Category Archives: sex and gender issues

“Gender reveal parties”: a gross misnomer

All of a sudden, “gender reveal parties” are all the rage. I read about them everywhere, but at first didn’t know what they were: I thought that they were affairs in which adults who had changed gender, or realized their gender, revealed this to their friends and family. But noooo, here’s what they are, as […]

Women-only STEM jobs advertised at a Dutch university

There’s a well known disparity in numbers between men and women in STEM fields, a disparity that universities and graduate schools try to rectify with recruitment efforts, forms of sex-specific affirmative action, and so on. The assumption behind most of these these actions is often that the disparity is due entirely to sexism and discrimination […]

Two pieces on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the new allegations against him

It is curious that the accusations of sexual misconduct committed by Martin Luther King, Jr., recently published in Standpoint by his biographer, the distinguished civil rights historian David Garrow, have largely been ignored by the mainstream press. I think it’s because the press doesn’t know how to respond to accusations of rape-enabling and abuse of […]

Retaining abortion rights through legislation

I wish I’d thought of this, but I didn’t think hard enough. While the Supreme Court can overturn state laws banning abortion because they’re unconstitutional (Roe v. Wade was decided on the grounds that abortion violated the right to privacy embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause), I don’t think the Supreme Court can […]

Alabama’s odious abortion bill

Most Americans have already heard this, so I’m just giving the news to those who haven’t, complaining about what happened, and offering you a chance to comment. What happened, as the New York Times reports (click on screenshot below), is that the Alabama legislature passed a law that effectively ends all abortions in that state […]

Andrew Sullivan on women’s sports and the testosterone issue

I’m spending more time reading Andrew Sullivan’s Friday columns in New York Magazine than I used to, as he takes a refreshingly thoughtful and non-ideological approach to many topics. Once a conservative and frequent writer on things religious (he’s a gay Catholic), he seems to be getting more liberal and less religious. I’m hoping he’ll […]

Two philosophers guilty of “philosophism” with respect to brain differences and free will

If “scientism” is the bad tendency of scientists to pronounce on matters outside their bailiwick, them I hereby proffer a new term: “philosophism“. And I define it as “the practice of philosophers pronouncing on matters outside their expertise”.  In the article below from the Irish Times, two philosophers Helen Beebee (University of Manchester) and Michael […]

University of the Arts President defends Camille Paglia’s freedom of speech after she makes controversial statements

I’ve seen Camille Paglia speak in person once (I barely remember what she said), and haven’t followed her work, but what I do remember is that her scholarship is larded with an alarming amount of self-promotion.  (She’s a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.) But I plead ignorance and may be wrong. […]

Sex differences in the brain

For a while I’ve been criticizing ideologically-based scientific claims, including the arguments that “evolutionary psychology is bunk” and “there are no differences between male and female brains in either structure or wiring”. These claims are based on ideology because both are palpably ridiculous from what we know about biology or from recently published research, and […]

The biology of sex differences in human brains and behaviors: a new book on “neurosexism”

For a while now I’ve written the occasional post about claims that there are no evolved and genetically based differences between male and female behaviors, brains, or hormones. This claim is based not on science but on ideology, stemming from the fear that if you show differences between men and women in these respects, you […]