Friday, May 13, 2005

refuting sociobiology part 3

The Helena Cronin political agenda: divide men and women into separate spheres.
Phase one: separate work tracks for men and for women:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,239317,00.html

Phase two: separate math tracks for boys and girls:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1436052,00.html

refuting sociobiology - Part 2

Harvard psychology professor Elizabeth Spelke refutes the claims of male math/science superiority with hard data:
http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~lds/pdfs/Spelke_SexSci_2005.pdf

the problem with "Darwinian logic" and evolutionary psychology


http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/debate05/debate05_index.html


This debate between Elizabeth Spelke and Steven Pinker illustrates the problems with the reliance of evolutionary psychologists on the notion that males and females evolved on separate tracks. Towards the end of the debate, Pinker implies that traditional restrictions on women's opportunities are not the result of bias but rather underlying cognitive differences. To Pinker's way of thinking, there wouldn't be bias against women if there wasn't a good reason for it:

"PINKER: Regarding bias: as I mentioned at the outset, I don't doubt that bias exists. But the idea that the bias started out from some arbitrary coin flip at the dawn of time and that gender differences have been perpetuated ever since by the existence of that bias is extremely unlikely."

Cultural materialists don't claim that bias is the result of an arbitrary coin flip, of course, but rather a series of compelling circumstances that led to patriarchy - which has an in-built bias against female aspirations.