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Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

Posted September 29, 2010 8:08 AM

Finally, proof that men and women are different. A Michigan State University study challenges common beliefs that men are more scientifically literate than women. The latter tend to accept the scientific consensus on global warming more than men do. This gender divide is said to have implications for the way policymakers and scientists communicate about climate change with the public. What else do these findings tell you?

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#1

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/29/2010 9:28 AM

Ooooh, you gonna be in big trouble when the ladies read this.
<scampers off to hide trembling in secret cat nest>
Del

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#2

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/29/2010 12:12 PM

Wait, wut? Based on a study of AGW reporting?

"challenges common beliefs that men are more scientifically literate than women. The latter tend to accept the scientific consensus on global warming more than men do."

Here: challenges confirms common beliefs that men are more scientifically literate than women. The latter tend to accept the scientific consensus on global warming more than men do.

There, fixed that for you. Because there is no 'scientific consensus' on global warming.

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#3

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/29/2010 12:54 PM

What else do these findings tell you?

If the purpose of this study was to obtain "proof that men and women are different", then the researchers should also seek proof that ice is cold, the sun is hot, and bears really do what they do in the woods. Honestly, the first sentence in the blog entry is just silly.

Equating "scientific literacy" with adherence to "scientific consensus" is another gem. Was Galileo scientifically illiterate because he advanced the theory of heliocentrism? I think not. But back then, everyone just "knew" that the Earth was the center of the solar system. And if everyone thinks it's true, it must be true - right?

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/29/2010 1:24 PM

Honestly, the first sentence in the blog entry is just silly.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/29/2010 1:28 PM

A link to the MSU study would also have been nice.

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/29/2010 2:36 PM

Thanks. I liked the University of Archie Bunker comment.

Curious that they neglect to supply any actual data from the "study", the purported difference could be smaller than the statistical error margin for all we know.

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#11
In reply to #7

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 7:48 AM

What are you talking about? The difference is huge.

2 out of the 3 women tested accept global warming while only 1 out of the 3 men do.

That's 33%!

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 9:12 AM

And exactly where did you get those numbers?

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#23
In reply to #11

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 6:07 PM

If they only asked 6 people that could have gone any way.

How many people were asked?

Were were they from?

What was their level of education?

Don't gorget that statistics can be made to support anything from the raw data. This is why the politicians use them.

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#17
In reply to #3

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 12:01 PM

Exactly. The acceptance of scientific consensus shows a substantial failure at the rudimentary level of understanding of science. Scientific understanding is not about a belief in the consensus of others, but rather rational proof through a logic based argument that can be tested and not disproven repeatedly through experimental testing. This seems to further demonstrate how the biological "sciences" fail due to a lack of understanding of the core requirements of scientific method. They just seem to constantly throw poorly substantiated ideas out and expect acceptance because they claim they are "scientific".

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#6

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/29/2010 2:05 PM

Vive la différence! (As if that told us something we didn't already know.)

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#8

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/29/2010 5:24 PM

What else do these findings tell me?

Well from the actual article linked above, I don't get any "proof that men and women are different" ???? The actual quote from the study is "...the gender divide likely is explained by "gender socialization." "

and " The findings also reinforce past research that suggests women lack confidence in their science comprehension. "Here is yet another study finding that women underestimate their scientific knowledge – a troubling pattern that inhibits many young women from pursuing scientific careers," McCright said. "

The rate of agreement with scientific consensus is obviously not "scientific literacy" if the respondents lack scientific education and confidence in their science comprehension.

Bad choice of terms by the author of the study, and poorly used here to suggest some 'biological determinist' proof has been obtained.

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#9

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 1:17 AM

It is wrong to use the words "scientific" and "consensus" in the same sentence.

Science doesn't work by counting noses, negotiating and working out an agreement; it works by constantly questioning and revising, and it is as possible for one scientist to be right and thousands wrong as the reverse.

In other words, as soon as the IPCC declared that the "science" of Global Warming was "settled," all my doubts were dispelled. I knew it was a lie.

Whether a woman is more likely to accept the fallacy of consensual science than a man is, is something that I am not qualified to determine, and this article won't help me. I would like to know the details of the protocols that these researchers used in reaching that conclusion. That is how science works.

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#10

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 3:04 AM

"(Women) tend to accept the scientific consensus (sic) on global warming more than men do" indicates that women are more gullible than men, not that they are more scientifically literate. If they were really scientifically literate, they would know that science is about EVIDENCE, not consensus. As Michael Crichton put it:

''Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled."

Need I say that the evidence against anthropogenic global warming is overwhelming? See for instance

http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/climate-change/mcclintock-proofnotco2-2009.pdf

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 7:59 AM

Ha, you are funny! That article was written by a farmer and only used the last 140 years of data.

First, look at this. This illustrates what I think of all of the naysayers.

Second, watch this video and review the credentials of Richard Alley. Here is the wiki on him for your convenience.

Back to the subject of the thread. And we the taxpayers paid for this study. What will they think to study next? (rhetorical) I also think they need to present all of the parameters used in this study.

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#13

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 8:03 AM

Do we really need a sociologist to tell us something we already know!

As far as women being less scientifically literate maybe the greater number of women have other things that appeal to their interest.

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#15

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 11:48 AM

When you read the study you realize that the study is not talking about women being more scientifically astute, as skepticism is at the core of the scientific method, towards the end it mentions that they are more in line with the accepted envrionmental warming communities belief system. In essence they have more faith, and lack the skepticism ( a necessary quality of science). This does not demonstrate scientific understanding, just that they believe what they are told as long as it is told from a perspective that ties in to those core systems they are stronger in, attachment, empathy and caring. As I understood the scientific method, emotional based belief systems are incompatible with good science, as it leads to false beliefs and hopes lacking substantiation. A better demonstration of their understanding of science is not how their veiws reflect those of some psuedo-scientific studies and political advertisements, but more of how they can provide evidence to support a core strongly demonstrated set of scientific principles, e.g the Photoelectic effect or Maxwell's equations maybe. What this seems to demonstrate is women's susceptibility to a belief/faith system as long as they are presented with some authority. This actually is very disconcerting, it is bad enough that there are people who believe the earth may have been created about 7,000 years ago because a priest told them half a millenia ago that is what he calculated from the bible. You should always be suspicious of any claims even if they are "science" until they can provide a rational proof, and sufficient experimental evidence provided that tests the "scientific theory" and does not disprove it.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 11:59 AM

"This does not demonstrate scientific understanding, just that they believe what they are told as long as it is told from a perspective that ties in to those core systems they are stronger in, attachment, empathy and caring."

That depends on whether or not you believe global warming is real.

Apparently W. Bush didn't believe in science. Does that make him a man among men?

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 12:34 PM

I have a degree in chemistry, so if I classify every comment or random conjecture I make under the word "science" do you believe it? A lack of Belief in "science" is either extremely scientifically astute or ignorant. Afterall, no one is actually supposed to believe in "science", otherwise it is just a fancy word for a religion (and the way this sociologist has described it, women have a much stronger faith in an organized religious cult based around the word). Ideally, you are supposed to review the rational proof for theories and experimental testing, and then based on that information accept a theory as reasonably representative of the mechanics of the systems to which it may be applied or not. You can believe in the validity of a theory based on the consensus of people you feel are more qualified than you are, but then you are just taking someones word for it and are actually still ignorant of the science, and belief in "science" in general is just a complete ignorance. It has nothing to do with Global warming, as most of that topic is just a bunch of contradictory conjecture about things beyond the realm of science. Afterall current geologic evidence seems to support that the earth was much much warmer prior to the current period of ice ages of the last 1 million years than it is now, and was actually much warmer during one of the interglacial periods in the distant past. There is nothing to support the apocalypse theorists, except their unsubstantiated fears. The earth's surface environment routinely goes through warming and cooling cycles, and obviously that trend is influenced by the ecosystems on the surface. Since the geologist studying these ancient climates are not funded by political interests seeking elections, they have less inherent bias. Plus it never helps supoort conjecture when secret discourses on how to cook the books as it were in presenting data is publicized. Science is supposed to present all the data and then attempt to explain the reasoning for excluding outliers, what the cause of the outliers may be outliers, and how they have no bearing on the scientific theory.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 2:26 PM

Wow, I really hope you caught my sarcasm. I wasn't trying to argue with you at all.

And I made that comment about our former president because I recently heard the current one make a similar statement.

The problem is global warming is that it's politically driven instead of scientific. I've seen equal amounts of data supporting both sides so I think that we aren't exactly sure what causes global warming.

However, it is funny that when we have international conventions to discuss global warming, all of the "leaders" from around the world take their private jets. I guess leading by example is not part of their job.

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 5:40 PM

Oh no, sorry, I did catch the sarcasm. I was just trying to clarify more along the lines that the current apocalyptic forecasting is more political than scientific, grandstanding in essence for news and political interests. There is some good data, also probably questionable data. However, the way they process the data has lead to some highly questionable practices meant present that data to support political and entertainment agendas to sway public focus, attention and funding. Really not the way a "scientific" community is supposed to behave. It is just a nasty quagmire, and really reminds me of that story from Kenya, I believe, where a lady lost her ring in a big open pit septic lagoon for the local out-houses, she convinced something like 30 different people one after the other to dive in for something like $12 US to recover her ring, and they would die from the ammonia vapors. Yes there may be a few diamond rings in there but everything else smells like rotting feces.

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#20

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 2:52 PM

What else do these findings tell you?

Hrm. Let me answer the opposite first. What do these findings NOT tell me?

These findings do not tell me that every person is different and that someone's gender does not make them automatically one way or another. These findings do not tell me that generalizations about anyone based upon their physical being does not get you anywhere near to finding truth. These findings do not tell me which gender is more scientifically literate (Who cares? What good will come of it?). These findings don't tell me why women are more likely to accept global warming than men (Does it really even matter? -- It is what it is and will change because beliefs change.).

What do these findings tell me? Michigan State University needs to think of better things to research than gender tendencies.

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#22
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Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

09/30/2010 5:47 PM

Obviously, though there is more money in researching gender tendencies, especially from the perspective of industries such as cosmetics and clothing which are driven by a huge majority through these female generalizations, as well as politics which depend catering to the majority of each special interest groups for vote. Yes they are generalizations, but in a democracy it doesn't matter if it is a majority of a group or the entire group, as the majority is what will count. Similarly in a open market with no restriction on marketing, it is more about the substantial majority of the buyers, not the few that differ.

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

10/01/2010 8:02 AM

What you say is true for those industries. The information though comes from a gentleman that does none of those. His sole work in being done on people acceptance of climate change. Maybe money coming from big business and the government. Looking acceptance on which ever way the need to go.

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#25
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Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

10/01/2010 4:31 PM

Oh well there may be much more money from public sources involved in climate change than either of those other industries, which involves substantially swaying political interests. Politics is even more interested in how to obtain the greatest number of votes for their marketing efforts, and climate change is all about political advocacies and huge amounts of money on both sides, as well as the varied interests of numerous industries that want to position themselves for financial benefits through promoting or obstructing a variety of regulatory controls, and related loopholes. It is all about how to position themselves, market their interests, and align for future market changes. Afterall it is a fluff study anyways, not like he had a panel of nobel laureate chemists and physicist reviewing the subject for their scientific comprehension. He compared peoples comments regarding topics to those of climate change "scientists" many of whose beliefs are accepted by their climate change peers and still highly questionable amongst the scientific community. This study is really meant to reflect the difference in genders sound bites type knowledge or actually belief, advertisement.

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#26

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

10/04/2010 11:22 AM

What does this article tell me? I don't know because I couldn't click on a link that took me to the article. Maybe I missed it somehow.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

10/04/2010 11:25 AM

Now. Without having read the article I have trouble with the first phrase - "Finally, proof..."

Gender differences have been reported on for decades. You'd have to be living under a rock to not have seen articles like these for years.

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#28

Re: Science Heats Up the Gender Divide

10/11/2010 12:05 PM

The herding instinct, and enforcement of conformity, might be stronger in women than in men. That might be science, although not a breakthrough discovery. "Implications for the way policymakers and scientists communicate about climate change with the public" suggests that the study belongs to the black art of "political science," and that the policymakers and scientists are not sincere.

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