The one time I read a newspaper report of a social study that actually is reported with a bit of attention to fine distinctions and looks like a reasonable summary of the actual journal paper, what happens?

The comments section erupts into a parade of anecdotes attempting to trump data and resorting to stereotypical arguments against strawmen.

Those who’ve already guessed that the study being reported was examining gender issues, congratulations. If you further guessed that the conclusions drawn from the study had to do with notions of masculinity then you’re amazing.

If you’re not the tiniest bit surprised that devotees of pop evo-psych don’t want to hear that the actual findings of genuine evolutionary psychologists don’t support simplistic Venus-Mars stories, you’re very nearly as cynical as I am and deserve a virtual margarita.

Categories: culture wars, gender & feminism

Tags: , ,

8 replies

  1. Make mine a martini. Rossi and black label Smirnoff, stirred, one olive.

  2. Would love a margarita.

    Pop evo-psych means that everyone gets to drudge up their very worst opinions and no, not have to answer to them or feel the slightest bit ashamed of their foulest views but instead recite them as if credible research. I. Hate. This. Crap.

    Good post, btw.

  3. Close enough to sun over the yardarm for drinks now. Here you go.
    I did a bit of a search for some of the other research this team is doing on people’s faces and reactions/perceptions of other people to them. It’s really quite interesting stuff.

  4. Mmm thanks.
    I’m actually wondering whether it’s worth brewing a rant on the core issue here – that people believe their own experience is normative. I see it a lot in my own field, and especially in medical science. “Little Jane was fine and then had the MMR and now is autistic”. And we’re talking about what we’d normally classify as intelligent people. As I keep saying to my friends (not many of them left, now), the plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’. There’s a deep psychology here.
    And of course, it’s doubly frustrating when the subject is something that hurts people (unlike, say, most of my research); when cogent arguments against the ‘foulest’ views just can’t get traction.
    People generally don’t appreciate subtleties, either. Bah.
    Mmm. Nice. Next time, keep the vodka in the freezer. May I try one of those margaritas now, please?

  5. oh. my. god.
    That was entertaining at least.
    (I’ll take a Bailey’s and some chocolate. It’s late.)

  6. Soory, I’ve been slack behind the bar, haven’t I? *slings drinks*
    I wouldn’t mind seeing a rant combining the false perceptions of normativity, correlation!=causation, anecdoteXlots!=data, and post hoc ergo propter hoc generally.
    More margaritas?

  7. I’m actually on the uptick of my manic-depressive cycle at the moment “” not actually depressed but still lacking the energy to think straight. I shall give it some thought and margaritas and maybe I can come up with something.

  8. good god I could only get to the 20th comment >_o talk about comments that make your head explode

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