Old folk at lunch

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

A FEMINIST MYTH EXPLODED



We all know that feminists think that a woman can do everything a man can do -- and that is probably broadly true. Many feminists take that thinking much further, however. They claim that women who see themselves as fitting into both male and female roles -- as lesbians generally would -- are in fact much healthier psychologically for it. Being androgynous is said to be much better for you mentally than being classically female or classically male.

And there has been much research in the psychological literature that appears to support that theory. When I first had a look at the research concerned, however, it seemed to be very sloppily done -- designed to reach a given conclusion rather than being conducted with proper scientific care. I therefore designed a survey of my own (in conjunction with a female colleague) that would look at the issue in a more careful way. I have just uploaded the resultant paper here (or here). What I found were in fact quite strong correlations -- but they were the exact opposite of the feminist claim. Androgynes turned out to be much more likely to be maladjusted than others. And since my research was much more generalizable and carefully controlled than anything that went before it, one would think that my paper would be an essential reference in any further discussion of the topic.

The paper was published in a widely circulated academic journal nearly 20 years ago now and Google reveals not one reference to it in any academic journal. Funny that! If you reach conclusions that go against Leftist orthodoxy, you might as well not exist in the social sciences, no matter how good your work is. You may begin to see why I resigned from my tenured teaching job at a major Australian university 20 years ago. It took me a while but in the end I did get sick of banging my head on a brick wall.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I TURN 60 TODAY



Definitely time for reflection. I have big problems with skin cancer so may not have many years left but the life I have had has been a blessed one in many ways. My father was a lumberjack, I left school before completing High School and I inherited nothing from my parents except my genes. But I nonetheless have done well in academe, in business and in my personal life -- which reinforces my view that in modern Western society it is only ability and good sense that separates most of the "haves" from the "have-nots".

One amusing episode in my university career was when I got an article published in an academic journal under joint authorship with another academic whose first name translates as "God's Penis" -- see here. Another odd accomplishment was when I got praise of one of my ex-wives into an academic journal -- see here.

My only regret is that I had only one child -- but my son is a real chip off the old block so that is pleasing. There is a picture of him here -- Warning: He is not very "diverse" in U.S. Supreme Court terms.