Saturday, February 15, 2014

Men and Women Different? Nay! 'Science' Wrong Again!

Larry Cahill and his Brain

My cyber-friend Malcolm Pollack recently blogged on the putative 'findings' of a so-called scientist, Mr. Larry Cahill, Principal Investigator of something called The Cahill Laboratory at the University of California, Irvine! Mr Cahill fancies himself an expert in Neurobiology and Behavior -- as if there were some link between the two -- and Malcolm tells us what this MAN is saying:
[T]hese profoundly disturbing new findings suggest that men and women might actually be quite different.
Malcolm seems concerned in his blog post that these 'findings' might be correct, so I reminded him:
This 'science' must be WRONG because if it were true, there would have to be innate differences between the 'genders,' and we KNOW that there are no real differences because there are no 'genders' except insofar as the socially constructed 'male gender' oppresses the socially constructed 'female gender,' an oppression that began when the socially constructed 'male gender' overthrew the matriarchy ruled by the socially constructed 'female gender' and established a socially constructed 'male gender' rule of PATRIARCHY, so this 'science' is WRONG!
Malcolm, nevertheless, seemed to remain under the sway of Cahill's pseudoscience and even suggested I was going a bit overboard in expressing the truth of what I know:
Your caricature is all too real, Jeffery.
I responded as only a fair-minded person can:
Caricature? I'll have you know that even genitals are socially constructed! Even among animals! Not that animals are to blame -- they also suffer under Patriarchy's horrible, disfiguring power. Pity the poor porcupine, disfigured by a thousand pricks!
I'll go even further: everything is socially constructed! Even Reality! Especially Reality! The honest truth is . . . NOTHING EXISTS:

And yes, it is sacred . . .

Labels: , ,


At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, genders are socially constructed while sexes are biological, but I realize not everyone observes this distinction.


At 10:16 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'm not even certain what people mean by "socially constructed."

I used to think I knew, but I no longer think I do.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Socially constructed: constructed through human interactions. A caudal glance at male and female human behaviors among the world's cultures reveals in similarities owing to nature and differences owing to nurture. Korean female aegyo comes to mind. So does American male homophobia.


At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caudal= casual

At 2:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's a 'caudal fin'?


At 5:29 AM, Anonymous libertybelle said...

facebook's way ahead of us and in step with the "socially constructed", as they introduce 50 genders to choose from

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Allow me to link that for you.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 6:56 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Sonagi -- though you had me looking for new meanings of caudal (through which I learned that I prefer a caudal glance at females) -- but I'm still unsure of the meaning of "socially constructed."

Whenever I hear the expression "socially constructed," it's almost always used dismissively.

Or it's used in ways that seem to imply some broad-scale conspiracy to oppress some group or other.

A lot of student papers and scholarly articles that I correct and edit, respectively, use the term "patriarchy" in conjunction with "socially constructed" in ways that seem to imply a conspiracy by men to construct artificial, oppressive roles for women.

It's almost like people use these expressions without thinking much.

But I guess it's just me . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand or use the term with any of the connotations you've described, perhaps because my reading is confined to current events, history, and education and does not stray into sociology or gender studies. I am dismayed to think that scholars would limit such a highly useful term to denote human behaviors and values established through social interactions at home and in public as opposed to behaviors and morality selected through evolution. Folks like me who do not believe in a sentient deity must somehow account for universal human values. Evolution and linking tendencies like selfishness versus selflessness to specific DNA help us do that. You and I owe our very existence to sometimes hard moral choices made by our ancestors.

There is interesting research on morality and values among animal species. Primates have a strong sense of fairness. There is a funny video showing two monkeys in adjacent cages. The researcher feeds both some bland food and then proceeds to give one some grapes while the other is handed the bland food. The monkey given the bland food hurls it angrily at the researcher and rattles the bars on its cage. The roots of our moral values are older than our species.


At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Capuchin monkey fairness experiment

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Most of what I read using "socially constructed" and "patriarchy" as I described is found in literary studies, as if scholars of literature want to speak with the authority of social theorists, except that they borrow their social theory from the Frankfurt School as refracted through French critical theorists, whom they proof-text as infallible authorities!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like those folks haven't learned to think for themselves. The more I read your comments, the more convinced I am that illegal and university social science students, including those enrolled in graduate programs, need a stronger foundation in biology and other hard sciences to sharpen their reasoning skills.


At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Illegal= college

Must turn off auto-correct.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I think those 'illegal' students are in for a shock as more scientific data emerge on all sorts of biological issues. I've certainly had to alter my views over the years, so I think many others will also have to do so . . . assuming that free speech prevails and political correctness doesn't successfully forbid empirical truth!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assess corporations and individuals stacking the data deck with favorable research to be a greater threat to the purpose of free speech - a free flow of information and ideas to guide decision-making. Consider GMOs. There is little valid research showing possible harm but that's because Monsanto controls the message with an army of lawyers who will sue anyone who handles their products in violation of the terms of agreement and with generous funding to state university Ag departments who not bite the hand that feeds them. The problem of avoiding making true, accurate, and relevant public statements because of fear of negative repercussions is much broader than left wing PC police, Jeffery.


At 6:55 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

You know more about that than I do.

But I can say that the PC folks I'm talking about tend to be anti-GMO, but for essentialist reasons they would reject if applied to gender.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most lefties do opposes all GMOs but few have read carefully and evaluated the science. I am not anti-GMO. I do not favor banning or even mandatory labeling. I eat GMO potatoes because the added gene comes from a wild cousin resistant to blight, and there is no science casting doubt on the safety or healthfulness of the borrowed plant gene, I distrust GMO corn because it's added genes come from soil bacteria and its purpose is to churn out fungicides within the plant. In the absence of untainted evidence that these genes and the fungicides they produce are safe to consume over time, I err on the side of caution and avoid all corn products not labelled organic or GMO-free. Our immune system is designated to identify, assess, and if needed destroy foreign proteins found in the blood stream. Out of respect for an awesome immune system that hasn't let a cold or flu virus take hold yet this winter, I am careful about what I eat and drink and therefore avoid consumption of GMO foods like Bt corn with added proteins from non-edible sources. Moreover, pollen from sterile Bt corn is devoid of nutrients and suspected in colony collapse disorder as bees become malnourished from consuming the calorie-rich yet nutrient-sparse pollen and die early from diseases healthy bees could fight off. A colleague who is a beekeeper will not let her bees pollenate GMO crops.

"for essentialist reasons they would reject if applied to gender."

What does this mean?


At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do oppose
Its added genes

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our immune system is designed

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I just lost a long comment explaining "for essentialist reasons they would reject if applied to gender," so I'll keep this short to avoid more computer problems.

"Essence" for humans means something like "human nature."

For particular species of plants, a similar notion.

I don't trust my computer to write more, and I won't even try to recall all that I wrote before.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home