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.