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Posts I've Made
01.03.2013 @ 00:22@Babli
I watched the videos you posted, the documentary was quite entertaining I have to say. It was really funny to see the social scientists squirm when presented with the studies. As someone remarked, social science will always be based on some theory of human nature, but why does it have to be based on theories that are couple of hundred years obsolete?
But that's not the point and if you're trying to convince me that men and women are biologically different, then you're barking up the wrong tree. I'm convinced. On a side note, I would recommend Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate as a thorough debunking of the blank slate-based theories.
Back to our discussion, the question is not whether men and women are biologically different, the question is rather, do biological differences account for the gap that we see in fields like software engineering or game development (or nursing). And, as I said before, I'm skeptical for several reasons.
First, the historical precedent. As I wrote before, every time women tried to enter a field, there was an outcry of protest, usually pointing out some biological differences and claiming that they prevent women from performing adequately. And so far, most of them (if not all) proven to be false. Which basically shows us that there are many possible ways of performing most jobs and conversely that it is pretty hard to convincingly connect any mental or personal trait with a job skill.
The second reason is pretty much what was mentioned by the Scottish evolutionary psychologist in the video you linked. For most (all?) traits there is a huge overlap between the sexes. It's not like each and every guy is a faster runner that all the women in the world. And the same goes for mental abilities and personality traits as well. Studies show that the performance gap between male and female long distance runners is approx. 11%. Interestingly enough, the differences shown in the Baron-Cohen study discussed in the video are actually in the similar range (~10% preference for faces in girls, ~20% preference for mobiles in boys).
So the question is if the differences seem to be roughly in the 15% range, why are certain fields almost exclusively male (or female)? Shouldn't we expect the similar range? Why are we getting a significantly larger differences?
One can expect a larger than predicted discrepancy in very exclusive, elite fields. If we're looking for the fastest 1000 runners in the population of 7 billion, they will likely be all men. However neither software engineering nor game development (or nursing) are that elite. So where does the difference come from?
If I were to speculate I would posit that the social nature of humans serves as an amplifier of innate differences. Once a majority in a neutral field gets established, it tends to get bigger, eventually creating and perpetuating the notion that the field is inherently male (or female). And then we get the situation like the game industry today. And that would also mean that we can reverse this process. If we manage to combat the associated social prejudice, we can narrow the gap to what's dictated by the biology. Which, if you ask me, is probably in the seemingly standard range of 20% or so.
The game industry still has a long way to go, it seems.
As far the other video goes, I'm not sure what's the outrage about. The notion that one has to stop and think before saying something does not strike me as an outlandish requirement. Not when applied to people older than 5 years of age anyway. Perhaps it is sad that a country has to pass laws to force its people to be polite, but oh well.
I guess we can argue the wisdom of legislating savoir vivre, but a demand that people are not assholes is reasonable in my book.
23.02.2013 @ 19:35I consolidated (and somewhat mangled) the quotes here, I hope it's still readable.
Costin Moroianu said:Wage gap = / = salaries. It's more then just that and you can't say based on that statistic that women are paid less in salaries then men.
That on the whole economy women might make less money then men is a different story. It has to account for hours worked, for what jobs are taken and so on.
And my earnings and/or my family's earnings are none of your bloody business.
A company should not be forced to hire women just to meet some stupid percentage, that leads to very bad businesses because it can very well lead to people being hired just to meet that percentage rather then on their skill. ›››
First, about the wage gap. As far as I know this kind of statistics control for variables like this. So it's not likely that they conclude a wage gap exists by comparing the salary of a female janitor with a male CEO. To be entirely honest, controlling for variables is so standard that I didn't even check whether the Eurostat data does it. Any indication that it does not?
As far as my bloody business is concerned, I wasn't asking for a disclosure, I was merely proposing that whoever thinks a 9% gap is not a problem should not have any difficulty parting with 9% of their yearly income (a month's worth, roughly). So instead of information I was hoping to receive some cold, hard cash. I could use it.
And finally, I'm not advocating any kind of quota here. I am however tempted to ask questions. If a company hires based on merit alone, why the results are so overwhelmingly male?
Which leads us to...
Babli said:"One of the best studies on the wage gap was released in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Labor. It examined more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and concluded that the 23-cent wage gap "may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers."
In this case: Maybe there are not enough women in the IT business now because they weren't interested/able to work in this field 5 to 10 years ago? ›››
In other words, one possibility is that women simply don't want to be software engineers/game developers/computer scientists/etc. Which again prompts me to ask why? If an individual makes a choice to avoid IT industry, that's perfectly understandable, but this kind of mass avoidance gets my statistical senses tingling. What, is XX chromosome pair somehow incompatible with x86 architecture?
We just have to agree to disagree, because this discussion will lead just to further disagreements and I have things to do. "Try harder" is in my mind exactly what needs to be said. I am against any special treatment.
tumblr feminist level of complaints are just laughable. But you are missing my point here. But thats not really relevant to this anyway. ›››
Well, in my experience Internet debates are rarely conducted with a goal of convincing anyone, so lack of agreement should not be much of a deterrent. Anyway, "try harder" is always a good advice, but in order for it to work, the recipient has to be convinced that his or her hard work will bring results. If they believe that the deck is stacked against them then "try harder" is a short version of "why don't you waste more of your time on a pursuit in which you cannot succeed."
As far as complaints being laughable, maybe they are. But a brief look into the history of feminism reveals that pretty much every each one of their complaints was deemed laughable at the time. Women want to vote! Laughable! They want to apply for a loan without their husband permissions?! Ridiculous! Women doctors! Ha! And so on and so forth. Are you sure you're not standing in a long, sad line here?
22.02.2013 @ 16:35
Games were never so easy to make like these days. Single person, with no exceptional programming skills can make a game with proper tools that are out there. There is really no excuse for not doing it anymore. You just need to really want to do it.
Christine Love is good example. Her first game, Digital: A Love Story was great. I dont remember anyone giving her shitty reviews because she is a woman. Unfortunately, her next two games went full feminist and now she cant stop talk about sexism wherever she goes. And I dont want to see propaganda of any ideology in video games.
Well, you're pushing the same argument further and I'm afraid it's still suspect. Even if we do have a fair and level playing field right now (which things like #1reasonwhy put in doubt), to take advantage of it, you need skills/contacts/networks/etc that you acquired 5 or 10 years ago. And to get these you need to be inspired/persuaded/pushed/etc 10, 15 or 20 years ago. So even if the playing field is level right now, the past matters and you cannot just discount it with "try harder." How women were treated in companies 5 years back and in universities 10 years ago does have an effect now.
As far Christine Love complaints go, gee I wonder why she's complaining... maybe she finally get fed up with crap and decided to talk about it?
22.02.2013 @ 16:27
Costin Moroianu said:(...)
I'd be careful about using the term European. Now I dunno about France, Britain etc. but for Romania I do know there is no wage gap ( or if there is then it's small and not due to discrimination against the gender )...though considering how shit salaries are for everyone that's not saying much at all! ›››
Wiki disagrees. And Eurostat as well. To be fair, Romania is listed as having a commendably low wage gap of 9%, but it's only comforting until you realize that it is like losing one month's salary out of your yearly wages. If you think it's negligible, feel free to send me your (or your parents') February earnings.
22.02.2013 @ 16:27
freakie1one said:Did they draw attention to unequal treatment of women? When I read the article all I noticed was that they said there were only men doing the presentation. This isn't inequality. Just like it's not inequality when CDPR or any other company has male representatives. It's not an injustice to women to have male representatives. A company can choose whomever they wish to do their presentations, regardless of gender. It would be just as absurd to say they were being sexist towards men if they had all women do a presentation. Or that they were discriminating against Asians or the handicapped since there were none of those either.
Now if the article were to say something along the lines of "qualified woman was not allowed to do presentation due to her sex" then I'd definitely think that said woman was being treated unfairly. The article said no such thing. ›››
Well, you're absolutely right that a male representative is no worse than a female representative. Still, if we truly didn't care about the gender, we could expect to have a randomly varied selection. It's like tossing a coin. If you have a coin that persistently goes: head, head, head, head, ..., how many of these will it take before you start suspecting that the coin is not entirely fair?
As far as qualifications go, this just moves the question one step further. Why aren't there qualified women?