Friday, November 29, 2013

The Feminist War on Science

On its face the conclusion seems intuitively obvious and unobjectionable.

Things being what they are, today’s researchers needed to interview a group of college students to establish the facts of the matter.

The matter in question is not the sexual behavior of college students, but, more specifically their sexual regrets.

Lo and behold, they discovered that young women are more likely to regret having indulged in too many or the wrong kind of sexual experiences while young men are more likely to regret having missed out on sexual opportunities, for not having been sufficient assertive.

Amanda Hess, no fan of the study, summarizes its conclusions:

… female students were more likely to express regret over sexual actions they’d taken—like “losing their virginity” to the “wrong partner”—while male students were more likely to feel remorse over actions they did not take—like being “too shy to indicate sexual attraction to someone.”

That male and female sexual behaviors differ significantly is central to Darwinian psychology. One might even say that it is settled science.

The science says that men and women have significantly different reproductive potential—men can in their lifetime produce far more offspring than can women—that the direct consequences of conception are vastly different for the two sexes and that it's far easier for a man to walk away from a pregnancy, men and women are psychologically predisposed to live their sexuality differently.

In so doing they are acting rationally and making decisions based on the reality of their experience. As a rule, women are more selective and more cautious in choosing sexual partners while men are more reckless.

You probably did not need Darwin to tell you this and you probably do not need a degree in biology to understand it. As I say, it feels unobjectionable.

Human psychology and human behavior are, to some extent, hard wired into the organism. And it is likely that they have been part of the human makeup for quite some time now.

Evidently, feminists find this all to be offensive. They prefer ideology to science and rush out to attack any scientific study that contradicts their deeply held convictions. 

Many feminists also believe that their ideology and the concomitant indoctrination that so many people have undergone has radically altered human nature, to the point where the experience of their grandparents is not relevant to the way they live their life.

If this isn’t out-of-control narcissism, I don’t know what is.

Or better, in this ideologically driven view of humanity, people become silly putty, to be molded by their new masters into a form that corresponds to their ideas. 

Whatever the merits or demerits of specific policy prescriptions, the feminist enterprise is geared toward reducing, even obliterating the difference between the sexes.

For example, if women are allowed to have abortion on demand then it would be "almost" as easy for a woman to walk away from conception as it is for a man. And obviously, complete access to contraception would strike another blow against the patriarchy. All we need now is the invention of gestation devices to replace wombs. Then we can all pretend that men and women are the same.

Note well that the logic of evolutionary psychology has nothing to do with the way people lived during the Stone Age. It takes the realities of human biology as a constant. Stone Age behaviors might be relevant, if we knew very much about them, but so would the way human beings functioned in Biblical times, in ancient Rome, in primitive cultures and during the last century.

For her part, Hess is deeply offended that anyone would care compare today’s college students with hunter-gatherer, Stone Age cultures. And yet, without having to quiz a bunch of college students, a minimal amount of ratiocination tells us that where Stone Age women were expert at gathering, today’s woman is equally expert in a correlative activity: shopping.

Still and all, nothing about the argument thus far requires that we understand the psyche of the Cave Man or Woman. I underscore the point, and I present the case for evolutionary biology in terms of biological constants. this grounds the theory in reality, not in speculation about the way we all lived way back then.

These facts have not impressed the feministocracy. Hess reduces science to mythmaking and dismisses it:

So evo-psychologists look to “modern-day hunter-gatherers as proxies” for Stone Age psyches, then rely on a lot of guesswork to crudely construct the gender dynamics of our ancestral homes. Scientists in the field make projections about our deep ancestors that are colored by their understanding of contemporary human beings; then, they use those projections to “explain” why differences between modern men and women have been set in stone for millennia, and are unlikely to budge any time soon.

So what's the point in "proving" that among a tiny sample of college students, a handful of men and women feel a different sort of deep regret about sexual scenarios that we can vaguely compare to our fantasies about the gender roles of our prehistoric ancestors? A study of the sex lives of 200 college students can’t actually tell us anything about how our early ancestors shacked up, and vice versa. It could, however, speak to the masturbatory tendencies of some scientists.

But, since when did feminists believe that masturbation is a bad thing? When did masturbation become an insult? In the old days, feminists promoted masturbation as a way for women to liberate themselves from the tyranny of male sexuality. Besides, it’s foolproof contraception.

As for the notion that evolutionary psychology rests on a mythic reconstruction of the Stone Age psyche or even the Stone Age social organization, it is a nonsensical caricature, one that is specifically designed to erase the biology of gender difference.

One has slightly more sympathy for the complaint about the mind of the average American college student, but if the responses of those students are not as clearly defined as an evolutionary psychologist would expect, the reason might be that they have been indoctrinated by feminist ideology and conduct their lives accordingly.

When placed in an academic setting where they are answering question they are certainly cognizant of what the politically correct answers are.

The only real myth here is the myth of gender sameness, a myth for which there is no evidence whatever.

To be fair, many feminists believe that their ideology has transformed women and men so radically that they do not even resemble their grandparents. By this logic, we are a brand new species and we can make it up as we please.

Effectively, this anti-science intends to write human beings out of the natural world, to say nothing of the animal kingdom.

If human beings do not have fundamental and essential qualities in common with their ancestors, they will become silly putty in the hands of ideologues.

Now, Hess and other anti-scientists point out that the studies performed by evolutionary psychologists on college students are not as definitive as one would wish. The differences are not marginal, but they are not as radical as the Darwinian hypothesis would suggest.

But, what exactly does this prove? Does it show that human being is more plastic than the scientists imagined? Or does it show that young American college students, products of their culture as well as of their nature, have learned what is and is not the correct way to think about sexual regret.

If the reality of evolutionary psychology rested on a quiz given to some American college students, Hess might have a point. In truth, the quiz shows that human nature remains in tact, even after having been indoctrinated.


Sam L. said...

Rationality and consistency are PATRIARCHAL! SHAME on YOU, Stuart!

This is obvious, as feminists don't do those.

Baloo said...

This is a marvelous post. I was alerted to it by a commenter over at I've taken the liberty of reblogging it and making a graphic out of a quote from it at this blog:
Feminism/Science = Oil/Water

Baloo said...

And, I've just added you to my blogroll at
Ex-Army - Libertarian Nationalist,
It would be gratifying if you'd add Ex-Army to yours. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

A feminist "thinker" is offended about human nature. How quaint.

I suppose if you really wanted to freak her out you could agree with her. I'm sure there's little she would find more unsettling.


Anonymous said...

Its fun to jump on your strawhorse and wack at strawmen, but what does it really say?

I might read this as 80% of women were comfortable with their sexual choices, and 86% of men were comfortable with their choices, but of course talking about the majority is so boring, right?

Someone did a lot of work to collect this information, so we'd better make good use of it to jump to whatever conclusion we started with! Mission accomplished whatever your mission is!

"Twenty percent of the college women ... progressed “too fast”

14 percent of the college men... regretted “missed sexual opportunities...

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's an interesting perspective. So...

I suppose if, once upon a time, 85% of people liked their healthcare, we were doing pretty well in that area of economic life, right? But that's not what we're talking about these days, is it? No, instead we're watching the entire healthcare industry colliding with Obama's preposterous "reforms" in slow motion! This is his "signature legislation," correct? Not fixing the economy or getting people back to work, but instead the fulfillment of a long-held Democrat policy dream. Translation: public service is whatever MY agenda says it is. Power to the people, whether they want it or not! (a.k.a., "jumping to whatever conclusion we started with")

So, in reality, it doesn't matter how many people like their healthcare or want to keep their doctor, does it? No, we're told we must "reform" (which really means overhaul and destroy through federal central planning) a system that is the envy of the world because it doesn't offer health insurance to people who choose not to buy it (and still won't, under an ObamaCare system that allows them to make rational choices after doing simple math). We could have come up with a program to help those in need (who already have access to MedicAid) and for those with pre-existing conditions (who do require a safety net in a rationalized system). But that's not what ObamaCare is really about, is it? We're finding out that ObamaCare will be for EVERYONE in the next 1-5 years. Isn't that great?

Congress has to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it. Here's how things look after they find out:
"Whaddaya think now, son?" Mr. Jackson asks.
"Wow, Dad, ObamaCare is so great, but I find all the long, written stuff confusing. So I think I'm gonna stay on your plan as long as I can!" Junior says enthusiastically.
"Wise choice, son, but the rumor going around the office is they're canceling my employer plan in 2015, so it may not be so great after all. I'm concerned you'll be on your own."
"Wow, Dad! Well, we all know it's the Republican party's fault. They're mean."
"Yes, son, they are. I plan to check in on the exchange tomorrow, but the neighbors are saying it's awfully expensive for someone my age."
"That's okay, dad. I hear they've got subsidies. I'm sure you'll be okay. After all, the government wouldn't just come up with a mandatory system that doesn't work, would they?"
Several nods, then a confused silence settles in over the Jackson dinner table, as people look down at their plates awkwardly. Susie chimes in, to add some reassurance.
"Well, I looked up what a plan would cost me. I qualified for a big subsidy to help with the cost, I just have to make sure I don't earn too much money at my job or my plan cost goes way up! And I get free birth control pills, so it's, like, really awesome..."

So this is Obama's "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!" moment, eh? How's that hope and change working out for ya? Yes, it is amazing what happens when a bunch of ideologues collect and sift through information and the crazy ideas they come up with. It's remarkable how people can sell their ideas when all they're looking at is how unfair the world is... while exempting themselves from the impact of their most noble intentions.

Strawmen, indeed.


Dennis said...


Thanks I really enjoyed that. It can be extrapolated to a large number of issues. Ever wonder why a drunk woman is not responsible for her actions, but a drunk man is responsible for the woman's and his actions as well. Now who says there are not differences when it fits the feminist political agenda. By rights though should that not be "straw person?'
The attack on math, logic, linear thinking and almost anything that might be vaguely male is all feminists have left. Misandry is her name.

David Foster said...

"For her part, Hess is deeply offended that anyone would care compare today’s college students with hunter-gatherer, Stone Age cultures."

Very much like the anti-evolutionists of the late 1800s and early 1900s who were deeply offended at the assertion that they were descended from monkeys.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Good point, David.

Sam L. said...

And given the way many people act, monkeys just look and say to themselves, "Kids these days!"

Anonymous said...

Well, anatomy says that men CAN urinate on anyone and anything in their vicinity--does this mean they want to, or should, or that it's part of nature's evolutionary design?

The bare physical possibilities of anatomy do not dictate psychology anymore than men go around peeing on everyone they see.

Furthermore, your "science" is wrong.

It is true that man can "walk away" from a pregnancy. Does this mean it is part of nature's evolutionary design that they can and should?

In fact the opposite is true.

Since you seem to think the idea of men randomly impregnating women willy nilly and "walking away" is somehow "Darwinian," perhaps you need to be reminded that evolution is about the survival of the species above all.

Men "walking away" from pregnancy is not advantageous to the species. No matter how many infants are born, it only helps evolution if they actually survive into adulthood. And which children are going to have a better chance of surviving and thriving--those with or without the protection of males? (Maybe you need to consult your rants against single motherhood to answer that).

No, it is obviously within evolutionary design for men to stay and raise the children they sire. That is what the Darwinian science tells us.

YOUR science is not evolutionary, it is only a silly and simplistic notion that whatever anatomy we have determines behavior, like peeing all over everyone.

Sam L. said...

Well, Anon, I'm not seeing your logic, but my impression is you disagree with Stuart.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

You can't see the logic because there is none.

Mark McGreevey said...

From my extensive readings about the native tribes of California, every man, woman and child over five went about "foraging" according to the seasons, and carrying with them an otter-skin pouch to hold their arrows and a bow. Rabbits and birds could be caught at any time during "foraging" and that was considered simply "making a living": you looked for food at all times, wherever you went, no matter your age or gender, unless you were handicapped.

I think that what we call "shopping" is akin to foraging, but certainly a hunter-gatherer is "shopping" all the time so that he or she or the tribelet won't starve. The closest activity to real foraging in today's world is scrounging, dumpster diving, stealing fruit from trees, picking wild berries, poaching fish and game, finding abandoned furniture on the street, and perhaps going to flea markets.

The woman or man who "works" for money and then goes to "buy" things with a medium of exchange is not the same as a guy roaming around with a pickup truck looking for goods he can sell or recycle or use or repair, etc. People of the Depression Years had a very strong foraging instinct. Every thing around them could be a grab-and-go opportunity. I don't mean stealing, just eyes-open scrounging, as the Chinese immigrants in San Francisco do all over the residential streets.