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THE BLOG

The Greater Male Variability Hypothesis – An Addendum to our post on the Google Memo

In this addendum we focus on the Greater Male Variability Hypothesis - the idea that men are more variable than women on a variety of abilities, interests, and personality traits - and the possibility that males are overrepresented in the upper and lower tails of such distributions.  This hypothesis was first proposed by Ellis over 100 years ago, in 1894.  It is also the hypothesis that Lawrence Summers was referring to in 2005 when, at the National Bureau of Economic Research Conference, he weighed in on the gender gap in STEM professions.

The Most Authoritative Review Paper on Gender Differences

By Sean Stevens (HxA Research Director) and Jonathan Haidt (HxA Director) This blog post is a supplement to our main post: The Google Memo: What Does the Research Say About Gender Differences? Please do read at least the introduction to that post before continuing. As we have scanned the literature to find the major meta-analyses..

The Google Memo: What Does the Research Say About Gender Differences?

The recent Google Memo on diversity, and the immediate firing of its author, James Damore, have raised a number of questions relevant to the mission of Heterodox Academy. Large corporations deal with many of the same issues that we wrestle with at universities, such as how to seek truth and achieve the kinds of diversity we want, being cognizant that we are tribal creatures often engaged in motivated reasoning, operating within organizations that are at risk of ideological polarization.

In this post, we address the central empirical claim of Damore’s memo, which is contained in its second sentence.

Book Review: Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus

  • James Anderson
  • July 21, 2017

Laura Kipnis does not care if you don’t appreciate her oppositional position – or her sense of humor. “Kiss my ass,” she states in the penultimate paragraph of the 34-page introduction to her new book, “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus.”

Her new book grabs readers’ attention in ways that cause both pleasure and discomfort. Perhaps not surprising, then, she is facing a gag order of sorts and a lawsuit filed by a graduate student at Northwestern University whom she writes about in the book.

The Fearless Speech Index: Who is afraid to speak, and why?

Norms about speech seem to be changing rapidly on many college campuses. Universities are offering or requiring training in recognizing “microaggressions,” and they are creating “bias response teams” to make it easy for students to report professors and fellow students who commit microaggressions. In response, many students and professors say they now feel like they are “walking on eggshells”, not just in the classroom but in informal interactions as well.

But how do we know that these changes are real? Might the stories just be a collection of anecdotes from a few disgruntled people who are over-reacting to being censured for a rude remark? Where is the data showing that students are afraid to speak their minds?

We know of no good survey to measure this phenomenon, so a group* of social scientists at Heterodox Academy created one – the Fearless Speech Index. This post explains the first draft of the survey and reports preliminary results obtained from an internet sample.

The Yale Problem Begins in High School

The Yale problem refers to an unfortunate feedback loop: Once you allow victimhood culture to spread on your campus, you can expect ever more anger from students representing victim groups, coupled with demands for a deeper institutional commitment to victimhood culture, which leads inexorably to more anger, more demands, and more commitment. But the Yale problem didn't start at Yale. It started in high school. As long as many of our elite prep schools are turning out students who have only known eggshells and anger, whose social cognition is limited to a single dimension of victims and victimizers, and who demand safe spaces and trigger warnings, it's hard to imagine how any university can open their minds and prepare them to converse respectfully with people who don't share their values. Especially when there are no adults around who don't share their values.