William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

More Proof Standards Are Lowered Under #Equality: FBI Man Wants To Be Treated Like Girl

Probably not Jay J. Bauer.

Probably not Jay J. Bauer.

One of the worst statistical arguments I’ve seen was used by our government to settle this case. Don’t miss it below.

So this Jay J. Bauer wanted to soar in the ranks of America’s Police Squad, a.k.a. the FBI, but couldn’t manage to do a measly 30 (not a typo) push-ups, which the Bureau said were a necessary benchmark. Bauer the pussy cat, who is in his early 40s, could only squeeze out 29.

I haven’t any idea of the proportion of men in their prime who cannot do 30 push-ups, though it’s obviously not zero. The key is that most of these weakly men, knowing their limitation, do not seek to become FBI agents (or soldiers or firemen or etc.). Bauer knew the requirements—he already worked at the Bureau—and presumably knew his frame wasn’t up to the task, but he tried anyway. And failed. Trying and failing is better than not trying, usually.

Now this story would have gone nowhere except that Bauer noticed that women only have to manage 14 push-ups. For readers who aren’t as mathematically inclined as Yours Truly, I’ll note that this is less than half of what men are required to do.

This is rock-solid proof, as promised in the title, that standards are lowered under equality. If women seeking to be agents, and their feminist sympathizers, wanted true equality, they should insist women do the equal work of men. Equal Work For Equal Pay! should be their cry. Instead, we get crying. In this case, from Bauer the pussy cat.

See, Bauer noticed that women FBI agents are not as good as men, which is another way of saying they are worse, in the physical fitness department. Equality demands we turn a blind eye to this manifest inequality and declare, against all evidence, that men and women are equal. And this is what Bauer tried to do, too, by saying he ought to be able to perform at the same level as a woman. Fair’s fair. Or something.

Bauer sued, claiming the FBI’s standards “discriminated on the basis of sex, violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” It was here the story becomes interesting. According to the ruling of Bauer’s suit (he lost; pp. 6-7):

As a part of the statistical standardization, the FBI sought to normalize testing standards between men and women in order to account for their innate physiological differences. The FBI reasoned that, due to such distinctions, equally fit men and women would perform differently in the same events. Accordingly, the FBI determined that male and female Trainees would be required to complete the four PFT events, but that different minimum standards would be established for each sex. The FBI concluded that use of such a gender-normed framework would have the complementary benefits of allowing the measurement of equivalent fitness levels between men and women while also mitigating the negative impact that would otherwise result from requiring female Trainees to satisfy the male-oriented standards.

That “innate physiological differences” is an admission, if such were needed, that men and women are different essentially. Only a modern court would think it necessary to state such an obvious fact. Skip that and ask is it the case that women who perform less than half of what is required for men are “equally” physically fit? Perhaps in terms of, say, heartbeats or respirations per minute they could be. But then that means that less than half the physical labor in women causes the same heartbeat or respiration rate as in men.

Get it? No? Suppose the agent had to chase down a bad guy. The female agent “equally physically fit” to the male agent would either run half as far or half as fast, or whatever combination it turns out to be, to be equally winded. Meaning the bad guy has a better chance of getting away from the female agent.

In other words, this “statistical standardization” is gibberish; it’s nothing more than a measure of how much weaker women are than men, which is thus also an admission of the same. In push-ups, women are about half as able as men (at the agent level, anyway). In running and for other activities, it’s something else, but always lower. Meaning, as was always obvious, that men and women aren’t in the same physical class. But this, naturally, does not imply that some women won’t be found who can compete at the minimum (sex-neutral) required levels.

Here is the key statistical argument.

If you’re still lost, think of it this way. Suppose we’re comparing men from the Detroit Tigers pitching staff against little girls from Kindergarten. All right: now, within each group measure capabilities in push-ups, running, whatever, and then perform a “statistical standardization” such that a group picked from the joint pool of individuals results in a 50/50 split of men and kids. Are the kids suddenly equal to the men, even though they are, by design, “statistically equally fit”? If you said yes, you’re an egalitarian.

The FBI, satisfied with this statistical legerdemain, did an internal study after letting women get away with less. Report (pp 8-9):

More specifically, by the seventh week of the 2004 classes, 90.2% of male Trainees and 89.5% of female Trainees passed the PFT. Like the marginal difference in passage rates in the Pilot Study, the FBI deemed the slight discrepancy in the Follow-up Study to be statistically insignificant.

Slight discrepancy. Egalitarians see any deviation from perfect equality as a “discrepancy”, which is more proof of my contention.

Bauer’s argument was that (pp 11-12) “the FBI’s use of the gender-normed PFT standards contravened two of Title VII’s provisions…[one] which prohibits sex discrimination by federal employers, [and another] which prohibits the use of different cutoff scores on employment tests on the basis of sex.” Any plain reading supports Bauer’s contention: men are discriminated against by being required to do more than women, and men have different cutoff scores on employment tests.

A bunch of legal rigmarole followed, with one court saying this and another that, with our esteemed authorities finally ruling (p. 17):

…that because the PFT assesses an overall level of physical fitness, and equally fit men and women possess innate physiological differences that lead to different performance outcomes, the PFT’s gender-normed standards actually require the same level of fitness for all Trainees. In that way, the Attorney General contends, the PFT standards do not treat the sexes differently and therefore do not contravene Title VII.

This is nonsensical, as proved above, and a long-winded excuse to call what isn’t equal, equal. Of course, in this case no sane person would be rooting for Bauer, either. So we all lose.

59 Comments

  1. The idea that “equally physically fit” men and women — which, I suppose, would have to mean men and women who score at a certain point among all others of their sex — are also equally able to do the same job is nonsensical. As the Olympics show, the greatest women athletes in the world do not perform equally to the greatest men athletes in the world in their respective sports. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with this — we do not need the greatest women runners to be as fast as the greatest men, or the greatest women basketball players to play with the same intensity and strength as men.
    But in a job, physical performance sometimes does matter. If it doesn’t, there shouldn’t be a test, and if it does, then the test should be for the required feats or abilities. If the job of an FBI agent or firefighter, for example, required the physical abilities of the top 5% of all women but that same physical ability was matched by the top 20% of men (I’m making those numbers up), then making the requirement for employment that both men and women have the abilities of the top 5% of their respective sex makes no sense at all.

    But it’s not about fairness, or at least that kind of fairness. Liberalism desires a strange form of equivalency, in which the ranks of every job, position, etc., are filled by people in the exact proportion that they are represented in the general population. And if that’s not possible, then to the liberal the ranks of every job must be filled with FEWER of the people who make up the majority and MORE of the people who don’t, because that’s “fair.” They really mean this. And therefore, they will change physical requirements to get the desired results… which have nothign to do with what the people can or can’t do physically.

  2. Betcha Dana Scully could do 30. Mulder, not so sure.

    There’s a difference between fitness and ability to run down the perps. Seems like the agency and the courts don’t get this.

    Actually, isn’t Bauer’s argument the same as yours — that there’s discrimination in the standard of physical competency? Wanting leniency for his poor performance makes him a girly-man, of course, but the case clearly makes the point.

  3. It’s a shame the man’s name is Bauer. 24’s Jack Bauer could probably do 30 one handed push ups while torturing the location of the terrorist attack out the the suspect with the other.

  4. Wilbur Hassenfus

    January 19, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Didn’t anybody tell this idiot that discrimination against men is not just legal, but mandated? Trying to hold the left to their own standards is retarded. Did he really think they didn’t already think of that and have a stock answer waiting for him? On a scam they’ve been running for decades? Did he think anybody was going to enforce the law as written on HIS behalf? In THIS country?!

    What a babe in the woods.

    He should have claimed that he WAS a woman. I doubt that would’ve worked either (unless he actually mutilated himself, which is hardly worth it), but I’d give it better odds, and it would have made for better and much more hilarious PR.

  5. Standards are by necessity lower for women because women and men are different. As Briggs notes, that’s what “the FBI sought to normalize testing standards between men and women in order to account for their innate physiological differences” means. So this is now “separate but equal, not” for sexes. That was not acceptable for race……

    Wow, no wonder some women love that “marginal difference”. Do less than half what men do and be called equal. Sounds great if you’re a wimpy female who wants what she cannot earn (which I’m not). Rather punitive if you’re the guy, which is Bauer’s point, I believe.

    Actually, I was rooting for Bauer (my sanity not withstanding). For once, I’d like to see a guy use this stupid against the women who made it up. Again, everyone admits men and women are not equal, yet pretend women pretend that’s not true when it clearly is by their own rules. Why shouldn’t guys get the benefit?

    Wonder what happens if he becomes transgendered?

    The problem of women chasing bad guys can be somewhat solved by using male/female partnerships. This also put strain on marriages, resulting in more divorced women, more fatherless children and more crime, thus ensuring job security and societal decay. A win-win for the Left.

    Gary: Agreed. Physical fitness in “real” life is different than “gym fitness”. The PT test would be more valuable if it presented real-life tests of chasing bad guys—running, climbing, crawling through buildings, etc. If the woman can catch the bad guy, she can be hired. She does not necessarily have to outrun the guy if she can find another way to catch him.

    Nate: Rumor has it a new PC “24” is in the works (the lead actor will reportedly not be white for one thing). Nothing is sacred anymore.

  6. “Betcha Dana Scully could do 30. Mulder, not so sure.”

    Mulder did 40, but a government conspiracy resulted in only 20 being counted. 🙂

  7. Briggs,

    I understand the objections … But the US Army has had age-graded fitness standards as long as I can remember. So the older soldier can be “fit” while being less fit than a younger one. Why no complaints here?

  8. Age graded fitness standards? I was in the Navy reserve and when I was 40 I was expected to pass the same physical test as the 20 year olds. I don’t recall any age graded physical test.

  9. What is fitness? What does being physically fit mean?

    A man and a woman, age 39, score the same on the physical tests, e.g., both can do 14 consecutive push-ups and 24 sit-ups in one minute. After 10-hour filed or desk investigation work, who would feel more stressed physically (and, perhaps, consequently mentally)?

    14 push-ups are not that hard though…

    So the older soldier can be “fit” while being less fit than a younger one. Why no complaints here?

    Because the older ones are in charge! Yes, all generals, however many stars, should meet the same requirement too.

  10. JH,

    “Because the older ones are in charge!”

    Is that necessarily true? Or, could it be that those in charge, who typically are older, set the rules?

    Fitness — whatever that is — is a proxy for something. Dedication, maybe?

    Just as the older (assumed) general likely never carries wounded from the field, FBI agents likely never chase down bad guys, except behind a computer screen.

    I assume questions around fitness will not be answered with satisfaction until we understand what the proxy is really testing.

  11. JH: Older ones are in charge and as far as I have seen, are rarely sent into battle. A 62 year old infantry man would probably be unheard of. As one advances in rank, it seems less and less likely you will end up in battle. At 40, yes. Beyond 40, if you’re fit, you probably can be in active warfare. If not, desk job.

    All: Again, if the tests actually measured skills needed, there would be a reason to make men and women meet the same standard. Mock battle scenarios where strength, agility, etc are needed seem to me to be a better measure. And yes, women will fail some of these and want them made easier, but one could at least argue the standards had meaning. Sit-ups, push-ups and running may or may not measure useful parameters.

  12. Why do they have standards for only two sexes?

  13. It’s the lowering of firefighter standards that bother me the most. When it comes time to pick up and carry a two hundred pound man I hope it’s a fireman and not a firelady that shows up.

  14. Jim, since I don’t have any evidence, I really don’t know the answer. 🙂 It is also possible that there were unpublicized complaints of (reverse)-age discrimination. If you talking about why Briggs is not complaining about it, your speculation is probably as good as mine.

  15. It (used to be) recognized that as one ages, that one’s “fitness” levels degrades. As late as 1992, for the semiannual (US) Army Physical Fitness test, the expectation was that a fit 17-year-old man could walk 2.5 miles in 34 minutes and a fit 62-year-old man could walk the same distance in 38:30 minutes. For women, the expectation was that a 17-year-old could make the same distance in 37 minutes, and her older counterpart could make the trek in 41:30 minutes. Ah, if we were all to have the relative fitness advantages of being 17 our entire lives; in other areas, maybe not so much…

  16. “An employer was not in violation of federal law simply because it used different measures to assess applicants of different sexes — as long as male and female applicants were held to the same relative level of physical fitness.” There’s the trouble. “same relative”.

    “Physical Fitness” is never defined well, In this case assuming that their system is similar to other police, military forces. These emphasise physical strength, i.e. muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. In this context little or no attention is paid to balance or flexibility, (give them time, they can’t do both optimally but they’ll have a lot of fun trying.)

    Medically, two important measures are resting heart rate which “should” be low for a mark of “clinical fitness” but is not a guarantee.
    More importantly the change of rate and recovery of the heart rate to it’s resting level is also considered. The lose phrase Physical fitness” has been conveniently confused to promote the genders equal argument. A person could score optimally on these cardiac measures but they are not an indication of ability to achieve the same speeds and strength measures as others. As for 29, shame, he could’ve saved us all this trouble. His instructor wasn’t shouting loud enough.

    This type of measurement is used in cardiac rehab but I don’t note any such patients claiming equality with fitness of a young male. If you take the best apple and the best orange to make a pie you have apple and orange pie. If you want apple pie you have to use apples or the pie will be too orangey or not appley enough They should have said that in court!

    The fitness tests, here, a blunt instrument, an old system, works, having been designed by process of gradual knowledge about the physical ability of men, as there was never a need for any other consideration. Now, the lack of concrete argument around justifying tests for fitness, what fitness means is wide open for liberty taking legal argument. If they can find the weak spot they will.

    A realistic expectation of what may be required to carry out the job must form part of the fitness test the test becomes meaningless otherwise.
    Unless the women can argue that they’re doing a different job then they cannot argue for less exercise and claim equal status. Well they can but it will be untrue.

    Normally thee is a test for all and a test for active service. I’m sure the FBI’s tests are more complex than one PFT.

    The article was phrased in a way which made it look like men were winging. As if the men were saying “it’s not fair we have to do more. It seems not a great angle to approach the equality agenda. To quote “it’s as if “men are perceived arguing from a position of privilege.” There’s no greater sin than that. The truth? who cares.

  17. Briggs

    January 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    JH,

    Wow! You’re admitting the sex discrimination against men! Terrific! Great example about the Tigers vs. the Kindergartners, right?

    Jim,

    Wait, your argument is not because other agencies let women and the less able slide that therefore the FBI is not letting women slide?

    All,

    When I was in the service, women were already able to do “push ups” from their knees. And they had to run less among other things. Equality ruled already in the 80s.

  18. Mr. Briggs,

    I am saying that measures (statistics) of relative standing, e.g., the statistical standardization (SS) in the argument described in this post, have their use. You think the SS is nonsense. My example demonstrates that it might be a relevant measure of “being physically fit” for an FBI job.

    Suppose my employer has a physical test requiring me to do at least 30 consecutive push-ups because I might have to continuously stand up in a classroom for 3 hours. I am physically fit (100 jumping jacks!) and 30 push-ups are still doable, but I’d say the standard is set up to keep women out of my profession. Discrimination? Perhaps. (But, you know I am such a lovable person that people would always make an exception for me. 🙂 FBI probably makes exceptions for someone’s son or daughter too.)

    One may say that an employer (FBI) would know best about what minimum physical qualifications should be for a certain job.

  19. Briggs

    January 19, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    JH,

    So you agree with the Tigers-Kindergarten example. Woo hoo! There’s hope for you yet!

    All,

    Put it plain and simple: Women in the FBI (and military) are required to less be physically capable. Equal work for equal pay! All the persiflage about being “fit” is silly, as the Tigers-Kindergarten example proves.

  20. Briggs, so you are comparing women who apply for FBI job to little girls now? It’s like selecting 4th grader basketball players (base on height) by talking the height statistics of 25 year olds.

  21. Briggs, so you are comparing women who apply for FBI job to little girls now? It’s like selecting 4th grader basketball players (base on height) by talking about the height statistics of 25 year olds.

  22. Briggs, yes, equal work for equal pay!

  23. Briggs

    January 19, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    JH,

    Yes! Equal work for equal pay! Let’s march!

  24. Briggs,

    Did you really mean to say “required” above? I don’t believe they are required to be less physically capable.

    My question (argument?) is why all the noise now? And why the focus only on women? Seems different standards have been with us for a long time, without issue.

    Were age-graded standards also the product of progressive feminism?

    It is likely, as I noted earlier, that the fitness tests are a proxy for something else. Dedication? Commitment?

    I believe l am making a fair point since, I think, we can agree that a four-year degree serves less as a signifier of knowledge and more as a proxy of some set of characteristics desired by employers. So the use of proxies is acceptable to most.

  25. Briggs

    January 19, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Jim,

    Well, brother, I’m not sure what you’re arguing. That the FBI allows women to be less capable is the news of the day, and it doesn’t seem you dispute it. That egalitarianism has earlier degraded culture, as I’ve often pointed out happened in the military, you also seem to agree with.

    I just don’t see that we disagree on the conclusion of my argument.

    And then after lowering standards, egalitarians’ next step is, each and every time, is to argue that standards were not really relevant after all. That’s happening here, too.

  26. Briggs,

    So, basically, in your opinion, being able to do more push-ups is equivalent to being more capable of handling an FBI job! And again, in your opinion,
    egalitarianism has earlier degraded culture. Hmmm…

    It’s going to snowtomorrow. Let’s march tomorrow with millions of snowflakes cheering us on.

  27. Briggs

    January 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    JH,

    “Let’s march tomorrow with millions of snowflakes cheering us on.”

    Well, you are at a modern university, so there are plenty of them…

  28. Yes! Equal work for equal pay! Let’s march!

    Indeed, as I sit watching the Australian Open where women play best 2 of 3 sets while the men play best 3 of 5 for the same prize money.

  29. Briggs,

    To reiterate JH, on what basis do you justify your claim female FBI agents are less capable — in their role as an agent — than men? Do you have data or annectdotal accounts to show that the FBI is performing below it’s par — whatever that is, of course?

    Unless things have changed lately, an accounting is a degree qualifying one for an agent role? So it seems like keyboards and pens are the likely strength test while serving as an agent.

  30. Briggs

    January 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Jim,

    You do notice that you have changed the goal posts, yes? The argument is that women are allowed to be less physically capable than men (and that they are called “equal”). And this you agree with. Yes?

    And like I said, the next argument in the egalitarian theory is to say the original standards were not really necessary, that weaker standards are actually ok. Well, maybe this is true in this case of FBI agents. But I doubt it for field agents. And if it is true for field agents, then we have to question why the FBI has been so dumb for so long to have such rigorous standards.

    Anyway, that lower standards are good is certainly false in military, fire departments, etc., where women are also allowed to be less able. And called “equal.”

  31. Whether a “statistical standard” is appropriate depends on whether the attribute being measured is an absolute requirement or a proxy for something else (and, if a proxy, whether the proxy scales comparably).

    For example, let’s say I’m running an “advanced training” course. By whatever mechanism, I figure that the top 20% in any given cohort are worth the investment of advanced training. It’s not that (for example) the younger kids can compete in absolute terms with the older kids, but that kids in the top 20% while younger are likely to remain in that as they age, and thus I can reasonably use this statistical measure at any point.

    Similarly, if my reason for requiring a physical fitness test is to ensure my staff remain at a reasonable level of health, it makes sense to scale the test results to the staff. Or, for another example, a 6 ft. tall man requires more mass of fabric that a 5 ft. tall man to be considered adequately dressed. But the core standard is “adequately dressed”, not the mass of fabric (* This is a hypothetical: I’m not aware of any organisation that requires people to have a certain mass of fabric in clothing). It’s entirely possible for a female to be “fit and healthy” – at a level that reduces her likelihood of ill health – while a male performing at the same standard is “unfit” and more likely to suffer ill health.

    So, if your goals for an infantry soldier are to “travel x km per day carrying y kg while maintaining good health and battle-readiness”, you either want to test this directly (in which case scaling is foolish) or you want a suitable proxy (in which case scaling may or may not be appropriate). Even if scaling legitimately applies, it doesn’t follow that the correct scaling results in equal pass rates across categories.

  32. NYC has been having a tough time getting female firefighters:

    http://nypost.com/2015/11/22/struggling-firefighter-injured-after-just-10-days-into-new-job/

    http://nypost.com/2015/05/03/woman-to-become-ny-firefighter-despite-failing-crucial-fitness-test/

    http://nypost.com/2015/12/27/unfireable-female-firefighter-returns-to-the-fdny/

    There have been many accommodations made to get women into the department, but “Nature” is not playing along. I don’t think She knows there is a lawsuit in the works.

  33. Briggs,

    One argument and one fallacy at a time. The initial fallacy is yours — equivocation — where you confound capability with a fitness test. The next fallacy is your as well — the slippery slope.

    I’m not moving any goal posts — at least not here. I am just trying to understand how you justify the sole claim around capability and a fitness test. Especially since FBI agents, for the most part, lift nothing heavier than a wireless mouse (the fitness test is a proxy for something, akin to Hoover’s obsession with hat sizes — and women typically have smaller hat sizes).

    Even though the country is bliss with progressivism, you still need to justify your claims with more than “damn liberals!”

    Note: in a freer society, the state of affairs would not be based on those who have the ear of the apparatus of coercion and compulsion. But, alas, that is not our situation.

  34. Briggs

    January 19, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Jim,

    The fitness example is handled in the Tigers-Kindergarten example. Equally “fit” wee girls and strapping men are not physically equivalent. The fallacy is in supposing “statistical fitness” measures physical capability. That point you miss.

    And Katie’s examples are priceless.

  35. Briggs

    January 20, 2016 at 1:01 am

    All,

    Apropos: “Female professors are woefully outnumbered at med schools nationwide.” Nothing but quotas will do.

  36. Well, Bauer is trying to use an understandable rule in the wrong way. The point is that if a man is built such as that he if not able perform certain functions expected of him as a man. Women tend to hear, see, endure, and remember better than men, and when juxtaposed with men or even other women, can alter situations in ways other men can not. Even if you dismiss the rather loose statistics that assert all the former claims, that last one is alone good enough reason to have women in law enforcement. On top of that, women have rights. And one of those rights is the right to not be intimately searched by men. Bauer can not make any of these claims or arguments based on his gender.

    JMJ

  37. Too much belaboring of a simple matter! No one with at least half a brain could be “lost” [Briggs] about it. If anyone is lost, he must be new here, since he couldn’t possibly have understood things like the real meaning of a confidence interval, etc. He’d have fled long ago.

  38. Wait a minute! The Tigers’ starting pitchers, or their relievers?

  39. Briggs,

    So what does the short report about medical professors has to do with qualifications required for FBI jobs? A report of gender distribution implies quota? Your idea of how it works is a bit skewed by the right-wing media and whatever blogs you read, and by your tendency to use an extreme example to make blanket conclusions.

    People who are in charge of hiring professors are much smarter than you want them to be. No one wants to hire a candidate who is deemed to fail.

    When I look around my friends and our offsprings, the next generation adults seem to be as (if not more) outstanding, well-read, and well-rounded. Can’t you say the same thing about your own children?

    “Qualification” can be in-the- eye-of-beholder thing. Just like some statisticians would judge that all your medical-related publications contribute little to the area of statistics. Some medical researchers might value them as an indicator of your willingness to work with them. Some universities value teaching more than research. And some people get hired because of their connections. Some people like white color is better than black and yellow. All sorts.

    Statistics tools are to be appropriately applied. Your example is silly as I have explained.

  40. “Fitness” was the point of the legal argument. The man bringing the argument had no satisfactory answer because of his sex. The judges couldn’t have ruled “equal pay for equal work” as that wasn’t the case they were arguing. One could make a case that someone should but this man has another agenda.

    Andrew,
    Fitness tests are not a proxy in any of the above examples. They are a direct test of fitness in the above examples. In the case of the infantry soldier they are preparation and tabbing with weights are precisely practice for the real situation. “whilst still maintaining battle readiness” what do you mean? That of course is the purpose.

    Jim, Forget mouse clicking, to do press-ups as this is the obsession, requires cardiovascular fitness and exercises muscle groups involved in lots of activities like pushing, punching, some parts of climbing. These are not the only activities. Any movement requiring shoulder girdle stability for distal movement (wrist, hand, forearm) would be strengthened by press-ups. That agents probably don’t keep up the fitness between tests is human but the test ensures that the standard is upheld periodically as the test, I assume, is repeated annually? It’s about maintaining a minimum standard.
    That fitness is left open ended is the problem. It is assumed reasonably that it means FBI ready fitness” Not “female FBI ready fitness”. That would run too close to the truth.

    Fitness tests are not a proxy with respect to suitability for civilian or military armed forces. You are attempting a dodge around the activity of achieving the minimal standard. You may disagree with the minimal standard but that would be a different argument and not answering the question of females versus males tests for the same role.

    That sedentary roles in some forces have a separate test is irrelevant. Clearly, they are doing a different job. Their pay reflects their role. If they are downgraded permanently they are either discharged or moved to a separate section which requires their brain and not their body. Some are discharged and recruited as civilians for the force.
    Efforts are made to keep some disabled people and discharge others.
    Jim and JH imply that some are “getting off lightly”. It is untrue.

  41. Briggs,

    Just so I understand: is your issue only with a claim that someone with a lower score can be statistically deemed equivalent to someone with a greater score, looking solely at the score? Or are you also offended by the FBI saying that those with differing scores are equally capable as agents?

    I have no issue with the former.

  42. Awkward wording in my last sentence. I have no issue with you taking issue on the former.

  43. JH: IDENTICAL work deserves equal pay. Nothing else. If qualifications are less for one group, the pay should be less also.
    Please tell me you are not so oblivious to reality as to not recognize that the only reason to report on gender equality is so some judge can rule more women have to be hired. There is no other reason.

    Steve E: Actually, the Australian Open for women may be 2 out of 3 because people have less interest in women’s tennis. Tennis is about making money, both for the players and the advertisers. If women’s tennis is a smaller draw, then one plays fewer games.

    Katie: Let’s hope those who demanded the watered down “fairness” hires have a whole unit of them respond to a fire at their residences. If the lives of their families and their homes depended on these persons, I wonder how enthusiatic about this the judges would be (assuming the judges care about their wives and children, which is not evident in many cases).

    Jim Fedako: The slippery slope is only a fallacy when the trend is not already racing downhill.
    You seem to be missing the point here—either women are “equal” or they are not. Clearly, they are not. Whether or not that inequality is a problem in specific occupations is a problem is a separate issue.
    If women only need to do “x” number of push-ups, why must men do more? If “x” is adequate, then men should be allowed the same standard.

    JMJ: Do women also have the right to have a rape suspect get away because the female officers responding couldn’t run as fast as the rapist? As I stated before, all of this can be remedied by having male/female pairs of officers, which increases the divorce rate and puts more people on the public dole, which you as a progressive should be drooling over.

  44. Chill Sheri,
    There is a place for women dealing with rape cases these types of cases so called softer cases dealing with families and victims is traditionally the role for police women.
    You paint the picture that the woman shouts and the police run!
    You know this isn’t how it works.
    I attended a rape case recently and the police women dealt with it very well, they were lovely.
    The chief policeman/detective was a man also lovely. All were lovely, even the judge!
    the only one who wasn’t was the Somalian rapist.
    As for equal pay for equal work? There’s a lot of work to do but the right will eventually make and win their case. Truth and sanity does usually find a way through.

  45. Joy: I am chilled. You don’t want to see me when I’m hot.

    I don’t understand part of your comment. I did not mean that the woman shouts and the police chase the suspect. I meant that if the suspect is found and runs, a male officer probably has a higher probability of catching a fleeing suspect. If a female officer is a slower runner, the suspect may escape. Catching the suspect is the goal here. I made no comment about how female officers or male officers deal with the victim.

    I’m not sure about truth and sanity usually finding a way through. Most of history seems to indicate that truth and sanity only manage to rise to the top occasionally.

  46. Glad you’re chilled Sheri, the right needs to be, especially when it’s going to win.
    Given your example of a known suspect the police come prepared. If they think the person is armed they take a dog, “worth ten men”, If they think he’s just a fast runner they catch him round the block or catch him early 4:00 am or so.
    The rape example was probably not a good one but I take your point that police do sometimes have to chase criminals and yes women can’t run as fast. The reality is the cops have to run with stab vests which weigh a lot and most cops won’t outrun a criminal.

    I would rather see police on the beat built like barn doors. They are going to need to be in the current environment. The recent debacle had an outcome without a death because of two unarmed male members of the British public. British in it’s true meaning. Police can’t be everywhere.

    On truth, I don’t share the cynicism:
    “TheTruth is incontrovertible ignorance may deride it, malice may attack it but in the end, there it is.”

  47. Sheri,

    It depends on the reason for the test.

    Hoover used to say, “No pinheads.” Though I suspect he accepted women whose head size was below that of a male with pinheaditis.

    You can’t simply say Hoover’s head size standard is any less valid than a fitness test. Both are arbitrary and were implemented — they exist or existed.

    Slippery slopes are real, of course. But that is not the argument Briggs is making — though he falls back on it when playing defense.

    What never gets answered is why it is acceptable to deem old soldiers as “fit” as younger ones, though they clearly are not (likely backed by a statistical model).

    Maybe, just maybe, that was the slippery beginning of the slope.

    However, I hear no complaints from Briggs, et al.

  48. Joy: I had not considered pairing a dog with women police officers, but that could work. Kind of expensive, but it could work. (I know you didn’t say this, I did.)

    I will note that there are female police officers in Wyoming that I would laugh at if confronted by them. They are about as authoritative as wet noodle. There are some guys like that, too. If one is to be an authority figure, one should really look the part. Bleached blonde hair done up like a model does not say “I’m in charge”, it says “I’m a bimbo”. Just saying.

    Feel free to continue your optimism.

    Jim: I suspect watering down old soldiers requirements may have been part of the slippery slope. In the military, the slope began when it became all-volunteer, rather than a draft. Over time, it became a social experiment, now fighting the invisible enemy of global warming. Since global warming is an intangible enemy, the fitness tests may well become obsolete. Should we ever go back to an actual fighting force, we can revisit the issue of what constitutes fitness. As for the FBI, I suppose one could argue as a federal officer I knew that it’s not the FBI’s job to run down bad guys—that’s the DEA if drugs or SWAT or someone else. The FBI is investigative, so maybe fitness is irrelevent.(Briggs can speak for himself on this.)

  49. “What never gets answered is why it is acceptable to deem old soldiers as “fit” as younger ones,”

    Nobody does that Jim unless, of course, they are.

  50. Joy ,

    The US Army does exactly that. See my link above.

  51. Briggs,

    To your comment on the slippery slope.

    Your argument, as I understand it, is that because we are on a slippery slope (no argument from me here), your claim around FBI and gender-based fitness tests is necessarily true — a fallacy.

    It may be true that the fitness tests adds slippiness, so to speak, to the slope. However, you can”t defend your claim with, “Since we are on the slippery slope of progressivism, my claim is necessarily true — QED.”

  52. Briggs / Joy —

    http://fortune.com/2015/04/06/fbi-agent-fitness-test/

    According to Fortune, “Less is required of agents as they age.”

    So fitness is a function of age, with a 50-year old deemed as fit as a 25-year old, after doing less than half the number of pull-ups.

    It’s ageism and I hear not a word of complaint from you two.

  53. Joy: “Fitness tests are not a proxy in any of the above examples.”

    Well, we started talking about push-ups for FBI agents.

    Consider:
    (1) to the best of my (admittedly limited) knowledge, push-ups aren’t a direct analogy for any mission-critical item of FBI work
    (2) push-ups (and any similar exercise) are inherently scaled to the body-weight of the person performing the activity

    Given the above, I’d argue that number of push-ups is indeed a proxy. This doesn’t imply that it’s a bad proxy, nor that it is (or is not) appropriate to scale the required threshold based on the person performing the test (based on age, sex, job category, …).

    * I can think of situations where push-ups are not a proxy, such as for a task that required a lot of lying down and getting up again. In this case, they become a close analogue. Similarly, pull-ups are an analogue rather than proxy for a task that requires pulling oneself over walls. In each case, the ability to repeatedly move one’s own body weight in a particular manner is the relevant requirement. On the other hand, if the task involves moving other people or fixed-weight equipment, then scaling the test requirements to the body-weight of the person being tested makes little sense.

  54. Jim, I didn’t expect to agree.
    The “Army physical fitness” scores imply a ”level field”
    It is not a straight comparison. So to say that an older
    soldier is deemed fitter than a younger one isn’t true
    without invoking the “leveller”or the statistical model.
    I agree. They are not “Army fitter.” or “civilian
    fitter”. They may be deemed fitter than another male by
    direct comparison.

  55. Andrew,
    A Proxy, If it were swapped for the word “substitute” or “direct analogy” still
    wouldn’t be accurate in this case. It’s what an applied maths person might say
    but they would be wrong. Your number 1 is a false premise.

    The soldiers example illustrates what physical exercise such as press ups are
    really all about. The FBI borrowed from the army’s experience. The exercise of
    press ups is as complex as you’re prepared to look. My advice is don’t look too
    close, all the lack of certainty and objectivity is vexing. It’s a lot worse than my
    simplification. What do press-ups do? Why do them? Good question.

    a): Strengthening: The list of muscles and structures is long. If you want to feel
    it adopt the plank (press up position) and hold it for two minutes then come
    back and tell me it’s a proxy except forgetting up off the floor. Really, try it.
    The more you do and the more fatigued you are, the more muscles you’re using
    that have little to do with straightening the arm which is what people think they
    are doing. So, the weaker you are the more you are working other muscle
    groups (recruitment or overflow). It ought to be said the army doesn’t have it
    perfect, they have an instrument that works. Other ways are impractical or
    expensive or impossibly idealistic.

    b). Cardiovascular fitness: with press ups more so than the plank
    obviously your heart rate and breathing rate increases. The more you do before
    you reach that point the stronger you are however it does ensure a basic
    minimum for all in the group. The choice of what that number is comes
    about not by statistical modelling but by trial and error with respect to
    experience. After the fact someone’s come along and worked some figures.

    c). Endurance: Is not one thing, but the army needs to keep things simple. What
    people consider stamina is even more complex. All sorts of processes are taking
    place together. Then there’s pain endurance and determination. That is another
    exercise, the hardest of all. So going back to the press up, a strong man isn’t
    engaging his “character” to carry out thirty. So if he is stronger he is able to
    withstand more before he has to reach inside for inspiration. There are all types
    of pain which ensue with extreme exercise and if the army could have everyone
    “extremely fit” without breaking, they would. The extreme example instructs
    the general APFT. Military fitness tests have informed the rest. I would argue
    that women should do the same test or not be allowed to be considered as was
    the case for firemen over here, I haven’t checked.

    So, the sedentary FBI man with his doughnuts and his desk: Believe it or
    not one of the most perniciously bad things for the human body is inactivity,
    periods of sustained positions. A person who is muscular and has good CV
    fitness withstands inactivity, sustained postures and repetitive work better. The
    fitter a person is generally the happier they are.

    The FBI isn’t daft in asking for a minimum standard. All physical
    exercises use the natural operations of the body for improvement. Without
    resistance there can be no growth or any of the other important things I
    mentioned.
    You see it’s complex. That’s the human body for you. It just refuses to conform.

  56. Sorry about the formatting, I think I’ve worked it out now.

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