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Monday, December 08, 2014

Links - 8th December 2014

Context Effects on Women’s Perceptions of Stranger Harassment - "harassment by younger and attractive men is viewed as less harassing"

Everyday stranger harassment - "particularly young women may not view stranger harassment as a completely negative experience. In concert, the findings suggest that stranger harassment may have both direct and indirect negative effects on women's lives, but that its construal may sometimes be positive, and that it is a complex phenomenon worthy of future research."

When Contact Correlates with Prejudice: Adolescents’ Romantic Relationship Experience Predicts Greater Benevolent Sexism in Boys and Hostile Sexism in Girls - Springer - "Consistent with prior research, age predicted less sexist beliefs. Controlling for the effects of age, relationship experience predicted increased hostile sexism in girls and increased benevolent sexism in boys. Additionally, younger boys (12–14 years) with greater relationship experience tended to endorse hostile sexism more strongly. The general decline in sexism over the course of adolescence masks a contrasting effect of romantic experience, which suggests that heterosexual adolescents’ desire to attract romantic partners may foster, rather than reduce, sexism."

THE F WORD: IS FEMINISM INCOMPATIBLE WITH BEAUTY AND ROMANCE? - "Three studies examined the predictive utility of heterosexual relationship concerns vis-a-vis support for feminism. Study 1 showed that beauty is perceived to be at odds with feminism, for both genders. The stereotype that feminists are unattractive was robust, but fully accounted for by romance-related attributions. Moreover, more attractive female participants (using self-ratings) showed decreased feminist orientations, compared with less attractive counterparts. Study 2 compared romantic conflict with the lesbian feminist stereotype and found more support for romantic conflict as a negative predictor of support for feminism and women’s civil rights. Study 3 showed that beliefs about an incompatibility between feminism and sexual harmony negatively predicted support for feminism and women’s civil rights."
So feminists are ugly

Sex ratio and women's career choice: does a scarcity of men lead women to choose briefcase over baby? - "Although the ratio of males to females in a population is known to influence behavior in nonhuman animals, little is known about how sex ratio influences human behavior. We propose that sex ratio affects women's family planning and career choices. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences women's career aspirations. Findings showed that a scarcity of men led women to seek high-paying careers and to delay starting a family. This effect was driven by how sex ratio altered the mating market, not just the job market. Sex ratios involving a scarcity of men led women to seek lucrative careers because of the difficulty women have in finding an investing, long-term mate under such circumstances. Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate. These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby... Our central prediction was that a scarcity of men would lead low mate-value women in particular to seek financial rewards in their careers. Supporting this prediction, there was a significant interaction between sex ratio and mate value"

The Financial Consequences of Too Many Men: Sex Ratio Effects on Saving, Borrowing, and Spending - "The ratio of males to females in a population is an important factor in determining behavior in animals. We propose that sex ratio also has pervasive effects in humans, such as by influencing economic decisions. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences saving, borrowing, and spending in the United States. Findings show that male-biased sex ratios (an abundance of men) lead men to discount the future and desire immediate rewards. Male-biased sex ratios decreased men’s desire to save for the future and increased their willingness to incur debt for immediate expenditures. Sex ratio appears to influence behavior by increasing the intensity of same-sex competition for mates. Accordingly, a scarcity of women led people to expect men to spend more money during courtship, such as by paying more for engagement rings. These findings demonstrate experimentally that sex ratio influences human decision making in ways consistent with evolutionary biological theory. Implications for sex ratio effects across cultures are discussed."

Feminism is in danger of becoming toxic - "Many would hail this as a feminist victory: a big-name scientist apologising on TV and being reduced to tears for his apparent sexism. We must have come a long way to wield so much influence. But there’s another way of seeing it. As less of a victory, more of a sign of a shift in feminist tactics. Instead of attacking the root cause of women’s inequality, we’ve moved towards the vilification of individuals... The current climate of McCarthyism within some segments of feminism and the left is so ingrained and toxic that there are active attempts to outlaw some views because they cause offence. Petitions against individuals appear to be a recent substitute for political action towards the root causes of misogyny and other social ills. Petitions have taken over politics... The “ban this sick filth” approach is starting to look more like censorship than progressive politics. Political protest and heated debate has been replaced with a witch-hunt mentality... Moral superiority and “call out” culture has trumped political activism. "
When even Julie Bindel disapproves of modern feminism, you know something is up
Comment: "Nowadays it seems people are less concerned about achieving actual change for the better of all, and more with competing for the sense of intellectual self-satisfaction that comes from "beating" whoever they have cast as their "opponent" (whether they wish to be or not).
Discussion and activism has been replaced with a series of 140-character competitions for imaginary trophies of outrage, or the chance to be crowned "biggest victim".

It's Time To Push Back Against Feminist Bullies - "I know when bullies are picking on you, you might want to just get them to go away. You might think that cowering to their demands and offering a weepy testament of their superiority is a good way to go about this. You give them your lunch, they go away. You know the drill. And it may well be a good idea in the short-term. But if you care about how such acquiescing enables further bullying, you can’t do it. Time’s managing editor and Dr. Taylor made a mistake by apologizing. So has everyone else who has ever been forced to apologize for things that were either no big deal or not in any way wrong. What both should have done was tell people to grow up and gain some perspective. To stop obsessively whining about imagined slights and to cease being in a constant state of offense. Apologizing for offense used to be a great idea when people didn’t get offended by every single thing happening on the planet... Some of the people most worried about feminist bullies are women. That’s because we suffer from the image they project of women being perpetual victims. And not just perpetual victims but frail little things unable to handle cartoon images of scantily clad women. In my list of things in life that have been tough, I’d rank roughly everything before “seeing a really cool guy wearing a shirt”... It’s not just women who are hurt by feminist bullies. Everyone is. That’s because human relationships are harmed in the toxic outrage culture... No offense (or be offended, I don’t care) but people with gender studies degrees don’t land spacecraft on flying comets. They frequently detract from same with endless pointless conversations about imagined grievances... we live in a culture where third-wave feminists engage in “slut walks” to send the message that nobody should be judged by what they wear. And yet if you make cartoons of the very same things these women wear on slut walks and put them on a shirt, that’s “ruining the comet landing”? That doesn’t even make sense... It honestly may have always been this way, but there’s no disputing that right now American feminism is a tangled mess of double standards, Puritanical policing of men’s behavior, fascist speech codes, and petty grievances. It’s in a state of constant outrage. In a Q&A with the Wall Street Journal last week — before #ShirtStorm broke — Taylor was asked if his sleeves of tattoos had hurt his success. He said, “The people I work with don’t judge me by my looks but the work that I have done and can do. Simple.” Taylor is lucky he works with scientists who judge him by his work and not his appearance. Let’s all aspire to such behavior and finally help feminist bullies learn to do the same. There are many reasons why the vast majority of Americans do not identify as feminist. Feminism has its own problems. But the one thing most of us should be able to agree on is that feminist bullies are damaging civil society. We must stand up to them if we don’t want them to harm it any further. We shouldn’t be bossed around by people who constantly whine, manufacture outrage and offense, and cull the internet for things to be upset about."

Georgia State tries new approach to attract more female students to philosophy @insidehighered - "Starting next year, graduate students teaching introductory-level courses in philosophy at Georgia State, who teach about half of all such sections offered, will use syllabuses that include at least 20 percent women philosophers. That's at least double the number included on most syllabuses for the course at the university... Women generally found the course less enjoyable, and the material less interesting and relevant to their lives, than their male counterparts. They also felt they had less in common with philosophy majors or instructors and felt less able and likely to succeed in philosophy. They reported being less likely to enroll in more advanced philosophy courses or major in the discipline, and were likelier to disagree that the syllabus included a fair proportion of women authors. (Women were no more likely to report that class conversations were aggressive, or to anticipate lower grades, however)... Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, a group that advocates for a rigorous curriculum and opposes many affirmative action efforts, disagreed with the idea, calling it “on its surface, rather anti-intellectual.” Philosophy is normally taught historically and thematically, he said, and “it’s hard to imagine a grid which considers the gender of the author as relevant to either of those enterprises.” More attention should be paid to the “deep and important differences” of ideas within philosophical tradition than “superficial views of diversity” based on social groups such as class, gender and race, he said."

Couples who share the housework are more likely to divorce, study finds - "The reasons, Mr Hansen said, lay only partially with the chores themselves. “Maybe it’s sometimes seen as a good thing to have very clear roles with lots of clarity ... where one person is not stepping on the other’s toes,” he suggested. “There could be less quarrels, since you can easily get into squabbles if both have the same roles and one has the feeling that the other is not pulling his or her own weight.” But the deeper reasons for the higher divorce rate, he suggested, came from the values of “modern” couples rather than the chores they shared. “Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage” as being less sacred, Mr Hansen said. “In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially... Dr Frank Furedi, Sociology professor at the University of Canterbury, said the study made sense as chore sharing took place more among couples from middle class professional backgrounds, where divorce rates are known to be high. “These people are extremely sensitive to making sure everything is formal, laid out and contractual. That does make for a fairly fraught relationship,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “The more you organise your relationship, the more you work out diaries and schedules, the more it becomes a business relationship than an intimate, loving spontaneous one. “That tends to encourage a conflict of interest rather than finding harmonious resolutions.” He said while the survey applied to Norway, he was confident the results would be the same in the UK"
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