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Author Topic: Unequal achievement of sexes and races
Omega M.
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Interesting article in this month's Commentary on the unequal achievement of sexes and races. I think some of the statistical analysis went over my head, though.
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Adjudicator
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A very interesting article. The subject has to be approached very delicately, but a true understanding of group differences could indeed lead to a number of better-informed educational and social policies.
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The Drake
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I think when you look at group comparisons of any kind, there are far too many people who think that a difference in the median performance of those groups means that one group is "better" than the other.

What if we examine the groups of male and female basketball players? We know that the median height of men is greater than the median height of women. They have a built in advantage. This does not mean that every man can beat every woman at one-on-one.

But we don't get emotional about basketball or height like we do about IQ. As if IQ were even the only measure of a person's ability. Most serial killers have a high IQ.

I don't have a solution, other than that people should all take a statistics course and that they should stop reacting to science with emotion. (Another assault on science for Ev to address)

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Lady Starkiller
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quote:
I think when you look at group comparisons of any kind, there are far too many people who think that a difference in the median performance of those groups means that one group is "better" than the other.
You're absolutely right - and I think that shows more about those reacting to the comparisons than those who made them...
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Paladine
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Very insightful, and supportive of some things I've been saying for awhile. Any objections to this article?
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Most serial killers have a high IQ.
That's because the low IQ ones are caught after the first murder. [Smile]
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Apparently there is another article being published in a British journal (I have forgotten the name) that claims a 5 point mean IQ difference between boys and girls. Because the study has not yet been published I cannot speak to accuracy. I believe the journal was credible.

I would also note that there tends to be a clustering effect when guys take IQ tests. Apparently they tend to cluster at the top and bottom.

I cannot speak to the accuracy of the above, only that the professors I've spoken to on the subject have had some interesting things to say.

--Firedrake

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Everard
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"I would also note that there tends to be a clustering effect when guys take IQ tests. Apparently they tend to cluster at the top and bottom."

Yeah. In a lot of genetic areas, men have a much higher frequency at the top and bottom of a gaussian distribution then women do.

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pickled shuttlecock
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It's a higher variance, yes. That means that, near the tippity-top - as long as the Gaussian distribution holds (and it should) - you'd expect men to dominate.

You'd also expect men to dominate the low end, though not to such an extent because of the median shift.

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pickled shuttlecock
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One more point. For any given standardized test, you cannot state unequivocally that higher score = better performance in any given task. You can show evidence and general trends, though. Even more weakly, you cannot state that higher score = smarter, because "smarter" is ill-defined.

What you can state is that people who score highly on the test are more similar to the test writers than those who don't. If you accept the premise that the test writers are "smart," you can say (with some assurance) that a higher score means "smarter." What you're really saying, though, is that the people who score high are in some way like the test makers.

It's still ill-defined. Who decides that the people who make the test are the smart ones? Other "smart" people?

A standardized test is at best a measure of how well someone fits into a certain group. It's useful in its own, limited way.

Any scoring method has these kinds of problems. There is no perfect metric for anything nontrivial. "Smart" falls into that category.

[ September 10, 2005, 12:01 AM: Message edited by: pickled shuttlecock ]

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Pickled Shuttlecock said:
quote:
It's still ill-defined. Who decides that the people who make the test are the smart ones? Other "smart" people?

A standardized test is at best a measure of how well someone fits into a certain group. It's useful in its own, limited way.

Any scoring method has these kinds of problems. There is no perfect metric for anything nontrivial. "Smart" falls into that category.

I agree. An IQ test is better than (for example) the SAT, but it is still fundamentally flawed. In the end, an IQ test doesn't matter - productivity and a happy life matter.

--Firedrake

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TS Elliot
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Sorry, but .... HAVE YOU PEOPLE ALL GONE CRAZY???

This whole article is based on a seriously flawed premisse, one so flawed that I would've expected the smarter (pun not intended) ones amongst you to have seen it.

This is the flaw:
When one talks about "equality of people" IT IS NOT ABOUT ABILITIES BUT ABOUT RIGHTS


Nobody on the Left is doubting the difference in abilities, that some can play the piano better than others. And I have to seriously doubt anybody who does research, confusing rights with abilities. If one equates the two, we're back in the Third Reich.

quote:
Good social policy can be based on premises that have nothing to do with scientific truth. The premise that is supposed to undergird all of our social policy, the founders’ assertion of an unalienable right to liberty, is not a falsifiable hypothesis. But specific policies based on premises that conflict with scientific truths about human beings tend not to work. Often they do harm.
I seriously don't think that the unalienable right to liberty was intended to be a falsifiable hypothesis. It's a right, it's a political thing, it's something we all decided together.
Anybody, who wants to do grouptraits research, with the purpose of making meaningful and valid statements about social rights, just doesn't get it. There is no research to be done, since all meaningful things already have been said: we have the same rights!

Grouptraits research although it might be interesting in itself seems to be useless to me in the sense that, it will only serve to confirm what we already see around us: all things being equal, we still end up different because of different personalities, muscle mass and height etc.
On a armchair psychology level about the motivation for such research, I'd say that since whites are only 9 percent of world population, (and white males thus 4,5 percent) but still own, let's say, 80 to 95 percent of the worlds riches (money, production capacity, land), they are looking for some justification for this glaring inequality. *shrugs*
Whatev.

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by pickled shuttlecock:
Even more weakly, you cannot state that higher score = smarter, because "smarter" is ill-defined.

Unless of course you define smarter as getting a higher score on a test [Smile]
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FiredrakeRAGE
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TS Elliot said:
quote:
Anybody, who wants to do grouptraits research, with the purpose of making meaningful and valid statements about social rights, just doesn't get it.
What are you screaming about? Who said anything about making statements about social rights?

--Firedrake

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LetterRip
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TS Elliot,

I agree with FiredrakeRAGE, as far as I can tell your post is a major non sequitor...

LetterRip

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Gaoics79
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quote:
I would also note that there tends to be a clustering effect when guys take IQ tests. Apparently they tend to cluster at the top and bottom.
This is consistent with my observations in high school. All the smartest and stupidest kids were boys. The girls tended to be much more in the middle.
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noah
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I agree, jasonr, but I also remember one of my teachers telling me that girls often pretend to be stupider than boys. Apparently, girls are much smarter when they are by themselves.

Granted, this shouldn't affect IQ tests, assuming the tests were administered privately, but I wonder how much of this could be considered cultural - girls expect themselves to only do so well on a test, and no better. So, they answer the easy problems, and maybe skip some hard problems even if they could have figured them out with a little effort. The smart boys expect themselves to do well, and do so. The dumb boys expect themselves to do badly, and in some cases even want to do badly, so they don't upset their self-image. Therefore, they do badly.

Just some thoughts.

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Richard Dey
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My uncle, who was president of the College Boards for some years, would remind us all that an IQ test was designed to measure an ability to learn. It was his job to determine what they knew.

Murray has been crucified by feminists and racists for years. I stand by all of his research. I hope you all heard his 3-hr interview on Book TV recently. He's a very sensible man.

It's an excellent article -- obliged by racists and feminazis to deal with 'social issues' which would taint his research. Read Pinker.

UnNatural Selection states bluntly, "Males are more varietal than females." This is true across all species. They are given a boost at ejaculation, perhaps (the y-chromosome being lighter), but they are given greater risks right from inception.

If this offends, wait till the data on heterosexual vs homosexual IQs is discussed!

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Gaoics79
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Richard, I understood that post. What's going on? Are you feeling well?

But seriously, I've never quite understood the whole homosexual superiority argument. Homosexuals are typically born from heterosexuals. Their brothers and sisters are typically heterosexual, as are the majority of their ancestors. Their children are most likely heterosexual. So it can't be genetics, can it? Or if it is, what about being homosexual pre-disposes one to being smarter? Is it a cultural thing?

Oh yes, and does homosexual superiority apply to lesbians? I do fancy lesbians.

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Funean
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Just fancy ones? [Wink]

There's a couple of arguments that if genetics are involved in homosexuality, it's laterally transmitted (e.g., not one's mother, but one's maternal uncle).

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Gaoics79
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quote:
Just fancy ones? [Wink]
The ones who dress fancy, yes. Not the ones who could beat me up and make me their "bitch".

[ September 11, 2005, 10:30 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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Funean
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...

Ah, nope. Not touching that one.

[Big Grin]

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aupton15
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Rushton and Jensen (2005) Thirty years of research on race differences in cognitive ability. It's in the Journal, Psychology, Public Policy and Law. I only have a paper copy, so I can't post it online. Fairly compelling research, the only exception being that I'm not sure IQ can be reliably measured across a variety of languages. Some of the tests are not language based, but many are. Anyway, just thought I'd put this out there for anyone still interested.
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Lewkowski
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People consider intelligence the most important, but thats actually not the most important thing. The ability to act well socially is more important then any amount of intelligence. You can be smart and unhappy. You can also be an idiot and have the time of your life.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Lewkowski said:
quote:
People consider intelligence the most important, but thats actually not the most important thing. The ability to act well socially is more important then any amount of intelligence. You can be smart and unhappy. You can also be an idiot and have the time of your life.
That is true. On the other hand, is happiness the most important thing? There have been a great many unhappy people that have done great things.

--Firedrake

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TS Elliot
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quote:
Originally posted by FiredrakeRAGE:
TS Elliot said:
quote:
Anybody, who wants to do grouptraits research, with the purpose of making meaningful and valid statements about social rights, just doesn't get it.
What are you screaming about? Who said anything about making statements about social rights?

--Firedrake

quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
TS Elliot, I agree with FiredrakeRAGE, as far as I can tell your post is a major non sequitor... LetterRip

Hmmm, as you might've guessed it was mainly LetterRip's remark that has prompted me to this post, although I must say that FD, while always disagreeing with me, has remained civil, which I assume must be difficult for a person with a such a vastly differing worldview.

That aside:
Then please tell me what do you think he meant with: 'The premise that is supposed to undergird all of our social policy, the founders’ assertion of an unalienable right to liberty, is not a falsifiable hypothesis.'?
To me it seems like he wants to say that since it's not falsifiable, it has less value and might not be true. Thus, when it's falsifiable, it can also be verified, and so more valuable. But, maybe i don't comprehend what he meant with 'falsifiable hypothesis'?

Do you not agree that this is a statement about social rights? AFAIU, social policies are about how much and what kind of social rights we have. I should clarify that I understand "social rights" to be the same here as "civil rights". Maybe for you "social rights" means something completely different?

Anyway, how did those scientists NOT make statements about social rights? Please don't nitpick about how social policies are not social rights, but here, in this discussion I consider them equal for practical purpose. (but nitpick if you can't resist)

LetterRip, I really don't follow ... (pun intended [Wink] ) Please tell me how my reasoning is a fallacy.

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TS Elliot
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quote:
Originally posted by Lewkowski:
People consider intelligence the most important, but thats actually not the most important thing. The ability to act well socially is more important then any amount of intelligence. You can be smart and unhappy. You can also be an idiot and have the time of your life.

A point excellently made in the book (and film) Flowers for Algernon
But, when the main character was very smart and not happy, he made a major contribution to science, which he couldn't have done while he was happy, moreover, he did the work 10 scientists would have don in years in some months.

Rooting for 'happy' in this instance, seems similar like the argument 'ah, but winning isn't everything', a statement never made by the winner ... [Smile] (Lew, I'm purposely picking an example which will prolly appeal to your neo-con mind, tell me if I saw it wrong ...)

[ September 19, 2005, 02:04 AM: Message edited by: TS Elliot ]

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FiredrakeRAGE
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TS Elliot -

Good point. I did not read the article closely enough. That said, you were speaking to us (the posters), none of whom were suggesting we base social policy on IQ scores.

I viewed your rant as something directed at me. You (apparently) viewed it as directed at the author of the essay.

--Firedrake

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LetterRip
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Here is the paper

[url=http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/Rushton-Jensen30years.pdf ]Thirty years of research on race differences in cognitive ability[/url]

LetterRip

[ September 19, 2005, 03:29 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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LetterRip
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Okay reading through that I saw an odd statement

quote:
Because test scores are the best predictor of economic success in Western society (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998)
Then I checked the reference

http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~psyc231/Readings/schmidt.htm

I really don't see anything in that paper that would lend itself to that claim, and that paper doesn't seem particularly appropriate as a reference for such a claim.

LetterRip

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TS Elliot
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quote:
Throughout history, the status quo of race, sex and ethnicity has been used to justify the status quo and deny equal opportunity.

Take for instance the opening paragraph, where he writes about Summers from Harvard. If one actaully reads those remarks, one would conclude that woman are inherently unable to keep p with math and science. Mr. Summers paid lip service to discrimination, but placed the emphasis on inherent ability. He in fact used the statistics of the present to justify his sexist opinions.

Of course if Mr. Summer had written around 1900, then like those who did write at that time, woman were incapable of anything but having babies, and even then needed a man to suprervise. And the statistics would of course have backed him up.

During the days of Black Slavery, African-Americans were considered unable even to read and write - and of course it was a criminal offense to teach them to read and write.

In the 1880's I.Q. tests given to European immigrants showed that 75 percent of Jews, Italians and Irish were actually mentally retarded. Of course they were tested on knowledge which they didn't possess, and this was how the IQ was determined.

The status quo is the benchmark from which this drivel is derived. And it is this benchmark which is used to oppress people.

Clearly there are differences between the sexes and even between people. It is racists who use the status quo to justify continuing the status quo.

As for the "Bell Curve," it was derived in the same manner as those IQ tests of immigrants and statistics of how many Black slaves could read and write.

This racist sexist thinking has long been a plague in Europe, which for the last 400 years has been the dominant factor in human history. A situaton which is now changing as the world recovers from the era of colonialism.

NB. It is no longer fashionable to denigrate Chinese or Japanese as inherently inferior intellectually. But less than a hundred years ago it was. At that time, the expression "Mongoloid" for someone suffering from Downs Syndrome was coined. It was thought that Down Syndrome babies were "genetic throwbacks" to our evolutionary past - and the "Mongoloid Features" were simply a form of orinental baby.

That in this day and age someone claiming to be intelligent can post such rubbish is symptomatic of our Neo-con present, where reality is whatever they claim it to be, and the most useless garbage is posted as science - And this comes from a man who proposes teaching Intelligent Design as an alternative to Science. No wonder!

Just something I found on the net, from somebody more eloquent than I. About those Japanese: the entire American medical community claimed that the Japanese would never be a threat in the air, since they lacked some sort of balance-sense which prevented Asian to becoming good pilots. Bet they didn't think that after Pearl Harbor ....

I wanna make this point again, since no-one had a serious reply:
The writer of this BellCurve-ish essay confuses equality of opportunity with equality of ability. Who agrees?

LetterRip, you didn't react to my earlier post, how did I make a non-sequitor?

[ September 20, 2005, 08:26 PM: Message edited by: TS Elliot ]

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TS Elliot
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Another example of this guys muddled way of thinking:
quote:
It has been known for years that, even after adjusting for body size, men have larger brains than women. Yet most psychometricians conclude that men and women have the same mean IQ (although debate on this issue is growing).11 One hypothesis for explaining this paradox is that three-dimensional processing absorbs the extra male capacity.
Okay, forgetting for a moment that dolphins have much smaller brains that the blue finfish, but still smarter, regard this article.

small brains

quote:


"Hobbit" Brains Were Small but Smart, Study Says
Hillary Mayell
for National Geographic Channel
and National Geographic News
March 3, 2005

The recently discovered "hobbit" fossils do in fact represent a new human species, according to a new study of a hobbit braincase. What's more, the little humans seem to have been more intelligent than expected, given their extremely small brains—a finding that may completely change how scientists view human evolution.

Last October a team of Australian and Indonesian archaeologists reported the discovery of the18,000-year-old bones of an adult female hobbit. The only known hobbit skull is from this female, though archaeologists later found partial remains of seven other individuals.

Formally known as Homo floresiensis, the fossil skeleton has a unique combination of features not seen in any other humans or human ancestors. (See photos of the "hobbit.")

Flores, an isolated island in Indonesia, was colonized by early humans as far back as 800,000 years ago. But from at least 95,000 years ago until around 12,000 years ago, it was occupied by these tiny humans.

H. floresiensis grew to be only about three feet (one meter) tall—prompting archaeologists to christen them "hobbits," after the diminutive Lord of the Rings characters.

Despite having very small brains—roughly the size of a chimpanzee's—they appear to have hunted animals twice their size, made stone tools for hunting and butchering, and used fire for cooking.

"It's remarkable. We've always been taught and thought that as humans evolved, the bigger the brain, the better they are," said Charles Hildebolt, a physical anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

"If this little creature actually made the tools and was using the tools, built the fire and was using the fire, then that really tips human evolution upside down and changes the way we have to think about brain evolution. It may indicate that the reorganization of the brain was just as important and may be even more important than size."

Hildebolt was a member of the team, led by paleoneurologist Dean Falk of Florida State University, that studied the braincase of the species.

Small but Powerful Brains

Falk and her team created a virtual, three-dimensional cast of the interior of the fossilized H. floresiensis skull. Called an endocast, the model shows a variety of features, including the brain's size, shape, vessels, and convolutions.

This hobbit endocast was then compared with virtual endocasts and latex endocasts of modern humans, gorillas, chimpanzees, an adult female Pygmy, and three early human ancestors: Australopithecus africanus, a species that lived around 2.5 million years ago; Paranthropus aethiopicus, a species that appears in the fossil record about 2.7 million years ago, and Homo erectus, a species that lived from about 1,600,000 to 250,000 years ago.

for more go to the link.

[ September 20, 2005, 11:19 PM: Message edited by: TS Elliot ]

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Zyne
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quote:
The ones who dress fancy, yes. Not the ones who could beat me up and make me their "bitch".
Okay, that covers lesbians. What about all the het women who could beat you up and make you their bitch?
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Okay, that covers lesbians. What about all the het women who could beat you up and make you their bitch?
Are you coming on to me?
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LoverOfJoy
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LOL

I thought the same thing when I read Zyne's post but decided to stay out of it.

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Richard Dey
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How quickly a cut-and-dried black-and-white male-or-female argument becomes a socio-political quagmire. I rest my case:

Because we can't determine why males have contributed more to civilization than females, because homosexual male contributions are far in excess of their expectable numbers, it is a socio-political convenience for us to claim that all the testing is wrong.

Let's look at the very basic data:

What about analyzing the encyclopedias? Dismissing all the popular sermonizers of the 19th century, why are there more male contributors to civilization in encyclopedias than females? Why are upwards of 25% of those males homosexually deviant when they make up less than 2.5% of the male population?

It's a very simple question. Surely the answer can't be that difficult! It's only the socio-political gobbledeegook that's difficult -- well, the sociopoliticians who are difficult.

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TS Elliot
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duh. how do you know that males have contributed more to civilisation than females? I would say that males have contributed more to male civilisation.
Your premisse is false to begin with.

And women were oppressed by males so as NOT to write in encyclopedias.

Now that females and males compete on a more or less level playing field, we do indeed see that females tend to occupy more of a certain field than males, in absolute terms. Take a look at medicin.

While the overrepresentation of females in the Soviet Union as MD's might be explained by the Law of Say (Ms. Say said that females are overrepresented in jobs with low status; In the S-U, being an MD wasn't the high status thing it is in the west), the present day overrepresentation of females in the medical field cannot be explained in that way. To be sure, there are still male strongholds (surgery) but in all medical professions, females are becoming the majority. At least in Western-Europe, dunno about the usa, sometimes that place is like us, but sometimes, it bizarro world isn't at all. whatsoever.

That said, I'm appalled at the lack of reaction to my posts, particularly by letterrip .... [Confused] ?

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Richard Dey -

Other posters have made a good point. There other contributing factors that make it very difficult to pin down the over/under representation of some groups.

An example would be homosexuals - for a long time they were stigmatized. This could lead to their accomplishment simply because with no ability to start a family and severe sexual issues, they dropped their energy into their work.

--Firedrake

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LetterRip
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Richard,

when a brain gets wired differently than the norm it results in a higher expression of deviation of all sorts from as simple as left handed; to homosexuality; to higher rates of assorted psychological problems. This wired differently leads to a higher percentage of both super performing individuals (geniuses of all sorts) and inferior performing individuals (ie reading disorders, social disorders, autism, retardation, immune disorders, etc. are all more prevalent among left handers - note that aspergers syndome (a form of mild autism) is extremely common among geniuses)

Men are the 'weaker sex' - that is we have a broken chromosome so the beneficial and detrimental aspects of the genetics are more likely to be expressed than for a woman.

So, there is your answer for the presumed disporportionate contributions of homosexual men to the arts and sciences.

Regarding mens disproportionate contribution to encyclopedias - invited contributors are frequently only those who are professors in the field of inquiry, only recently has professorship been available to women in signficant numbers - ergo only recently have women begun to be invited to contribute to encyclopedias.

TS Elliot,

lately your posts have been so filled with invective that I've been skimming them or occassionaly outright skipping them.

Regarding female representation in medical fields - both historically (and even now) there have been biases that only certain professions were deemed appropriate for an educated women this generally meant either medical/nursing or teaching. Even now with our less substantial bias - there are fields that are male dominated (Engineering, Software development, and IT - note that aspergers is a common trait individuals in these professions). Since the number of men and women seeking professional employment if there are some fields dominated by men there should be expected that other fields will thereby be dominated by women.

Regarding brain related to body size - the degree of neocortical folding are a much bigger determinant of 'IQ'.

quote:
Yet most psychometricians conclude that men and women have the same mean IQ (although debate on this issue is growing)
That is sort of a meaningless statement since it will be sensitive to what is being measured (ie if it focuses on certain mathematical tasks, on average men will score higher, on certain memory and vocabulary tasks women should score higher). I suppose he could mean something like 'blink reflex'.

Regarding the score difference - while it is quite likely to me that due to the above reasons there should be a higher proportion of men with higher math scores - this doesn't tell us how much of the scores are due to this. I suspect that there is still a large proportion of the difference due to socio-cultural differences in how we treat boys and girls.

quote:
In the arts and sciences, forty is the mean age at which peak accomplishment occurs, preceded by years of intense effort mastering the discipline in question.
Peak year has been steadily creeping upwards, largely due to the fact that there is such a huge body of information required to be mastered now. Peak accomplishment was historically much younger.

quote:
To put it in a way that most readers with children will recognize, a father can go to work and forget about his children for the whole day. Hardly any mother can do this, no matter how good her day-care arrangement or full-time nanny may be.
The chemical bonding in over the first year of life is extraordinary. The connection and imprinting caused by the hormone released during breast feeding, pregnancy, and delivery are going to be huge factors. While these are all aspects of female physiology I'm not sure hos much bonding of say an adopted baby would have overly large differences between men and women.

You could probably create similar bond patterns between a male and baby via hormone injection.

quote:
The different forms, which directly influence the likelihood that men will dominate at the extreme levels of achievement, are consistent with a constellation of differences between men and women that have biological roots.
While it is likely that innate differences had some impact, it is entirely possible and likely that socialization was a huge factor in the differences.

quote:
But this is just one more of the ways in which science is demonstrating that men and women are really and truly different, a fact so obvious that only intellectuals could ever have thought otherwise.
I seriously doubt that there are more than a handful of individuals who think there are no innate differences in men and women, however, the degree of difference as expressed in differential access to power, and accomplishmest are likely in large part influenced by non innate differences. Finding out how much or how little difference innate differences make is what is of interest. Some think it has very little impact and that much if not all differences can be ascribed to socialization patterns moreso than to innate differences.

quote:
When a statistical procedure, blind to physical characteristics and working exclusively with genetic information, classifies 99.9 percent of the individuals in a large sample in the same way they classify themselves, it is hard to argue that race is imaginary.
I tend to agree, but with a caveat - they sampled clusters that were geographically clustered in particular the hispanic group (as noted in the study he references) I didn't read the study in depth so am not positive, but the I know other studies have found poor clustering if the sampling locations are less uniform (this study notes however that studies failing to find a correllation generally used few markers).

Also if you use a marker that is extremely rare for most groups but its presence can be a reasonable predictor for subsets of some groups (sicle cell) then you could get achieve clustering but it wouldn't be a 'natural' clustering. Ie red hair is rare for non caucasians, so you could use that as one marker for caucasians and while it would be useless as a general marker could allow clusters to be 'crafted'. Tay Sachs is rare for non Ashenkai Jews. So, while I believe there are likely markers that will be more common among those of east asian ancestry etc, I think there is a real possibility of spurious clustering as well.

quote:
So black and white academic achievement converged significantly in the 1970’s and 1980’s, typically by more than a third of a standard deviation, and since then has stayed about the same.
And of course the question is why the convergence, and why did it stop.

quote:
The ambiguities in the data leave two defensible positions. The first is that the IQ difference is about one standard deviation, effectively unchanged since the first black-white comparisons 90 years ago. The second is that harbingers of a narrowing difference are starting to emerge. I cannot settle the argument here, but I can convey some sense of the uncertainty.
Another possibility is that the IQ tests in part reflect cultural exposure to certain activities - ie puzzles that are culturally favored by caucasians but not african americans.

This isn't to say that it is impossible that there are innate differences between 'races' in IQ, just that it is quite possible that unexamined cultural habits may maintain a difference in scores that is unrelated to any 'innate difference'.

quote:
From a practical standpoint, however, the cultural explanations point to a cause of the black-white difference that is as impervious to manipulation by social policy as causes rooted in biology.
This is BS. Culture is quite susceptible to manipulation, the same standard advertising tools used for cultural manipulation for profit are perfectly capable of being used for cultural manipulation to improve scores. The cultural phenomenon of smoking has gone from being 'cool' to being something that is taboo. In a span of five years or so - huge changes in perception and behavior were changed largely by media and advertising efforts.

We already discussed the problems with the Jensen paper and it is getting late - so I'm off for the night...

LetterRip

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LetterRip
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quote:
Motivation is irrelevant. There is no way that any of these variables could systematically encourage black performance in digits-forward while depressing it in digits-backward in the same test at the same time with the same examiner in the same setting.
Actually this is wrong - since the backwards is harder than forwards - there is a good chance that lower motivation would result in giving up sooner on the backwards.

quote:
Insofar as the environment is the cause, it is not the sort of environment we know how to change, and we have tried every practical remedy that anyone has been able to think of.
To me it is not in fact clear that this is the case. We as a society give at best 'half hearted' attempts at solving prenatal nutrition and educating all parents on child care. Most schools are still essentially class based.

quote:
Elites throughout the West are living a lie, basing the futures of their societies on the assumption that all groups of people are equal in all respects.
This is a ridiculous claim - I'm sure only a tiny percentage of people believe that is literally true. However most people can agree that broadly similar capacities exist across gender, race and culture, and that a large difference in performance at the individual level is based upon differences in environmental factors.

quote:
Consider an observation furtively voiced by many who interact with civil servants: that government is riddled with people who have been promoted to their level of incompetence because of pressure to have a staff with the correct sex and ethnicity in the correct proportions and positions.
Incompetence has been observed across all gender and ethnic lines.

LetterRip

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