Is it sexist? My story

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Lucresia, Dec 12, 2019.

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  1. Konstantin

    Konstantin Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2016
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    Yeah, there aren't too many studies compared to other fields, because of the political agenda which you already said. But ALL studies which exist prove my point beyond the doubt and there is no real study to deny it. So until we have study to deny my claims - what I say is the position of science.

    Eh, everything I said is about the fact that gender and racial differences ARE real and there are countless studies about this topic. And that those differences have nothing to do with "discrimination" or "racism" or "sexism" and anyone has full right to mention them. Your point, on the other hand, is still unclear.

    Do you deny the existence of racial and gender differences? It would be an absurd thing to do. Everything you said is "oh, but there aren't enough credible studies and those that exist aren't approved by some organization which decides what studies are right and wrong". But to disapprove of any of my points you should link the studies which DENY any differences in said topics. Or, if we talk about homosexuality, studies that deny ANY correlation to biology and sexual orientation. You never linked ANY study to prove your point, because ALL studies which exist in the whole world are those that prove my point in every topic we talked about.

    Eh, very interesting claim and it is also close to the truth. But there is also the fact that human female is closer to chimpanzee female than human male is to chimpanzee female.
    But you do. It is how science works. If we know how the gravitation works on the Earth we can assume that it works the same way around the whole world and we can calculate things billions of light-years away from us. We even can calculate how things happen inside the black holes. And we can PREDICT existence of things we never ever measured. And, so far, it was successful more than once. It is strange that you can't understand the basics of science even after all the education you did for your profession. You don't need to measure each person to learn about sexual or racial differences, as long as the sample is random enough and big enough.

    Lol, there is no reason to do that, what is really important is the ability of a certain person which can be tested personally. On the contrary, in the modern western world, there are gender quotas and racial quotas. It means that as long as this quota wasn't met then you should accept women or people of certain races or even orientations even if they have an inferior resume and test results. The same way as women doesn't compete in Olympics against men, because if they did, then there would be only men (in 90% cases) who compete with each other. Now society tries to create similar environment in other fields.

    This is the real sexism of the modern world.
    Yeah, this difference would be too small to be significant. But in any of the studies I linked, the difference IS significantly big.
  2. lychee

    lychee [- slightly morbid fruit -] ❀[ 恋爱? ]❀

    Jul 22, 2017
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    We don't really have too many fundamental disagreements, but I think the main thing that continues to rub me the wrong way is that you have a tendency to overstate the data.

    There is a lack of "proof" or strong evidence, meaning there isn't an abundance of scientific evidence to take a conclusive stance as strongly worded as your own. Claiming that it is the "position of science" feels like a misrepresentation of the scientific community, because there's hardly any amount of consensus to this.

    I personally believe that sexuality is a product of both genetics and the environment, but speaking as a biologist I think there is insufficient evidence to definitively conclude or prove that this is the case. I keep saying this over and over, but causation (or proof) is never shown by association. A scientist needs to perturb the system (either through a randomized control trial) or through rigorous use of animal models to reach any level of evidence at a degree of evidence to be taken seriously at an academic level.

    I think if you are speaking on behalf of science, it's important to be transparent and clear about the true position of the scientific community, and avoid making broad sweeping generalizing conclusions based on weak evidence.

    I can name a lot of things that are hotly controversial in many areas of science. For instance, I study cellular receptors for bacterial pathogens. There is once intracellular receptor that is believed to directly bind lipopolysaccharide (a component of gram negative bacteria) to cause septic shock, and there are over a dozen high profile publications in support of this hypothesis. However, the scientific community is hotly contested over this subject, and I can name close to a same number of publications that contest this theory. Each of the papers have their own nuances, and well designed, have flaws, and test different things -- and the most objective evaluation that can be give at this time is that we don't know and the evidence is equivocal.

    I could cite all 14 publications on one side and present a talk claiming that one of the theories is true...

    ...But that would be a blatant misrepresentation of the scientific community to claim this.

    My feelings about many of these political-oriented studies is that I instinctively distrust them, and you should evaluate them with enhanced suspicions for many of the reasons that I stated. The scientific field itself isn't without bias, and scientific journals themselves are biased towards publishing positive results. Negative data is rarely published, and the concept of a p-score < 0.05 is centered along the statistical premise that the result obtained can observed from pure chance -- or inversely, 1 in 20 positive results should be expected due to pure chance.

    To be clear, I consider myself to be in support of LGBT rights, but I am always on heightened suspicion when I read scientific articles on this subject regardless if their conclusions support or reject LGBT values. For instance, a while ago I read a paper on fMRI scans of transgender brains -- and the conclusion was that transgender people appear to have different appearing brains than cisgender people -- but I'm not confident whether I believe the research or feel that the conclusions are robust. The associative nature of the study (combined with the use of fMRI, which in my honest opinion is a kind of modern-day phrenology) makes the overall weight of evidence weak for me.

    I've never been denying the presence of differences. Everything has differences and it's absurd to think that things don't have differences. I mean, everything has differences, and if you subdivide any population in any way, you will have statistically different differences whether you divide people by race, gender, income, or people who drink coca-cola versus pepsi.

    However, my argument is that all science has socio-political ramifications.

    People (e.g. politicians, advocates, Internet trolls) use science as ammunition for their political purposes.

    Or more critically, science and statistics can be misrepresented for the favor whoever's political purpose.

    Consequently, the emphasis of some differences are wholly unnecessary. To use an example that you previously made, there is no point to publish a paper titled "Black people have lower IQ", especially when you have observed that it is primarily driven by socioeconomic status. You are more objective and more accurate stating that "Lower socioeconomic status is associated with lower IQ", and you are less likely to provide ammunition for X, Y, or Z political motive.

    You're mixing up the use of inductive and deductive reasoning.

    Deductive reasoning is the primary method of scientific inquiry used at any experimental level.

    Inductive reasoning is used by theorists and to generate hypothesis.

    Let me demonstrate:

    A cat is a mammal.

    Mammals have mitochondria in their muscle cells.

    By deductive reasoning, a cat's muscles cells has mitochondria. This is provable.
    Here is induction:

    A cat has sharp fangs.

    A cat is a mammal.

    By inductive reasoning, you might hypothesize that all mammals have sharp fangs.

    However, it would turn out you are wrong when you check humans and realize humans don't have sharp fangs.​

    The theory of gravity is a theory. There is no deductive scientific inquiry that proves its existence, and at some point a theoretical physicist sat in a room and came up with the theory. With experimentation, you can test if the predictions made by theory are false or consistent, but you can never prove a theory. It is only possible to disprove one.

    In contrast, most biologists are focused on deductive reasoning, since it is provable.

    We delete genes (or proteins), add them back, and do various perturbations to prove that X is responsible for Y.

    Significance (p-value) actually has no relation to magnitude, and it says nothing about the magnitude. Significance is just a measure of the probability that this observation of observable due to pure chance. At a typical p-value cutoff of 0.05, this means that there is a 5% chance the results are present due to total chance (or pure garbage, in other words).

    At a greater sample size ( n ), there is greater power to detect significance differences of smaller magnitudes. Consequently, if you have a massive study of 5 million individuals, your study is powered to detect the small differences and call it "statistically significant" -- although the magnitude of the difference could be miniscule. Consequently, clinicians often use the term "clinical significance" to distinguish between "statistical significance".

    The magnitude of a difference is better captured by an odds ratio or effect size.

    If I recall correctly, the correlation coefficient of one of yours studies was about 0.63 (the big homosexuality MIT / 23andMe one). A correlation of 1 is perfect correlation. Let me give you some visualizations of different correlations:


    As you can see, a correlation of 1 or -1 is a straight line.

    In contrast, a correlation of 0.60 is a big blob that... kind of has a rough shape. A basic correlation calculation is also mathematically sensitive to outliers, so outliers will strongly contribute to the correlation coefficient that is calculation.

    How you want to interpret the results is up to you, but you can run this basic correlation test on virtually anything you want. The reality is that most scientists don't take it too seriously because, again, it's only an association. What does it even mean? It tells you nothing about the biology, and how confident are you in your results?
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
  3. Cascadian Rex

    Cascadian Rex Villain with a thousand faces | Lychee's rival

    Jun 16, 2018
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    *peeks in looks around*
    *goes to the restroom and refills popcorn*:blobpopcorn_cool:

    Oh hey! What’s up @Lucresia ? Are you learning lots from this?
    You... want to hear? You wanna hear what I think?:blobowoevil:

    *corners Lucreisa*:blobspearpeek:

    Well! you are going to hear it anyway! XD:blobtongue:

    If I understand correctly you wish to learn how to write, well… you know how to write, but are learning more about it, right?

    For that, here are some very fast and loose highlights in the history of literary studies.

    OK! WAYYYYYYY back, some point in time, authorship is akin to godhood, generally, when a book is saying something, it has meaning, it has representation. The author instils meanings into words that is accepted as common sense.

    If I wrote an adventure story that is set in a vegan society and that society is shown as Utopia.​

    At first, you can say, YOU REX is saying Utopia is built on veganism therefore vegan is good.

    I can then either say yea or no:

    That is correct the building blocks of good society IS vegan, I would not have put vegan in my story unless that is what I think. The reason there was conflict in the society of the story is because there are non-vegans!! Vegan is good, that’s what MY book has to say about the world

    No man, Vegan is terrible, sure the society is a “Utopia”, but is it still have conflict and drama still exist, in fact being a vegan society just created more conflict, vegans are bad, that’s what MY book has to say about the world​

    SO, we are saying these elements of the book are telling people something about the reality, This is the school of thought called structuralism… kinda... there is more to it... but...

    When an author writes a text, an adventure, or romance, for example, there is an underlying world, the world represented carried the intention of the author.

    BUT, this idea, this "fact" that the author exercises dissemination of meaning, using meaning hidden under an obvious adventure... this is challenged, this change is in the school of thought is know as Post-structuralism

    It is at this point, the idea the author is an agent that can make people receive meaning and ideas are doubted. And this comes in 2 part.

    the author could have a written whimsically, “vegan, fish eater, meat eater, I dun care”,
    there is no definitive way for someone to claim author intention to represent, an author may lie or claimed intent failed, due to incompetence, or claim success but in truth was a coincidence

    In the time of Post-structuralism, scholars have come to accept that the author is not the be-all and end-all of a book’s meaning. The reader can misinterpret… no, that is not the right word...the audience can interpret the work different to the author’s intent, a reader’s cultural background and context of which as an individual exist, influences how they receive that meaning. Making the audience an equal partnter in the books' "meaning"​

    For example:
    George A. Romero zombie movies were often used as studies by film-student, essays could be written about how Night of the Living Dead was a critique of Vietnam War and/or racism. Day of the Dead was a representation of Americans fear of socialism. Dawn of the Dead shows the effect of Consumerism, commercials and advertising etc etc​

    But ultimately when Romero was asked about how his film was studied and interpreted, he often just shrugged and said, “I just wanted to make zombie movies..” or “Naw, didn’t really think too much about it “ (paraphrasing)​

    This goes to show that the audience can make their own meaning with or without the author. At the same time, the work created exists and will not change, so there is is a limit to how divergent the representation may be. If you are interested there are some works talking about it mainly one by Rolan Barth called Death of the author.

    So what does the mean for you? Noting, nothing matters, the only thing that matter is you know this can happen.

    As an author, you are a vehicle of meaning. You create culture, you create jokes and make representations of the world.

    Your work after you write it will be as it is, a meaning, it is on some level influenced by how you see the world, you will mock things, and bully things you don’t like, or think it fun to do. You will praise some things you believe in, and show them in a positive light, That is part of you and you are part of your cultural influences, It shows in your work like a tell in a poker game.

    BUT whether the reader sees it as you see it that is a different story.

    And that is why learning how words generate meaning and how representation work is good (or pointless), Even if you know your readers will not always read your work the way you read it. You want to close that gap of difference as much as possible (or just don’t care about it)

    And learning to control that meaning, and have the meaning mean something to the world is how great works are born.

    That control, that mastery over meaning, that is the writer’s craft


    OK… let's go back to see @lychee and @Konstantin tear each other’s face off.:cookie::blobpopcorn::blob_coffee::blobpeek:
  4. asriu

    asriu Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2016
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    that classic example debate on science community
    cat A all data available prove my point! so my point is truth!
    cat B there no enuf data diversity so it flawed! my point is truth!

    Darwin propose a view about evolution then whole world goes to war~ even now

    really you see science community is similar with any community
    cat and dog kicking each other via anything
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  5. lychee

    lychee [- slightly morbid fruit -] ❀[ 恋爱? ]❀

    Jul 22, 2017
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    Oh, I have another analogy!

    If you go to a university, imagine sitting in front of you main campus lawn with a camera.

    Your objective is to determine the true demographics of your university. Your hypothesis may be that the true demographics can be obtained by using the camera to take a photo of the main lawn, and then count the number of people of a certain demographic in the photo.

    The camera is sort of like an experimental method.

    The photo is sort of like the results of one study (e.g. one GWAS paper).

    The null hypothesis may be that there are equal numbers of male and female students who attend your university. In fact, maybe the dean of admissions told you that the true ratio is 51-49% but for some reason you don't believe the dean's words.

    Consequently, at noon on a random weekday, you decide to take one photo of the main campus lawn.

    You would be surprised, but more often than not, your statistical test will demonstrate something you didn't expect. For instance, perhaps the gender ratio you observe is 70-30%, and this is statistically significant. Or perhaps you observe a greater frequency of younger people than expected, or a greater number of people of ethnicity Z.

    Anybody with any amount of common sense would say that you need to repeat these observations.

    Perhaps try observations at different locations on campus.

    Or maybe at different times.

    However, what do you do when a single GWAS study in real life costs around $10 million USD per photo? How many photos can you realistically take?

    Scientists approach the world as a black box. They have no understanding of the real state of things, and many things aren't visible to the human eye. The entire process of science is to make a perturbation, an observation, and a judgement based on the messy information that is obtained.

    It may turn out after making dozens of observations and publications, that for some reason the observed gender ratio is still 70-30%

    Can you still conclude that the true gender ratio of the university is 70-30%? Even though the dean of admissions told you that the value is 51-49%? Or maybe you were missing something?

    Like perhaps your institution has an engineering school, which is 80% male students. The engineering school has high coursework requirements, so many of the engineering students don't have much time to spend outside. Consequently, taking photos of the main campus lawn under-represents the true population of engineering students.

    This type of thing happens... with nearly everything. Many things are more complicated than the simplistic way someone might view the world.

    Consequently, my point is that every test is fallible. It's important not to overstate what your data shows, and don't exaggerate the conclusions beyond the boundaries of your experiment. If you experiment showed there were statistically significant more women on the main campus lawn at noon on a Monday during the regular school year in 2019, that's exactly what your paper should say. Don't try to say that your school admitted a greater frequency of women compared to men, because your data doesn't show that, and you're misleading people by arguing that.
    Cascadian Rex likes this.
  6. BoredNovelFinder

    BoredNovelFinder Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2018
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    AMissingLinguist and lychee like this.
  7. Westeller

    Westeller 『I'm Home!』 Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2016
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    Do not tag staff members like this - at least not so many of them. Use the 'Report' link at the bottom of any post.

    But, yeah. Looking at the past few replies I think this thread has gotten way off topic, and NUF is decidedly not the place to argue nature vs nurture with regards to a person's sexuality.
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