Category Archives: Pop-science

I like Chinese, I like their tiny little trees…

A Chink in the Armour by White Light Films Via one of my friends, A Chink in the Armour is a light hearted documentary that explores the stereotypes about Asians (specifically Chinese) in North America (specifically Toronto). There was a … Continue reading

Posted in Canada, Multiculturalism, Pop-science, Racism, USA | 4 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.

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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