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How a Rebellious Scientist Uncovered the Surprising Truth About Stereotypes - Claire Lehman (Quillette)
Jussim’s talk began with one of the most egregious examples of bias in
recent years. He drew the audience’s attention to the paper: “NASA
faked the moon landing – therefore (climate) science is a hoax.” The
study was led by Stephan Lewandowsky, and published in Psychological
Science in 2013. The paper argued that those who believed that the
moon landing was a hoax also believed that climate science was a
fraud. The abstract stated:
We…show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g.,
that the CIA killed Martin-Luther King or that NASA faked the moon
landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the
rejection of other scientific findings above and beyond commitment to
laissez-faire free markets. This provides confirmation of previous
suggestions that conspiracist ideation contributes to the rejection of
After describing the study and reading the abstract, Jussim paused.
Something big was coming.
“But out of 1145 participants, only ten agreed that the moon landing
was a hoax!” he said. “Of the study’s participants, 97.8% who thought
that climate science was a hoax, did not think that the moon landing
also a hoax.”
His fellow psychologists shifted in their seats. Jussim pointed out
that the level of obfuscation the authors went to, in order to
disguise their actual data, was intense. Statistical techniques
appeared to have been chosen that would hide the study’s true results.
And it appeared that no peer reviewers, or journal editors, took the
time, or went to the effort of scrutinizing the study in a way that
was sufficient to identify the bold misrepresentations.
While the authors’ political motivations for publishing the paper were
obvious, it was the lax attitude on behalf of peer reviewers – Jussim
suggested – that was at the heart of the problems within social
psychology. The field had become a community in which political values
and moral aims were shared, leading to an asymmetry in which studies
that reinforced left-wing narratives had come to be disproportionately
represented in the literature. And this was not, to quote Stephen
Colbert, because “reality had a liberal bias”. It was because social
psychology had a liberal bias.
Jussim explained that within the field, those on the left outnumbered
those on the right by a ratio of about 10:1. So it meant that even if
left-leaning and right-leaning scientists were equal in their bias,
there would be at least ten times more research biased towards
validating left-wing narratives than conservative narratives. Adding
in the apparent double standards in the peer review process (where
studies validating left-wing narratives seemed to be easier to
publish) then the bias within the field could vastly exceed the ratio
of 10:1. In other words, research was becoming an exercise in
When I went through university as a psychology undergraduate Jussim’s
work was not on the curriculum. His studies were not to be found in my
social psychology textbook. Nor was Jussim ever mentioned in the
classroom. Yet the area of study Jussim has been a pioneer of –
stereotype accuracy – is one of the most robust and replicable areas
ever to emerge from the discipline.
To talk about stereotypes, one has to first define what they are.
Stereotypes are simply beliefs about a group of people. They can be
positive (children are playful) or they can be negative (bankers are
selfish), or they can be somewhere in between (librarians are quiet).
When stereotypes are defined as beliefs about groups of people (true
or untrue), they correlate with real world criteria with effect sizes
ranging from .4 to .9, with the average coming in somewhere around .8.
(This is close to the highest effect size that a social science
researcher can find, an effect size of 1.0 would mean that stereotypes
correspond 100% to real world criteria. Many social psychological
theories rest on studies which have effect sizes of around .2.)
Jussim and his co-authors have found that stereotypes accurately
predict demographic criteria, academic achievement, personality and
behaviour.7 This picture becomes more complex, however, when
considering nationality or political affiliation. One area of
stereotyping which is consistently found to be inaccurate are the
stereotypes concerning political affiliation; right-wingers and left
wingers tend to caricature each others personalities, most often
negatively so.7
Lest one thinks that these results paint a bleak picture of human
nature, Jussim and his colleagues have also found that people tend to
switch off some of their stereotypes – especially the descriptive ones
– when they interact with individuals.7 It appears that descriptive
stereotypes are a crutch to lean on when we have no other information
about a person. When we gain additional insights into people, these
stereotypes are no longer useful. And there is now a body of evidence
to suggest that stereotypes are not as fixed, unchangeable and
inflexible as they’ve historically been portrayed to be.8
stereotypes  Jussim  academy  bias  stats  diversity 
5 weeks ago by mgubbins
Fallacy | Law and Order | FANDOM powered by Wikia
Cheryl Avery is the villain and is portrayed weirdly.
A few perspectives are compassionate but it doesn't save SVU from being torture porn.
transgender  fiction  television  stereotypes  tv  villain 
7 weeks ago by po
Becoming a Man - Quillette
written by William Buckner

“In the puberty rites, the novices are made aware of the sacred value of food and assume the adult condition; that is, they no longer depend on their mothers and on the labor of others for nourishment. Initiation, then, is equivalent to a revelation of the sacred, of death, sexuality, and the struggle for food. Only after having acquired these dimensions of human existence does one become truly a man.” – Mircea Eliade, Rites and Symbols of Initiation: The Mysteries of Birth and Rebirth, 1958

“To be a man in most of the societies we have looked at, one must impregnate women, protect dependents from danger, and provision kith and kin.” – David D. Gilmore, Manhood in the Making, 1990

“Keep your head clear and know how to suffer like a man.” – Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, 1952

There are commonalities of human behavior that extend beyond any geographic or cultural boundary. Every known society has a sexual division of labor – many facets of which are ubiquitous the world over. Some activities are universally considered to be primarily, or exclusively, the responsibility of men, such as hunting large mammals, metalworking, and warfare. Other activities, such as caregiving, cooking, and preparing vegetable foods, are nearly always considered primarily the responsibility of women.


Across vastly different societies, with very dissimilar political systems, it is often similar sets of skills that are considered desirable for their (predominately male) leaders. A man can gain status through displays of key talents; through his ability to persuade; by developing and maintaining important social relationships; and by solving difficult problems. In his classic paper on the political systems of ‘egalitarian’ small-scale societies, anthropologist Christopher Boehm writes, “a good leader seems to be generous, brave in combat, wise in making subsistence or military decisions, apt at resolving intragroup conflicts, a good speaker, fair, impartial, tactful, reliable, and morally upright.” In his study on the Mardu hunter-gatherers of Australia, anthropologist Robert Tonkinson wrote that the highest status was given to the “cooks,” which is the title given to “the older men who prepare the many different ceremonial feasts, act as advisors and directors of most rituals (and perform the most important “big” dances), and are guardians of the caches of sacred objects.”

Anthropologist Paul Roscoe writes that some of the important skills of ‘Big Men’ in New Guinea horticulturist societies are, “courage and proficiency in war or hunting; talented oratory; ability in mediation and organization; a gift for singing, dancing, wood carving, and/or graphic artistry; the ability to transact pigs and wealth; ritual expertise; and so on.” In the volume Cooperation and Collective Action (2012), Roscoe notes further that the traits that distinguish a ‘Big Man’ are “his skills in…conflict resolution; his charisma, diplomacy, ability to plan, industriousness, and intelligence” and “his abilities in political manipulation.” In their paper on ‘The Big Man Mechanism,’ anthropologist Joseph Henrich and his colleagues describe the common pathways to status found across cultures, noting that, “In small-scale societies, the domains associated with prestige include hunting, oratory, shamanic knowledge and combat.”


In his book How Can I Get Through To You? (2002), author Terrence Real describes visiting a remote village of Maasai pastoralists in Tanzania. Real asked the village elders (all male) what makes a good warrior and a good man. After a vibrant discussion, one of the oldest males stood up and told Real;

I refuse to tell you what makes a good morani [warrior]. But I will tell you what makes a great morani. When the moment calls for fierceness a good morani is very ferocious. And when the moment calls for kindness, a good morani is utterly tender. Now, what makes a great morani is knowing which moment is which! (Real, 64)

This quote is also favorably cited by feminist author bell hooks in her book The Will to Change (2004). While hooks and Real offer perspectives quite different from my approach here, the words of the Massai elder illustrate an ideal conception of masculinity that may appeal to many people of diverse ideologies and cultural backgrounds. A great warrior, a great man, is discerning – not needlessly hostile nor chronically deferential, he instead recognizes the responsibilities of both defending, and caring for, his friends and family.


As anthropologist David G. Gilmore notes in Manhood in the Making, exhortations such as “be a man” are common across societies throughout the world. Such remarks represent the recognition that being a man came with a set of duties and responsibilities. If men failed to stay cool under pressure in the midst of hunting or warfare, and thus failed to provide for, or protect, their families and allies, this would have been devastating to their societies.

Throughout our evolutionary history, the cultures that had a sexual division of labor, and socialized males to help provide for and protect the group, would have had a better chance at survival, and would have outcompeted those societies that failed to instill such values.

Some would argue, quite reasonably, that in contemporary, industrialized, democratic societies, values associated with hunting and warfare are outmoded. Gilmore writes that, “So long as there are battles to be fought, wars to be won, heights to be scaled, hard work to be done, some of us will have to “act like men.”” Yet the challenges of modern societies for most people are often very different from those that occurred throughout much of our history.

Still, some common components of the traditional, idealized masculine identity I describe here may continue to be useful in the modern era, such as providing essential resources for the next generation of children, solving social conflicts, cultivating useful, practical skills, and obtaining socially valuable knowledge. Obviously, these traits are not, and need not be, restricted to men. But when it comes to teaching the next generation of young males what socially responsible masculinity looks like, it might be worth keeping these historical contributions in mind. Not as a standard that one should necessarily feel unduly pressured by, but as a set of productive goals and aspirations that can aid in personal development and social enrichment.

The Behavioral Ecology of Male Violence:

“Aggressive competition for access to mates is much
more beneficial for human males than for females…”
~Georgiev et al. 1


To understand why this pattern is so consistent across a wide variety of culturally and geographically diverse societies, we need to start by looking at sex differences in reproductive biology.

Biologically, individuals that produce small, relatively mobile gametes (sex cells), such as sperm or pollen, are defined as male, while individuals that produce larger, less mobile gametes, such as eggs or ovules, are defined as female. Consequently, males tend to have more variance in reproductive success than females, and a greater potential reproductive output. Emperor of Morocco, Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty (1672–1727) was estimated to have fathered 1171 children from 500 women over the course of 32 years,6 while the maximum recorded number of offspring for a woman is 69, attributed to an unnamed 18th century Russian woman married to a man named Feodor Vassilyev.


Across a wide variety of taxa, the sex that produces smaller, mobile gametes tends to invest less in parental care than the sex that produces larger, less mobile gametes. For over 90 percent of mammalian species, male investment in their offspring ends at conception, and they provide no parental care thereafter.7 A male mammal can often increase his reproductive success by seeking to maximize mating opportunities with females, and engaging in violent competition with rival males to do so. From a fitness perspective, it may be wasteful for a male to provide parental care, as it limits his reproductive output by reducing the time and energy he spends competing for mates.
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8 weeks ago by nhaliday
Molly Ringwald Revisits “The Breakfast Club” in the Age of #MeToo | The New Yorker
"John’s movies convey the anger and fear of isolation that adolescents feel, and seeing that others might feel the same way is a balm for the trauma that teen-agers experience. Whether that’s enough to make up for the impropriety of the films is hard to say—even criticizing them makes me feel like I’m divesting a generation of some of its fondest memories, or being ungrateful since they helped to establish my career. And yet embracing them entirely feels hypocritical. And yet, and yet. . . . 

How are we meant to feel about art that we both love and oppose? What if we are in the unusual position of having helped create it? Erasing history is a dangerous road when it comes to art—change is essential, but so, too, is remembering the past, in all of its transgression and barbarism, so that we may properly gauge how far we have come, and also how far we still need to go.

While researching this piece, I came across an article that was published in Seventeen magazine, in 1986, for which I interviewed John. (It was the only time I did so.) He talked about the artists who inspired him when he was younger—Bob Dylan, John Lennon—and how, as soon as they “got comfortable” in their art, they moved on. I pointed out that he had already done a lot of movies about suburbia, and asked him whether he felt that he should move on as his idols had. “I think it’s wise for people to concern themselves with the things they know about,” he said. He added, “I’d feel extremely self-conscious writing about something I don’t know.”

I’m not sure that John was ever really comfortable or satisfied. He often told me that he didn’t think he was a good enough writer for prose, and although he loved to write, he notoriously hated to revise. I was set to make one more Hughes film, when I was twenty, but felt that it needed rewriting. Hughes refused, and the film was never made, though there could have been other circumstances I was not aware of.

In the interview, I asked him if he thought teen-agers were looked at differently than when he was that age. “Definitely,” he said. “My generation had to be taken seriously because we were stopping things and burning things. We were able to initiate change, because we had such vast numbers. We were part of the Baby Boom, and when we moved, everything moved with us. But now, there are fewer teens, and they aren’t taken as seriously as we were. You make a teen-age movie, and critics say, ‘How dare you?’ There’s just a general lack of respect for young people now.”

John wanted people to take teens seriously, and people did. The films are still taught in schools because good teachers want their students to know that what they feel and say is important; that if they talk, adults and peers will listen. I think that it’s ultimately the greatest value of the films, and why I hope they will endure. The conversations about them will change, and they should. It’s up to the following generations to figure out how to continue those conversations and make them their own—to keep talking, in schools, in activism and art—and trust that we care."
mollyringwald  thebreakfastclub  #MeToo  2018  film  1980s  teens  youth  identity  sexism  harassment  johnhughes  chauvinism  nationallampoon  writing  homophobia  tedmann  sexuality  sixteencandles  prettyinpink  change  harveyweinstein  adolescence  havilandmorris  insecurity  sexualharassment  misogyny  racism  stereotypes  outsiders  invisibility 
10 weeks ago by robertogreco
Two Moms, Two Kids: The New American Family - Vogue
"Photographer Cass Bird and her partner, director Ali Bird, have known each other for half their lives. They first met in 1997 and, after numerous false starts (Ali: “aka drama”), they forged a partnership that has flourished for 14 years. They are not married, although they share a surname. Marriage is, in their view, “too easy.” (Cass: “Till death do us part? Try eternity.”) Nine years ago Cass gave birth to Leo, and 20 months later Ali begat Mae. “We wanted to start a family and buy a house,” says Ali. “We saved money. We did it. When gay marriage became legal, we had already made the biggest commitment.” Adds Cass, “It is important that we have the same dreams. What does it mean to be a good partner, a good citizen . . . two big, big things.”

Those two big, big things are evident in the photographs and videos the Birds share weekly with more than 134,000 followers on Cass’s Instagram. Cass Bird is known in the fashion world for her uniquely intimate, humorous, and complicit portraits of the famous and the beautiful. There’s an offhand honesty to her pictures that is both entirely intuitive and brilliantly considered. In the depictions of her children (Mae is “a force, a tornado”; Leo is “cautious, cerebral”) and her partner, these qualities are present in the extreme: Family life in all of its messy, wacky, repetitive, emotional wildness has never looked more riveting and gorgeous. Here are two moms who have an “equal desire to connect” with each other and their babies, and who believe that the strength of a relationship resides in one’s ability to reveal “the lonely part, the messy part” of the psyche, to share “what it looks like to be vulnerable.” Here are two wild-haired moppets who “defy all gender stereotypes” and are “sibling close,” which means “they confront each other on a cellular level 98 percent of the time—there is no neutrality.” Cass and Ali lay it bare, though sometimes too bare for the standards police of social media. The line between privacy and honesty is something that the couple negotiates together. “We fight about it, and I fight about it internally,” Cass says. “What is promoting beauty and freedom and what is potentially harmful? I know that bodies are easily sexualized; I am not naive. I think they are beautiful, strong creatures. My goal is that no one would ever sexualize their image.” Says Ali, “Cass is really aware of being a public figure who is gay and has the potential to affect other people who may feel they can’t have a child or a family.” Cass adds, laughing, “Can’t just everyone be naked?”"

[See also: ]
photography  families  us  instragram  stereotypes  gender  children  2017  lgbtq  video  cassbird  alibird 
february 2018 by robertogreco

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