WisNeuro

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I've read the essay before. I guess my main problem is that he presents some research in a very simplistic way, when it's much more nuanced than that. I don't think he actually understands some of the sex difference literature in a meaningful way, he kind of just throws it in the essay in a haphazard way and it takes over any meaningful message he was trying to make. Honestly, for the most part, his suggestions are reasonable, but they get overshadowed. In short, his intro sucked and led to people not able to really read the discussion.
 

foreverbull

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Agree with Wisneuro. It's very reductive and oversimplistic. Anyone can argue anything and use articles and cherry-picked research to back up their claim. This author fails to cite research at all most of the time, though.

I tried to take this seriously on merits, but I find it to be a thinly-veiled argument for attacking "the left," tolerating institutionalized sexism, and ending diversity programming. Interesting that the author complains about confirmation bias of the left while citing some right-wing articles (this is one of his citations: The Real War on Science) and right-wing blogs (A Non-Feminist FAQ). The author falls prey to his own refutation points given that he is espousing an extreme view himself, although he tries to craft it as a non-extreme position. He also needs to cite some real research studies, because most of the citations are articles from magazines, books, blogs, or opinion pieces in scholarly journals.

I'm not understanding why the gender wage gap is a "myth" of the liberal left. Professionally, I have encountered sexism in my own work (finding out after the fact that a male colleague performing the same job was offered higher starting salary with with less education/experience than me and given a higher holiday bonus after less time with the company) and can personally refute the claim that for the same work, women are paid the same. Where are the research studies to show that my experience is rare and back up his claim (other than the book he cites)?

I agree that more discussion is a good step for everyone, because people can be highly polarized on both sides of an issue. But to dismiss the entire argument for institutional support to rectify systematic gender/race bias seems like a huge overstatement when we have a solid body of research to back up the existence of institutional bias, implicit bias, stereotype threat, etc. And further, to argue that we need less empathy to make decisions is rich, given that this author is unable to empathize with an entire group of people (the "left" as he refers to them) and is trying to justify it. The argument against empathy is very reductive and oversimplifying the issue.

More broadly, is it the responsibility of Google to make a small group of sexist/racist workers feel "psychologically safe" at the cost of the psychological safety of everyone else who doesn't feel safe if these workers make racist/sexist comments in the workplace? This is a hot topic currently, but it makes me wonder if Google should be held responsible for and punished for being choosy about their workforce in terms of workers' ideologies and values. Does Google have the right to choose a workforce with shared values and to fire those who don't espouse those values? Just food for thought.
 
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PsyDr

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I'm not understanding why the gender wage gap is a "myth" of the liberal left. Professionally, I have encountered sexism in my own work (finding out after the fact that a male colleague performing the same job was offered higher starting salary with with less education/experience than me and given a higher holiday bonus after less time with the company) and can personally refute the claim that for the same work, women are paid the same. Where are the research studies to show that my experience is rare and back up his claim (other than the book he cites)?.
I'm sure you see the irony in providing anecdotal evidence and then demanding scientific refutation.

The wage gap debate is one of statistics. The 77-79 cents thing is based off of total group income females vs males. The detractors point out that when one reduces income to hourly pay by profession, the gap disappears or becomes substantially smaller. The details start getting pretty dicey, with the wage gap being 4 cents for unmarried women and there being some evidence that in some industries female executives make more than their male peers, and comparing incomes between very different professions. Some of the more nuanced responses are pretty interesting, with discussions about the impact of time off for child rearing having an effect on income and while society benefits (i.e., the entire emotional work not being compensated debate). The agreeableness factor also plays a role which is extremely interesting.

Discussing it is difficult. It's sorta like the Himmelstein article about medical bankruptcies. Idiots who haven't read it conclude that medical costs are a huge factor in bankruptcies. People who have actually read it see that the authors indicate that the leading cause of bankruptcy in their study is "income lost from being in the hospital" which is an issue about lack of disability insurance, and has nothing to do with medical costs. People who haven't are too emotionally invested in the narrative to have a meaningful discussion.
 
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foreverbull

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I'm sure you see the irony in providing anecdotal evidence and then demanding scientific refutation.

The wage gap debate is one of statistics. The 77-79 cents thing is based off of total group income females vs males. The detractors point out that when one reduces income to hourly pay by profession, the gap disappears or becomes substantially smaller. The details start getting pretty dicey, with the wage gap being 4 cents for unmarried women and there being some evidence that in some industries female executives make more than their male peers, and comparing incomes between very different professions. Some of the more nuanced responses are pretty interesting, with discussions about the impact of time off for child rearing having an effect on income and while society benefits (i.e., the entire emotional work not being compensated debate). The agreeableness factor also plays a role which is extremely interesting.

Discussing it is difficult. It's sorta like the Himmelstein article about medical bankruptcies. Idiots who haven't read it conclude that medical costs are a huge factor in bankruptcies. People who have actually read it see that the authors indicate that the leading cause of bankruptcy in their study is "income lost from being in the hospital" which is an issue about lack of disability insurance, and has nothing to do with medical costs. People who haven't are too emotionally invested in the narrative to have a meaningful discussion.
Sure, things are more complex than the author was portraying it as, which is exactly what I mentioned in the post in terms of the author oversimplifying it. And yes, I get the irony. Anecdotal evidence isn't necessarily the norm, but you can see how ridiculous one's claim starts to sound when you've had a personal experience that completely refutes one's point. Hence why I asked for sound research evidence rather than a book citation to provide evidence either indicating my experience may be a fluke or supporting that my experience happens commonly. I think that's a fair request. The wage gap is much more complex than simple numbers, clearly.

I'm more concerned about his overall choice to generally cite magazine articles, blogs, books, and opinion pieces. I think that speaks for itself.
 
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. Anecdotal evidence isn't necessarily the norm, but you can see how ridiculous one's claim starts to sound when you've had a personal experience that completely refutes one's point...
With all respect, as professionals we have a duty to present our opinions as such, and reject or change our opinions when the science goes against them. I understand the draw towards putting our experiences first, but studies are conglomerates of many people's experiences.
 

foreverbull

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With all respect, as professionals we have a duty to present our opinions as such, and reject or change our opinions when the science goes against them. I understand the draw towards putting our experiences first, but studies are conglomerates of many people's experiences.
Indeed, but I don't have access to the book the author cited, and thus was critical of the author's choice to cite a book rather than individual studies. I'm not arguing against evidence...when no direct evidence was presented for that argument in the first place. I'm simply saying that I'd like to see the studies that either support or disconfirm the uniqueness of my experience.
 
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I've read the essay before. I guess my main problem is that he presents some research in a very simplistic way, when it's much more nuanced than that. I don't think he actually understands some of the sex difference literature in a meaningful way, he kind of just throws it in the essay in a haphazard way and it takes over any meaningful message he was trying to make. Honestly, for the most part, his suggestions are reasonable, but they get overshadowed. In short, his intro sucked and led to people not able to really read the discussion.
My experience exactly. In fact, I read the intro and then clicked back here to see if I could get the "cliffnotes" version instead because I was already bored.
 
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My thoughts:

If there are inherent sex differences of in personality traits that are associated with income, programs that ameliorate the outcomes of these differences would benefit all other factors are equal or equitable.

If intellectual diversity benefits a company, fostering ideological differences would be preferable.

In an intellectual field, there has to be a balance with C and O.
 

WisNeuro

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My thoughts:

If there are inherent sex differences of in personality traits that are associated with income, programs that ameliorate the outcomes of these differences would benefit all other factors are equal or equitable.

If intellectual diversity benefits a company, fostering ideological differences would be preferable.

In an intellectual field, there has to be a balance with C and O.
Where the dude went wrong was a misunderstanding on overlap of these traits. The traits measured are not binary "got it or don't" variables. They all exist on a continuum, and there is a considerable amount of overlap. This is just one of the biggest things he either does not understand, or does a very poor job in conveying.

I'm on board with you that the gender wage gap discussion is biased. Both sides cherry pick either portions of data, or altogether flawed data to bolster their argument. We're mostly likely somewhere in between 77 cents and complete parity. I kind of see that issue as a miasma anyway. There are much better examples of systemic misogyny than that in the US.
 
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Where the dude went wrong was a misunderstanding on overlap of these traits. The traits measured are not binary "got it or don't" variables. They all exist on a continuum, and there is a considerable amount of overlap. This is just one of the biggest things he either does not understand, or does a very poor job in conveying.

I'm on board with you that the gender wage gap discussion is biased. Both sides cherry pick either portions of data, or altogether flawed data to bolster their argument. We're mostly likely somewhere in between 77 cents and complete parity. I kind of see that issue as a miasma anyway. There are much better examples of systemic misogyny than that in the US.
Using categorical thinking when analyzing dimensional traits leads to flawed conclusions or at least that's what I am teaching my undergrad Abnormal Psych class.

Gender wage disparity is something to examine as we continue to have more female than male psychologists. I think the miasma arises because it is just difficult to find more scientific appraisals of the dynamics as opposed to political opinion masquerading as such.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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... it is just difficult to find more scientific appraisals of the dynamics as opposed to political opinion masquerading as such.
I am shocked that politics is now masquerading as science. Science has always been the leading word on policy and public opinion. Someone should really say something about the pitfalls of this.

I mean....next thing you know politicians will be trying to argue things with alternative facts and will be trying to use smoke and mirrors in an attempt to refute things that 99% of scientists agree on. They will literally re-open an argument that was settled a decade or more ago; like a redo of a divorce bc they didn't like the results. Next thing you'll tell me is that vaccines are safe and these hurricanes aren't the Big Man In The Sky punishing us for watching and caring about the Kardashians.
 
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I think the entire idea of something being too emotional to study is a fairly interesting idea that seems more concentrated in social ills.
 
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