubbles and endless fistfights by switching to Richie Rich and Little Lulu.

The New Statesman called Card “strongly homophobic”, which, if words have any meaning, says Card fears men who want to have sex with men. This fear could be rational, especially if Card finds himself in the Big House.

He might, too. Card said, “Once they legalize gay marriage, it will be the bludgeon they use to make sure that it becomes illegal to teach traditional values in the schools.” Regardless whether you are for or against SSM, that seems like a fair prediction. Publicly saying SSM is wrong if and when it’s legal will surely be a “hate crime” or at least grounds for dismissal or a bar to entry for many professions.

Incidentally, if you needed more evidence that our culture is becoming feminized, look no further than “hate crimes.” “Not only did he strike me, officer. He said he didn’t like me!”

If pro-SSM comics fans want to organize and cease reading DC comics, that is their right. I even encourage them to do so. Maybe it will keep them from dressing up in costume and hanging around seedy New York hotels.

Just please don’t let’s involve the government. None of this is its business.

Pope Benedict To Resign

Word just came in that our scholar pope is resigning. Old age. First Holy Father to give up the reins since the early fifteenth century. A holy Cincinnatus, as it were. His last day of office is the end of this month.

According to Sky News:

The 85-year-old German’s resignation letter said: “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.

Now if you’re not Catholic you probably don’t care, but you should. Benedict XVI was the natural traditionalist successor to Blessed John Paul II, where by “traditionalist” I mean one who resists Modernity. Leaving aside a youthful flirtation, Benedict devoted his life to showing us the excesses of Modernity, its flawed philosophy of pragmatism that “anything goes”, its tyranny of relativism.

Benedict steered the Church back to The Road. He put in place quite a number of Bishops and Cardinals who were to his mind of thinking. Or rather, who he thought were to his mind. Appointing a Cardinal is a little like nominating a Supreme Court Justice. Fellow looks solid on paper, but the office and its multitudinous contacts with the new world changes him. Americans, New Yorkers especially, thought for example Timothy Dolan, whose track record made him appear a smaller (or rather, larger—in bulk) version of His Holiness when he was appointed, did not turn out quite as many hoped. Predictions are rarely perfect.

Nevertheless, a great many of the Pope’s moves pointed the Church in the opposite direction of the world. He promoted men—yes, men—who thought the old ways not only worth preserving, but considered they were the only way period, both on philosophical and theological grounds.

There is a growing separation (schism is perhaps too strong a word) in the Western Church, which Benedict saw clearly, between those who say, “Forward” and “Change we can believe in” for the sake of change. Between those who are content with foundations and with those to whom stasis is anathema. One side wants women priests because, well because there aren’t any women priests; they want modifications to teachings on sexuality from one-man-one-woman until death do them part to (again) anything goes; these are activists who see the primary function of the Church to help the State grow, grow, grow so that the “poor” can be managed. These people are opposed by those who see the Church’s eternal purpose as saving souls.

Joseph Ratzinger, once boss of the Inquisition, i.e. the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sided with eternity in his voluminous writings. It was those writings (in part) which led him, not very enthusiastically (he was always worried about his age) to the papacy, put there by men who were anxious that the legacy of John Paul II not be tarnished.

Let me recommend some of these writings—Benedict wrote unceasingly and well. You’ve all heard of his Jesus of Nazareth trilogy; the last entry The Infancy Narratives coming out around Christmas. But I want you, especially if you’re yet an atheist, to read Introduction to Christianity, a primer of theology (not philosophy; the book takes certain things for granted, such as God’s existence).

The book is an “introduction” in the same sense as a volume entitled Introduction to Quantum Mechanics is: it is not easy going; real work is required of the reader. I recommend it because you can see the source and reasons for some of the (what may be to you) odd things Christians believe.

And then there’s Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions. This book answers Pontius Pilate’s question—the question. He also fills in the rejoinder to, “Why Christianity?”

Whoever the new pope will be, it probably won’t be American. Might be too much power concentrated in one country (we already have a dear leader). The real question is whether the replacement will also be a traditionalist, or a man more aligned to pleasing the world.

I just heard the news thirty minutes ago, so there are bound to be mistakes in this post. Look to this space for updates as they occur to me.

Update How long do Pope’s serve (statistics!).

Update Pope and the Big Bang.