What We Missed.

Jay Leno’s oral sex joke about Christine O’Donnell is really not that funny. Take action at Name it Change it.

On the “science” of sexism.

Sarah Palin is still claiming that health care reform will expand access to abortion. Dana Goldstein on why she is wrong.

amanda hess on ‘sum pussie,’ energy drink. For real.

A must-read piece on how the civil rights movement obscured violence against women.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Delusions of Gender is a pretty gratifying book for anyone who likes watching bad science get carefully torn to ribbons. I would definitely recommend it to anyone at all scientifically minded.

  2. Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    The “Sexism dressed up as science” is pretty spot-on article regarding scientific (and “scientific”) research — hypothesis testing generally centers around proving differences rather than proving equality, so reporting tends to reflect that bias. Also, differences give people grounds for “tailoring” the way they treat others — this sort of approach can be well-intentioned, and while this sometimes provides practical benefits (such as identifying the most likely health risks), it can overshadow more appropriate criteria.

    A few other notes:
    1) Media will tend to exaggerate this reporting problem, for two reasons. The more shocking/anti-PC/traditional the finding, the more attention news media tends to devote the finding. Also, news media tends to do a poor job of correctly interpreting the findings of a study and disregard context.

    2) Most of these studies do not (and simply cannot) control for causality, so we can’t rule out confounding factors (such as environmental factors) in terms of performance.

    3) Many of the weaker studies face problems with bias: response bias, nonresponse bias, sampling bias, experimenter bias (not sure if that’s the proper term, but when an observer biases the data they record), etc. Particularly when data collected is subjective, there are potentially serious flaws.

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