Gender PC Tugs at Scientific Objectivity
Hot news! Men and women are different! Watch PC-influenced psychologists commit logical fallacies denying the obvious.
Political correctness has invaded one of the most clear observational facts about humans: we come in male and female forms. One of the PC strategies has been to divorce sex and gender. Rather than helping the tiny fraction who have ambiguous genes, or counseling those with gender dysphoria to cope with their feelings, the PC police expect all of society to change. Everyone must now use gender-neutral terms, learn new invented phrases like “gender fluidity,” build gender-neutral bathrooms, avoid using ‘sexist’ terms like’ men and women’ or ‘boys and girls,’ and say they are in favor of sex reassignment surgery—even on young children. Failure to jump on this latest cultural bandwagon brands non-cooperators ‘haters’ who must be punished. Totalitarians that they are, PC police will not tolerate disagreement. Some who don’t go along have already lost their jobs, even when they attempted respectful forms of accommodation.
What are scientists to do? Science is supposed to be about reality. Objectivity is the goal of science: following the evidence where it leads. When necessary, science should speak truth to power. Practically, though, scientists are just as subject to cultural fads and political pressures as others. Political correctness is tugging on scientists to buckle under the trendy consensus about sex and gender. Some fight it; others fight for it.
Affirming the Obvious
If the sexes were not different, why do many scientists report physical and mental differences between men and women? On January 5, we showed several such findings. This month, Washington University at St. Louis might have risked PC condemnation for its latest report, “Women’s brains appear three years younger than men’s.” Live Science reiterated this announcement. Yes, men and women are different! Their brains develop differently, and suffer the effects of age differently. One can debate the merits of the methods used by the WU scientists, but similar announcements about real, objective differences between men and women continue arising in many scientific quarters.
A different study, this one from Georgia State posted on Medical Xpress, presented anatomical reasons in the brain for the obvious fact to most people that “Females find social interactions to be more rewarding than males.” This is true not only for humans, but for rodents. The scientists found more receptors for a pleasure-sensation hormone, showing that there are sex-specific biological reasons for what most of us know about social differences in men and women.
Recognizing this gap in the knowledge base, the team investigated the sex-dependent role of OT [oxytocin] receptors within the ventral tegmental area of the brain of male and female rodents. More specifically, they explored whether OT receptors mediated the magnitude and valence of social reward and if this mediation differed by gender. They used several preference tests to measure the rewarding properties of social interactions.
Study data showed that activation of OT receptors was critical for social interaction to be rewarding in both males and females, but females were more sensitive to the actions of OT than males. This is the first study to provide evidence that same-sex social interactions and OT are more rewarding in females than in males in an animal model. These findings are consistent with human studies.
Notice that these scientists used sex and gender interchangeably, and that social rewards were sex-specific. Obviously, rodents are not holding societal debates about gender fluidity! These scientists found the assumption of true, biological sex differences to be a beneficial foundation for both understanding and application. Wrong assumptions could, consequently, lead to ineffective treatments.
Recognizing gender differencess in social reward processing is essential for understanding sex differences in the occurrence of many mental health diseases and the development of gender-specific treatments for psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, substance abuse and schizophrenia,” said Dr. Elliott Albers, director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience and Regents’ Professor of Neuroscience at Georgia State, who led the research team.
Even in cases of ambiguous genes, mammals can express sex-specific traits. A study of male rats without a Y chromosome, published in Science Daily, appears to show that in such cases, a kind of switch causes a cascade of hormones and processes that result in one sex or the other – not half and half. Sexual differentiation in the embryo is very complex and poorly understood, involving both genetic and epigenetic processes. Apparently the rats compensated for the lack of a Y chromosome by over-expression of the missing sex-specific genes, leading to the usual sexual differences all the way to the brain.
Finally, an article on Medical Xpress says, “Breastfeeding is still best.” Need we say more? A man trying this would frustrate both himself and baby. Consider how this obvious biological difference is likely to produce social and psychological differences between men and women as well – and it does.
PC Battling Science
Other scientists feel happier aboard the bandwagon. Some want to even lead the parade, searching for things they can claim as scientific support for ‘gender fluidity.’ Many times, such efforts to cooperate with the PC totalitarians take the form of attacks on manhood, with made-up hate-inducing phrases like ‘toxic masculinity.’
One example this week, published by Phys.org, comes from the University of Calgary, where the PC totalitarians have a stronger foothold than in America: “Is there only one way to be a man?” Guess what the ‘correct’ answer to this leading question must be? It’s a half-truth: yes and no. Everybody knows that men differ (compare Batman with Mr. Magoo). What the eggheads at UG are after is the total deconstruction of manhood. Men have to be ‘fixed.’ They are natural enemies of ‘gender equality.’ They must be shamed.
Through artistic representations, research and education, the concept of masculinity is slowly evolving. As Kehler and Hill suggest, the tradition of masculinity is so deeply embedded in our culture that any changes are bound to be laborious, and battles for gender equality will be hard-won. But by reflecting on the implications of traditional masculinity, and by actively promoting tolerance and change, Kehler, Krause, Hill and Leblanc are offering step-ladders to those who wish to climb out of the “man-box.”
It’s axiomatic that denying observational science requires committing logical fallacies. The article opens with male and female forms embedded into a yin-yang icon, using visualization to promote the PC view. Another example is the opening paragraph, a blatant example of the either-or fallacy. The writer uses a string of the most extreme ‘masculine’ traits in order to create a hate target with loaded words and fear-mongering.
Pump iron. Don’t iron that. Talk hockey. Talk a lot. Not about feelings. Get angry. Put them in their place. Don’t get emotional. Don’t do drama. Wear black. Wear blue. Not light blue. Explain things. Keep it straight. Be a man. Don’t be a girl. Got it?
According to this contrived picture, many men who are clearly well adjusted, and loved by their wives and respected by their peers, would not qualify as men. Science should examine measurable factors on a sliding scale, and take into account factors such as age, demographics, education, and much more. Within the taxon ‘masculine’ there is plenty of room for diversity, but science cannot ignore observable physical realities like sex chromosomes, sex organs and secondary sexual characteristics. Trying to blend the genders into a ‘fluid’ is no more logical than blending matter and antimatter. If a phenomenon is 99.99% binary, focusing on the 00.03% as the defining norm hurts the vast majority, causing more pain in the proposed solution than exists in the supposed problem.*
*Anecdote: I encountered my first “gender neutral bathroom” in a shopping mall today, with half a dozen sinks outside for men and women to use. But there was only one stall compared to the multiple stalls often provided in public restrooms segregated for men and women. A mother outside the door with her young child banging on the door was clearly frustrated by having to wait. I was uncomfortable with the woman outside the door, and this mother appeared uncomfortable with a man inside the only stall. The mall management was undoubtedly proud to appear so politically correct. But are we really better off with the current PC push for erasing sexual differences? This is the strategy of the Left for equality: make everybody suffer. —Ed.
The UG scientists are like political tyrants who try to enforce their worldview on everyone else. Everybody must now go to re-education camp and take “Gender Bias 101” to be talked out of traditional views. Considering the fact that most academics are Darwinians, maybe the worst logical fallacy in this article is the idea that humans have a moral obligation to repent of what natural selection made them to be. Along with that goes a corollary fallacy: the notion that scientists should be the enforcers. The Darwinian views are incoherent. It takes a perverse sort of intelligent design, as if to say, ‘Evolution made you one way, but we will remake you into a being in our image.’ For those who attribute everything in nature to the Stuff Happens Law, this is logically self-refuting.
Science is about truth-seeking, not advocacy. Science refers to is, not ought. Co-opting the noble reputation of science for PC purposes confers no more credibility on a view than its political antithesis. Science can be a last refuge of scoundrels.
The authors of the CG piece engage in tear-jerking about the harm that ‘toxic’ masculinity causes. We do not deny that men can hurt others by bullying, hazing, shaming and other social pressures that cause pain. We also do not deny that toxic women sometimes cause pain, too. Within and between the sexes, people cause pain to one another, because we are all sinners. But these psychologist PC enforcers are going about it the wrong way. Just teach respect!
To teach respect, you need a moral standard. Where are you going to get that? Darwin? Ha! He knows how to justify genocide, racism and meaninglessness (see The Darwin Effect by Dr Jerry Bergman; also, How Darwinism Corrodes Morality). The good old book, the Bible, weaves truth and morality into a seamless, coherent understanding that promotes a healthy society. Did you know that some 59 admonitions in the New Testament use the phrase “one another” such as love one another, be kind to one another, bear with one another, give place to one another, and comfort one another? That’s the answer: make and multiply Christ followers who obey these commandments. You can be a real man, and you can be a real woman, without causing pain, if you do that.
To the PC police we say, less Darwin, more Jesus. Less Stalin, more Paul.