Msnowe's Blog

He Blinded Me With Fake Science

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on February 22, 2011

Hey, here’s some interesting stuff for you today. These go out to all our toiling lab rat friends.

A Really good Slate take-down of the NYT Tierney piece on discrimination against female scientists.

“The best scientific way to discover if one factor influences another is to do a controlled experiment. For example, you can give people two identical résumés to evaluate, one with a woman’s name and one with a man’s name. If people rank the one with man’s name higher than the identical one with a woman’s name, you know that they are discriminating on the basis of sex, and nothing else, since you’ve experimentally controlled all the other factors. These experiments, and others like them, have been done. They are described in the PNAS article and the results are clear. Even in fields that are traditionally considered friendly to women, such as psychology and sociology, a woman’s name leads to a lower ranking. As Ceci and Williams say, it is extremely unlikely that this bias is limited to the specific fields that were studied in these experiments. If you want to answer the scientific question of whether there is unconscious bias and discrimination against women, these experimental studies are the gold standard.”

Word.

And here’s another badly written Tierney piece that I hope Slate fashions another take-down of. You would think he’d learn? Someone should do a study of how many times you can incorrectly interpret and present scientific findings.

As we say in the biz, “My hormones made me do it!” Sigh.

Test Tossed Erroneous

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on June 10, 2010

RESULTS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDIES/HYPOTHESIS:

–“In humans, the hormone [testosterone] seems to motivate for rational decision-making, social scrutiny and cleverness, the apparent tools for success in a modern society” (Source).

VERIFIABLE FACTS:

–During a woman’s menstrual cycle, testosterone levels rise and fall.

–Testosterone levels are at their absolute highest level for women during the pre-menstrual phase (i.e. pre-ovulation phase right before their period occurs).

SOCIETAL ASSUMPTION:

–Women who are “premenstrual” are irrational. PMS is a bitch for all involved, especially men.

Please allow me to analyze all these bits and pieces. If all these things (the facts, assumptions, and studies) are actually true, then:

Women who have “PMS” (are pre-ovulation) are actually at the point in their cycle when they are as close as they will ever be to having a similar level of testosterone as compared to men. Many assume/believe that testosterone allows people to think rationally, scrutinize things, and be clever. Yet, when women have high testosterone levels, they are commonly assumed to be irrational, emotional, big soggy messes of creatures. So, basically, something up in those bullets has to be wrong. I’m not going to conjecture a guess because assumptions are what caused this illogical mess in the first place. But let’s just say that when there is a sizeable difference in the sexes (like different hormone levels), the sex in power might be tempted to exploit those differences for some sort of power-grab. Even if they make that grab before the science is there to support it. We all remember the orignal meaning of “hysteria,” right? Yeah, Plato, etc., thought that the uterus could wander around inside a lady and fuck with her other organs. That’s hysterical.

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