Posted: Jan 28, 2019 4:00 pm
by archibald
Beatsong wrote:I know this is a slightly old thread......

I'll start with a similar opening remark to yours. :)

I know this is a very old thread......

I'm fresh from the Jordan Peterson thread, where this topic came up and was (at least until now) being discussed in that thread.

Here, I am not intending that the topic be about Jordan Peterson, although his views on the topic may feature.

To re-open the discussion, I'm going to post some stuff that I obtained via links in the above posts.

First, an audio file of the discussion involving Cordelia Fine and Rebecca Jordan-Young: ... 101113.mp3

In which, as I see it, they cast some doubt on, are sceptical about, the science which purports to suggest that there are innate/biological differences in the brains of men and women which play out as behaviours and preferences (including for example, eventual career choices).

I think that is all they do. They do not (perhaps cannot) demonstrate anything conclusive as regards responding to the veracity of the suggestion, or more importantly the degree to which it is true, or false.

And that, in a nutshell, seems to be the current impasse. The answer to the question (the one raised by the suggestion), the claim if you like, is not known. It is contested. As such, a warning not to rush to conclusions via flawed science is appropriate.

Here's a link to a page in which the topic is discussed in some depth, particularly in the comments section (or the 'Club Discussion' section to be more precise) by several people who seem (to amateur me) to know a bit about the subject. Simon Baron-Cohen features. ... ing-theory

Alas, reading that page seems to confirm that there are currently no easy answers, so if that's true, those hoping to find a resolution here can stop reading now. For anyone who, like me, finds the topic nonetheless fascinating even if it is intractable, please chip in. :)

Part of the reason I have so far declined to post a quote from the latter link is that I don't have a settled point of view from which to argue. So instead I will just restate something I said recently in the JP thread.

It seems much more plausible than not to me that there are innate/biological differences which are reflected in or play out as differences in behaviour (in general, statistical terms, no one is trying to over-simplify, and there is much overlap on the respective gender distribution curves). I can see how these could have evolved, been selected for (assuming they are heritable, which also seems plausible). My guess is that such factors are subtle and dispositional as regards causality in outcomes, and malleable, and that learning and environment play a large role in amplifying or modifying them, but that they are nonetheless there, at birth.

In other words, my starting position (which I am not wedded to) is (a) that The Gender Equality Paradox is a 'thing', it exists, and (b) that at least part of the explanations for it are innate/biological differences between the sexes.