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Autumn approaches; the obnoxious university ‘Week of Welcome’ orientation drones are yelling insipid, yet inclusive, chants at each other; and of course, more stupid post mostly made of straw languidly emerge from the turbid depths of the wordpress “patriarchy” tag.  Like appreciating the subtle fireworks of the turning of the leaves, one can appreciate the flawed assumptions and ignorance on display over at A Reasonable Faith.  But Lo! The coming of Fall and the exudation of a steaming pile of Herp-Derp always leaves one gasping for breath at the enchanting majesty of nature in all her glory in the first case, and in wonderment at the raw-stupid on display in the other. (hurrah for awkward parallel sentence construction!)

Two concepts that will help us in our merry cavalcade of fail will be that of the (1.)Naturalistic Fallacy(with due consideration to Hume) and the concept of a (2.)Social Construct lets define them:

  1.  The Naturalistic Fallacy – […] the term is sometimes used loosely to describe arguments which claim to draw ethical conclusions from natural facts. Even more distantly, the term is used to describe arguments which claim to draw ethical conclusions from the fact that something is “natural” or “unnatural.”
  2. Social Construct –  A social construction, or social construct or a social concept is an invention or artifact of a particular culture or society which exists solely because people agree to behave as if it exists, or agree to follow certain conventional rules.

Most of the problems with the post I’m about to critique will default to a lack of understanding of these concepts and how they work in our society. I would be remiss to also point out that there is, of course, a generous helping of strawwoman arguments that serve to undermine the authors arguments and credibility.

So let loose the doges of war, and we shall have at it:

“If there’s one truth that would impact culture for good more than just about any other if it were more male-female-brainwidely believed, accepted, and embraced, it’s this: males and females are quite different from each other. We are. And not just anatomically but physiologically and emotionally”

Sounds good right?  Too bad its almost entirely bullocks.  Let’s take a peek at what people who study sex and gender differences have to say:

A 2005 analysis of 46 meta-analyses that were conducted during the last two decades of the 20th century underscores that men and women are basically alike in terms of personality, cognitive ability and leadership.

Hmm…it would seem that the some of the research directly contradicts your claim..but wait!!! There might be hope, there are differences!!!!

Only a few main differences appeared: Compared with women, men could throw farther, were more physically aggressive, masturbated more, and held more positive attitudes about sex in uncommitted relationships.

Whooops… you’re still wrong.

Hyde found that gender differences seem to depend on the context in which they were measured. In studies designed to eliminate gender norms, researchers demonstrated that gender roles and social context strongly determined a person’s actions. For example, after participants in one experiment were told that they would not be identified as male or female, nor did they wear any identification, none conformed to stereotypes about their sex when given the chance to be aggressive. In fact, they did the opposite of what would be expected – women were more aggressive and men were more passive.”

We could simply drop the mic here and be done with this piffle (flawed assumptions leading to flawed conclusions and all that), but where is the fun in that?

Let us soldier on brave readers! Bewarned and wary, forward we must go fellow  travellers(of the loquaciously impenitent persuasion), to further reconnoitre this curiously(willfully?) ignorant realm.

Read the rest of this entry »

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