Thursday, September 29, 2011

Go along to get along, ladies

A post where OneSTDV asserted that women, credulous creatures that they be, are largely to blame for the medical industrial complex and social hypochondria (his phrases) made me wonder what the GSS has to tell us about sex differences on questions relating to the willingness to speak openly without regard to the sacred cows that may be impaled as a consequence, personal health, and what Half Sigma deems the Gaia Cult. I didn't make the time to investigate at the time. Ah well, better late than never.

When it comes to rocking the boat by making provocative statements, women are more inclined towards biting their tongues for the sake of social harmony than men are. The GSS posed the following question: "Some people think that it's important to stand up for your own opinion even if it makes others around you uncomfortable. Others think that it's better to keep your views to yourself if they would make others around you uncomfortable. Which position comes closer to your view?" While 44.2% of women said it was better to keep views to oneself, only 35.4% of men did.

Parenthetically, ideals and actions are not in perfect alignment here. A slim majority of women and a sizable majority of men claim to think it is better for a person to be honest than accommodating, yet the people who actually put this into practice when the issue is something combustible like racial differences in intelligence constitute a tiny minority, at least when in public.

Gauging sex differences in susceptibility to what OneSTDV describes as Big Pharma's attempt to scare people into taking psychiatric drugs for a motley mix of symptoms including headaches, insomnia, fatigue, backache, dizziness, lightheadedness, and low appetite that might be symptomatic of depression is a little tricky because what the survey provides in width, it lacks in depth. It is rare for the questions to reach the necessary level of complexity.

I found one that comes reasonably close to getting after what we want, though. It asks respondents how likely they would be to take doctor-prescribed psychiatric medication because they are feeling depressed, having trouble falling asleep and concentrating, and feeling worthless. Among men, 40.8% reported being either somewhat or very likely to take the drug, while 48.6% of women did.

As for the Gaia Cult, most of the iconoclastic views are held by men, as 38.1% of them agree or strongly agree with the statement that "many of the claims about environmental threats are exaggerated," compared to 28.1% of women.

This is hardly a novelty. Men are consistently more skeptical of sacred claims than women are, and Gaia worship is vying with diversity for becoming the official religion of the Western world. To determine what a society holds sacred, simply find out what is utterly closed to questioning of any kind. It's not Christianity, which is certainly not above reproach. By branding CAGW skeptics the new racists, Al Gore is opening the divine door to both the Gaia Cult and diversity by grouping together those who question the holiness of either of them.

GSS variables used: SEX(1)(2), STANDUP(1-2), GRNEXAGG, PSYCMED3


The_King said...

Also you have to take into account the possibility of escalation from verbal argument into a physical conflict. Women have more to lose in terms of eggs and reproductive health when they are in a physical confrontation, they also tend to be smaller and less experienced when it comes to fights. It would make sense from a biological and social perspective for women to defuse conflicts through verbal negotiation instead of physical dominance displays.

There has been studies that correlates non-violence with higher IQ, thus is it a coincidence that lower IQ individuals tend to settle disputes with swords instead of pens?

Ed Tom Kowalsky said...


It may also be true that "very smarts" tend to be weedy, pasty-skinned ectomorphs who wouldn't fare well in a scrap. This could account for their preference of the pen over the sword. Put another way, diplomacy is not necessarily the intellectual's way out, it may just be the coward's solution.

The_King said...

@Ed Tom Kowalsky

You really should give the political elite more credit. The true smarts or intellectuals will create a social system where the lower IQ brutes are forced into "virtual slavery" through "voluntary" military service, debt repayment and poverty?

Why take the risk and fight yourself when you can hire body guards, military and police to do all the physical work for you? Smarts have enough financial resources to always rent professional muscle among other things.

Women tend to do it on a smaller scale, since its their biological imperative and ingrained into their reproductive survival strategy. In Richard Dawkin's selfish gene, there was a study that proved that women focus on communication and gossip to identify worthy males and gain support/backup to deter potential physical threats.