Category Archives: Science

On Being An Oversensitive, Man-Hating, Embarassing Feminist/Progressive/Whatever

If you told me several years ago that I would be accused of being an “oversensitive feminist”, an “embarrassing liberal”, a “lesbian man-hater”, or “self-righteous” to the point of ignoring dissenting viewpoints, all simply because I unapologetically stand up for what I see as right and wrong, I would have laughed at you. Of course, back then I thought all people, except for ones who wanted to hurt others, were feminists and believed in equality of the sexes. What can I say? I was, and still am to a large extent, a naive idealist.

Sure, I can be sanctimonious. Sure, I’m self-righteous. But when did it become a crime to passionately believe in ideals? Why does my criticizing an organization, idea or belief, or espousing my own personal view on the matter translate into me telling everyone that they must believe as I do or die? Why is it okay for other people to dehumanize a group I belong to, such as the GLBT crowd, but ridicule me when I ask them to give me some consideration because the pejoratives make me uncomfortable? And why, oh why, do people feel the need to engage in a divisive discourse simply because they personally think the arguments are extreme? I’m not telling you what to do with your time, bodies, minds, or anything else, people! I’m just asking you to respect mine. Continue reading

Posted in Eradicating Divisive Discourse, Personal, Politics, Skepticism, The Evil -ism's | 3 Comments

Newsflash: Religion is harmful to society

Finally, people are researching the claim that I’ve observed anecdotally for years: all this “god” stuff hurts more than it helps. An article in The Times reports on a new study recently published examining the assertion that religion is necessary … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Pop-science, Religion, Studies | 1 Comment

The Gender Similarities Hypothesis

Janet Shibley Hyde is my hero. No, seriously. You may have read about her in the BBC, The Times, or The Guardian. I did (via Mind the Gap) and, for once, the coverage didn’t make me want to beat my head against the wall. But, pop-science is pop-science, no matter how good the reporting may be; if I’m ever in doubt of that all I need to do is read the uninformed opinion espoused by David Schmitt that The Times thought was worthy of printing. Suffice it to say, in order to learn about the article I had to go to the source.

What follows is part summary of Hyde’s paper, part critique of the pop-science articles. I hope to give a better understanding of Hyde’s work while showing how inadequate even good reporting can be when conveying complex ideas such as the gender similarities hypothesis. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations come from Hyde (2005)1. Continue reading

Posted in Gender Democracy, Gender issues, Pop-science, Skepticism, Studies | 3 Comments

"He's a man", "she's a woman"… So what?

While I’m on my mental vacation I’d just like to point ya’ll to a post by alley rat entitled Why Do Women Cheat?. It’s a critique on a pop-science article that uses essentialism, bad evolutionary science, and a big dose … Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Gender Caste, Pop-science, Skepticism | 6 Comments

Stop saying video games cause violence or I'll kill you!

Surprise! A new study shows that video games don’t make kids violent. I know, it’s hard to believe that after all the wild speculations, conflation of correlation and causation, and lack of any real evidence that a scientific study pops up to say, “Nope, sorry folks. Video games = violent kids hasn’t been proven yet.” But, that’s exactly what Dmitri Williams (University of Illinois) and Marko Skoric (School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore) are saying about their recent study.

Results from the first long-term study of online videogame playing may be surprising. Contrary to popular opinion and most previous research, the new study found that players’ “robust exposure” to a highly violent online game did not cause any substantial real-world aggression.

Continue reading

Posted in Pop-science, Studies, Video Games | Comments Off

Don't be such a girl, even if you are one

From Gender and Computing:

According to Ph.D. student Robb Willer, men have a tendency to change their opinion if they are told that their opinion ‘is feminine’. Men who were told that they had given ‘feminine’ answers to a test “changed their opinion to be more homophobic, stronger support for the Irak war and a tendency to buy gas-hungry SUVs.” (And for the ‘feminine’ readers, that’s a Sports Utility Vehicle.) Women, on the other hand, did not have the same tendency to change their opinion, neither if they were described as feminine nor masculine.

If this study is accurate (I was unable to find more information on it to verify the testing methods and sample sizes) then this represents yet another confirmation that the fight for equality has thus far only succeeded in allowing women to “rise” to the position of men without actually elevating “womanhood” up to be on equal ground as “manhood”. Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Gender issues, Pop-science, Queer Issues, Studies, The Evil -ism's | Comments Off

New Contraceptive May Save Lives

A new form of contraceptive (microbicides) is under development, one that looks like it might be able to strike a serious blow against the epidemic of STDs, HIV in particular. It comes in the form of cream, gel, or capsule … Continue reading

Posted in Childfree Issues, Gender issues, Queer Issues, Reproductive Rights, Science, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, Sexual Health | Comments Off