Toward Better Communications on the BBS






I reopened the topic and moved the conversation that was happening over to the Neuro Nontypical thread.

Carry on.


I know this sounds douchey, but some of what Damore was saying is similar to what this article is talking about, that there are biological differences between the sexes and not just socially constructed ones.


Wait, how does it do that?



Not convinced. They’re saying physical differences have evolved because of hierarchy and physical conflict differences between the genders. That’s more societal than biological.


Sexual dimorphism in humans is low compared to other great apes and I’d argue whatever the original cause of ape dimorphism, it’s evolutionarily obsolete several times over by now as far as homo sapiens sapiens is concerned.


They site a number of other studies to support their view. I think there could easily be societal explanations for these differences.

I will say, though, that when I read Deborah Tannen’s book You Just Don’t Understand about the differences in how the genders communicate, that the emphasis on hierarchical dominance for men was eye opening for me. I just do not see the world that way. It was interesting how all consuming it is for men to gauge their status compared to others. It also explained why a lot of women’s behavior focused on creating consensus is often seen as submissive by men.

For example, she was saying how the meaning of “I’m sorry” is different for men and women. Men see it as a submission, whereas women see it as a way of sharing concern. She was saying that a lot of women who are trying to move up into the c-suite have to be taught not to say “I’m sorry” all the time because of how men perceive it.


I’m not convinced either, that all sounds very societal and cultural, and I’d need to read the supporting studies (which I doubt Damore ever did LOL)


Also, this is PLOS One, not a peer-reviewed journal.


I know you and I have talked about this on other threads – a lot of “biological truths” fall down when exceptions are found, or, in some cases, where even sincere scientific observers bring their biases into field notes. The most ready example is how alpha males in primate groups were discovered early on in studies, but alpha females weren’t identified until more women entered primatology. Donna Haraway has a great essay about this in her Cyborgs and Women book.


Where are my higher primate articles!! They’ve done some amazing research with matriarchal primate groups and the sexism of researchers thinking that matriarchal groups were abnormal or “peaceful” LOL (Toronto Zoo got some words there!)

Oooooh that looks good! I’m going see if we have it at the Library!!


PLOS One is open access but still supposed to be peer-reviewed. I’ll admit I can’t say how well; I know I’ve seen good work in it, but that could be selection bias in what gets referenced. But it seems unfair to wave off the whole journal like that. In any case, it certainly isn’t unusual for a paper to forget the difference between cultural and biological traits, especially when evolutionary perspective is invoked.


PLoS is a completely reputable peer reviewed journal.

OTOH, evo psych is a somewhat disputed field, and appears to be losing credibility rather than gaining it.


The Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAHFest) is … the brainchild of sometimes artist, always curmudgeon Zach Weinersmith, the auteur behind SMBC Comics

The idea for the festival originated in a popular cartoon that Weinersmith drew, depicting a scientist presenting the argument that babies are shaped like footballs so that they can be punted over mountains and thereby share hereditary material with more genetically-distinct populations living in nearby villages.


I think evopsyche has potential but so far it just gets used by creepy YouTube atheists to rationalize their shitlordery


This is why we can’t have nice things.


The things I love in life… Comics, photography, being an atheist because for us every day is Sunday, growing an Amish neck beard, Doctor Who, Star Trek, women in general, coffee… tends to attract dirtbags and assholes.

Maybe I’m a dirtbag asshole too (I’m not a good man TBH. But I’m trying) Yet it’s created a situation where I have to effectively declare “Not like those guys!” whenever it comes up. It doesn’t stop me from flying my freak flag these days because I find that as I travel through my 40s I started running out of fucks to give about people seeing me as I am.