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Tilting at Windmills

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January 18, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE GENDER GAP....Ken Hilton is a New York statistician who has studied gender differences in school achievement and concluded that the reason more girls go to college than boys is because girls have way better reading skills. In the New Republic this week, Richard Whitmire investigates:

Combine Hilton's local research with national neuroscience research, and you arrive at this: The brains of men and women are very different. Last spring, Scientific American summed up the best gender and brain research, including a study demonstrating that women have greater neuron density in the temporal lobe cortex, the region of the brain associated with verbal skills. Now we've reached the heart of the mystery. Girls have genetic advantages that make them better readers, especially early in life. And, now, society is favoring verbal skills. Even in math, the emphasis has shifted away from guy-friendly problems involving quick calculations to word and logic problems.

....Ninth grade is where boys' verbal deficit becomes an albatross that stymies further male academic achievement. That's the year guys run into the fruits of the school-reform movement that date back to the 1989 governors' summit in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Democrats and Republicans vowed to shake up schools. One outcome of the summit is that, starting in ninth grade, every student now gets a verbally drenched curriculum that is supposed to better prepare them for college. Good goal, but it's leaving boys in the dust.

Read the whole thing quickly and fluently if you're female, slowly and laboriously if you're male to find out what he thinks we ought to do to fix this.

Kevin Drum 9:32 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (161)

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Comments

Interesting... So does that mean you are buying into the Bell Curve now?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 18, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter: No. Why do you ask?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 18, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

I thought you guys didn't buy this genetic difference argument.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 18, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Read the whole thing quickly and fluently if you're female, slowly and laboriously if you're male to find out what he thinks we ought to do to fix this."

How about Affirmative Action?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander right?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 18, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

What's next? "Scientists prove white men really can't jump"?

I say the same thing re: this that I do re: better male math skills. The individual variation is far more important than any minor and subtle group differences.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 18, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Did he really say "way better?"

Posted by: jerry on January 18, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how Kevin would have received Richard Whitmire's investigation if he had concluded that the racial genetic gap was the cause behind why blacks lags behind whites and Asians in college enrollment.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 18, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody argues that boys and girls, and men and women, don't have substantially different brains: our brains control different machines--different organs and systems--so of -course- they're different in some rather marked ways.

Gender differences are as real as genders are different. 'Racial' differences are as real as 'races' are different, too.

Posted by: adam on January 18, 2006 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Well devil's advocate "Freedom Fighter", wouldn't the correct question be "is the study a piece of crap or not?" Sexual dimorphism is not shocking, but as far as we know THIS study could be right, or it could be crap, that doesn't really have any relevance as to whether the Bell Curve is crap or not (which it is). Don't be such a cobag. You are making yourself appear foolish.

Also, EAT IT.

Posted by: Pinko Punko on January 18, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Key words seem to have been left out by the authors.

Girls have genetic advantages that make them better readers, on average, especially early in life.

I don't feel like registering for the New Republic to read the rest, but clearly the excerpts you post show signs of the distorting effects of treating different centers of the distribution as if they were absolute deficiencies.

MJ Memphis is exactly right re: individual variation.

The "solution", inasmuch as there is one, is to work on making a better range of presentations available based on individual aptitudes, and, within general minimum standards, to work to avoid ostracizing based on different distributions of strengths and weaknesses. But the important variation to focus on is the individual variation, not the variation between groups which is often misleading as to individual aptitudes.


Posted by: cmdicely on January 18, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

The individual variation is far more important than any minor and subtle group differences.

Translation: Freaks rule?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 18, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Quote of the day: "his survey of education classes reveals that 99 percent fail".

On a serious note, the conclusion does not make sense. Boys in upper middle class schools that are more academically demanding do fine, but the reason that boys in less demanding schools do poorly is that boys' brains aren't good enough to handle reading. How does this make any sense at all?

Posted by: reino on January 18, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Adam,

Nobody argues that boys and girls, and men and women, don't have substantially different brains:

They don't? Tell that to Dr. Nancy Hopkins and the Harvard Lynch Mob.

This is going to be fun :)

Posted by: TangoMan on January 18, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Just as I feel much better about my fellow man and woman when I skip reading the letters to the editor in my local paper, I feel better about gender equality when I skip the comments on even (especially?)liberal blog sites when topics of gender difference arise. It amazes me how touchy far too many men get at the idea that there is anything women as a group do better than men other than scrub bathrooms.

Fortunately, the men in my life keep me steadfast in the belief that it is the norm for men and women to appreciate our similarities and our differences. The idea that women read more easily than men is not a shocker. Booksellers have been bemoaning the difficulty in attracting boys to books for years. Elementary school teachers have been frantic about how to draw boys to literacy. Whereas the six men connected to my immediate family are all bright, talented, and articulate, not one reads even half as much as the least literary of the women. When men do read, they tend to stick to narrow topics of interest, whereas the women read fiction, non-fiction, essays, poems - anything that comes to hand.

And although the women are accountants, professional writers, lawyers, environmental scientists, etc. - not one can make computers sing to them the way they sing for our men.

Recognizing that there are many forms of intelligence, some associated with gender and most not, is crucial in developing an educational system that brings all of us the skills necessary in an evolving society.

Posted by: Lenore Wilson on January 18, 2006 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Could you all please stop using such hard words? So that men like me can reed this blogg?

Posted by: Robert the Red on January 18, 2006 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

It shouldn't need be explained that boys and girls make excellent contrasting groups in that they are automatically controled for genetics, income, nationality, etc.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on January 18, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

It shouldn't need be explained that boys and girls make excellent contrasting groups in that they are automatically controled for genetics, income, nationality, etc.

Really? This suggests that both gender related birth and mortality statistics are parallel in all racial, economic, nationality, and other non-sex demographic categories, which seems intuitively unlikely.

Or was that very subtle sarcasm?

Posted by: cmdicely on January 18, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Of course they don't. They just argue that the substantial differences don't coincide with traditional gender roles. Nobody thinks a male brain is outfitted to manage the female reproductive system, and nobody thinks the female brain can _really_ appreciate asses, no matter how much women talk about 'nice butts.'

Posted by: adam on January 18, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, I believe Larry Summers got into some.. uh.. mild difficulties for suggesting men were perhaps genetically better than women at science, 'on average'. I anxiously await howls of outrage over this latest news from the usual ideologues, who like to declare the things they WISH were true were ACTUALLY true.

For the record, it seems obvious that there are differences between male and female brains, and I find it quite believable that men are more proficient at science while women are more proficient at reading, on average. I honestly don't know if the data is there to confirm it yet, but I hate to see this kind of thing dismissed out-of-hand because it may be uncomfortable. I don't notice much discomfort when female superiorities are discussed, though.

Posted by: Shag on January 18, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan is addicted to these types of threads. Watch TangoMan 'move' his agenda carefully and slowly, folks.

When he says:

This is going to be fun :)

Think of an anonymous, racist shill who delights in using bad data to advance his little white power agenda...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 18, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, I see. And that would be why Shakespeare and Donne, Justice Holmes and Abraham Lincoln, were so lame with the English language . . . oh wait.

Sure, these guys are a bunch of standard deviations from the mean. But the fact that they occupy those outer reaches might imply something about the rest of the curve, don't you think? Or is it too much fun to insist that women and men really truly do have significant cognitive differences as a group, differences that outweigh normal individual variation? I know most people are deeply emotionally attached to that idea, but for the life of me I don't understand why.

Posted by: Fiorinda on January 18, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

And yet the political blogosphere is dominated by males.

So much for the gender difference in language skills.

Vive la differance, I say.

Posted by: grapeshot on January 18, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

"pale rider", get the fuck out of here you racist troll. go back to stormfront.

Posted by: blah on January 18, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, it seems obvious that there are differences between male and female brains, and I find it quite believable that men are more proficient at science while women are more proficient at reading, on average. I honestly don't know if the data is there to confirm it yet, but I hate to see this kind of thing dismissed out-of-hand because it may be uncomfortable.
Posted by: Shag

well if it is so obvious, please enlighten us. ... OH ... no data you say ... then kindly either google it, get an NIH grant and do the research yourself, or kindly shut the fuck up about a subject you seem only peripherally competent to comment upon.

Posted by: Nads on January 18, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

I think he was refering to comparing brothers and sitsters, for example. My sister and I have had the same socioeconomic upbringing and the same genetic pool to draw on. The writer is suggesting that such comparions as those between my sister and I, if multiplied by the thousands of sibling groups that could be studied could provide control, to the extent possible, for the other variables that you mention). If you see a compelling reason why this should be deemed "weird science", I'd love to hear it.

Obviously, you would have to consider such things as 1st vs. 2nd born (studies show 1st born to be the smartest, but don't tell me cause I think I have something on my older sis), but there's no reason why the data should be completely devalued due to these differences. In fact, the sample chosen may eliminate that factor just based on a reasonably even distribtution of eldest children amongst men and women.

Just some food for thought, not that I accept the premise of the article, just that I think Saam's point isn't as trivial as you seem to.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on January 18, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, it seems obvious that there are differences between male and female brains, and I find it quite believable that men are more proficient at science while women are more proficient at reading, on average.

I dunno. Most science I know of consists almost entirely of "word and logic problems" which, if I am to believe this, women are better at. Sure, there are certain disciplines which involve mostly "pure" math, but that's a fairly narrow band of the sciences.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 18, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

I think he was refering to comparing brothers and sitsters, for example. My sister and I have had the same socioeconomic upbringing and the same genetic pool to draw on. The writer is suggesting that such comparions as those between my sister and I, if multiplied by the thousands of sibling groups that could be studied could provide control, to the extent possible, for the other variables that you mention). If you see a compelling reason why this should be deemed "weird science", I'd love to hear it.

I don't dispute that sex is an axis which might be easy to isolate well, I just take issue with Saam's claim that it is automatically controlled for other factors.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 18, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how Kevin would have received Richard Whitmire's investigation if he had concluded that the racial genetic gap was the cause behind why blacks lags behind whites and Asians in college enrollment.
Posted by: Freedom Fighter

for the moderately literate, there is a HUGE difference between "inherant" gender and racial differences.

but for closet and overt racists, all one needs is an example of one to justify the other.

incidentally, no one suggested that the sexual dimorphism reported is genetic. The sentence "Girls have genetic advantages that make them better readers ..." is a scientific misstep, as the etiology of the underlying difference is almost certainly hormonal. So no one is suggesting a heritable difference ... unless by genetic they mean "not having a Y chromosome." which is a genetic trait shared by ALL females of all races.

if we're invoking underlying racial differences, then we MUST be talking about a (real) genetic, heritable etiology. which is a very different thing, and much harder to prove. ... despite the immediate grasping by the racist wingnuts.

Posted by: Nads on January 18, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

...nobody thinks the female brain can _really_ appreciate asses, no matter how much women talk about 'nice butts.'

Wow. We thought our appreciation of asses was deep and sincere, but you say we're amateurs? We didn't know. How could we know?

Posted by: AnonyMs. on January 18, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

h, I see. And that would be why Shakespeare and Donne, Justice Holmes and Abraham Lincoln, were so lame with the English language . . . oh wait.

Sure, these guys are a bunch of standard deviations from the mean. But the fact that they occupy those outer reaches might imply something about the rest of the curve, don't you think?

Not really. Especially given that we know that women faced systematic barriers that largely prevented them, regardless of talent, from reaching positions where such talent might become recognized and widely known. So, one might argue, if the variation is similar for women and men, and the center of distribution in verbal abilities notably higher in women, what Shakespeare, Lincoln, et al., do is begin to hint at what, due to the social structures of the time, what we missed out on from their female contemporaries.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 18, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't think much of the article. Take this line, for instance:

And, now, society is favoring verbal skills. Even in math, the emphasis has shifted away from guy-friendly problems involving quick calculations to word and logic problems.

Of course, word and logic problems aren't tests of reading ability at all, they're tests of problem-solving skills.

Similarly, the finding that

women have greater neuron density in the temporal lobe cortex, the region of the brain associated with verbal skills

is proclaimed as though it obviously demonstrated something. No evidence is adduced that it does. We might as well note that women tend to have smaller brains than men (since they tend to be smaller than men over all).

The author seems to conclude that the problem is genetic except when it's cultural, as with the children of the wealthy. Cavalli-Sforza noted that many white Americans insist that differences in measured IQ show that whites are brighter than blacks, whereas the higher Japanese scores must be due to better high schools.

Maybe it's diet. Don't girls eat more vegetables?

Posted by: bad Jim on January 18, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

okay. so I scored a 790 on the verbal portion of my SAT's. And I'm a dude. Does that mean I have a FEMALE BRAIN!?!?!?

Posted by: alex on January 18, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's diet. Don't girls eat more vegetables?
Posted by: bad Jim

I believe there is a Y-linked gene that makes males actualy averse to eating veggies ... Brocpuke1 (Bpk1) ... so you're off the hook!

Posted by: Nads on January 18, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin D., I think much of the gender gap with regard to reading can be explained by social, rather than biological factors. For instance, I am a much faster reader than my wife. Why? For one, I was taught to read at the age of three by my mother, who was an elementary school teacher and also very good at teaching pre-school children. Early instruction I think makes a huge difference in later outcomes when it comes to reading especially. My wife on the other hand learned to read upside down by following along with her brother who read to her with the book naturally facing him, of course. To this day, my wife is a slow reader - but when it comes to playing word recognition games like Boggle, she's far better than poor old linear reading me.

But, you may ask, why is there an overall gender gap when it comes to reading? I think it is because girls are better socialized to be receptive to learning than boys are, and that this has become more apparent as the gender bias towards males in education has disappeared along with the old standard of the male being the primary breadwinner in our society. In other words, girls with glasses didn't get passes and showing off your female smarts didn't get you any dates with boys who had prospects.

Posted by: David W. on January 18, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

blacks lags behind whites and Asians in college enrollment.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 18, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

You mean the reason why blacks and whites lag behing Asians and Jews in college enrollment.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 18, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Bullshit.

Posted by: al on January 18, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

No way sum dum girl talks bettern me.

Posted by: craigie on January 18, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

okay. so I scored a 790 on the verbal portion of my SAT's. And I'm a dude. Does that mean I have a FEMALE BRAIN!?!?!?

No. I scored higher, and yet I know for a fact that I have a male brain. Rest easy, friend.

(You might say that I scored "way better," but that would be stupid.)

Posted by: The Marketeer on January 18, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

In other words, girls with glasses didn't get passes and showing off your female smarts didn't get you any dates with boys who had prospects.

Posted by: David W. on January 18, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Lesbian women don't outperform straights. So therefore the 'dates with boys' effect can't be significant.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 18, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Lesbian women don't outperform straights.

Depends on the test.

Posted by: craigie on January 18, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Who gives a shit what somebody can do in ninth grade. Let's see how many books these girls have read by age 25.
Stop with the stupid predictive analytics.
An education is a lifetime labor of love.
Intelligence is not a gymnastics class for 14 year olds.

Posted by: al on January 18, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Well, OK, i do buy that there is some kind of gender based brain difference at work here, but you can't seriously suggest that macho acultueration doesn't play into this at all. Growing up as a boy who read alot I can easily recall the shit I caught for being more interested in books than sports. I know that girls/women face their own flavor of disouragement in this arena, and I don't mean to discount that, but i know what kinds of social forces are marshalled against boy readers.

Of course those social forces could themselves have some resonance with biology, but I think that people vastly overstate how determinative that kind of average biological disposition actually is in determing any individual's real outcomes. The real problem is how simplistically perople use ideas like this. there's an 8 yearl old in my near family, who's assigned by his school to read for 20 minutes a day at home. His mother doesn't enforce thgis because "he's a boy and you just can't expect him to do that."

Posted by: URK on January 18, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

McAristotle, I was speaking to how women used to be socialized to not show up the men folk. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.

Posted by: David W. on January 18, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

David W. I think that should be "overall gender bias towards males in education has diminished" instead of "disappeared" but otherwise I agree.

Posted by: URK on January 18, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Especially given that we know that women faced systematic barriers that largely prevented them, regardless of talent, from reaching positions where such talent might become recognized and widely known. So, one might argue, if the variation is similar for women and men, and the center of distribution in verbal abilities notably higher in women, what Shakespeare, Lincoln, et al., do is begin to hint at what, due to the social structures of the time, what we missed out on from their female contemporaries.

Except that (i) some women managed to publish anyway, throughout the past half-millenium or so, and while we certainly see examples of work that I, at least, would say is every bit as glorious, we do not see any hint of that special extra verbal talent that would leave the men in the dust; and (ii)even now, when the barriers are much lower and reading and writing actually are considered appropriately feminine activities, we still don't see what your hypothesis would suggest: namely, a growing body of work of unprecedentely dazzling accomplishment, written mostly by women but with a few contributions from the rare guys who are able to play in their league.

Given that we don't see these things, it perhaps makes sense to consider the possibility that reading, and verbal facility in general, is cast as more appropriate for girls than for boys in contemporary American society. That accounts for the observed gaps in accomplishment just as well, without forcing us to scramble to explain why the very best female writers and speakers aren't wildly more numerous than the very best male writers and speakers.

Posted by: Fiorinda on January 18, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Lesbian women don't outperform straights. So therefore the 'dates with boys' effect can't be significant.
Posted by: McAristotle

since I'm pretty sure that this assertion, as with all of mca's, originates from his asshole without any real backup, I thought I'd provide some actual data.

There have been 2 studies I could find after a quick search which both suggest that gay men perform as well as or better than hetero females, and outperform hetero males, in verbal tasks. Lesbians performed same as hetero females in one, and worse than hetero females AND hetero males in the other.

Rahman Q, Abrahams S, Wilson GD.
Sexual-orientation-related differences in verbal fluency.
Neuropsychology. 2003 Apr;17(2):240-6.

Wegesin DJ.
A neuropsychologic profile of homosexual and heterosexual men and women.
Arch Sex Behav. 1998 Feb;27(1):91-108

So from what limited data does exist, and the more recent study does seem reasonably well-designed and interpreted, lesbians perform WORSE than hetero females, and gay males BETTER than hetero males, suggesting reversal of typical sex-specific cognitive ability.

Posted by: Nads on January 18, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

I think that whenever the media reports from an administration or Pakistani government source, it should be taken with a grain of salt. After all the bullshit that has rained down from this administration, I do not see where the credibility is anymore. This administration has more flim flam men than a David Mamet screenplay.

It is reasonable to conclude that this administration is simply pulling another Al-quaida #3 out of its ass to cover same.

BTW, what part of Iraq is Pakistan in? I thought we went into Iraq to get the terrorists. Seems Al-quaida is still within the warm embrace of the ISI.

Posted by: Mike Timmons on January 18, 2006 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Whitmire obviously attributes a lot to genetics, but the nature/nurture question is orthogonal to his main point. He thinks that the achievement gap in elementary school can be explained by two main factors: increased emphasis on reading across the curriculum, and the gap between the average reading abilities of male and female students.

For Whitmire's purposes, it doesn't really matter why girls have stronger verbal skills that boys, on average. What matters is that these differences show up early and that a small deficit in reading can snowball into big disadvantages across the board.

His proposed solution is 100% "nuture"--fathers setting a good example by reading in front of their sons, and remedial reading comprehension help for kids who are lagging.

Posted by: Lindsay Beyerstein on January 18, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Look, men are more varied than women. More men in prison. More men in asylums. More men homeless. More Noble Prize Winners.

It makes sense. Postulate a simplified two-tribe environment with no cross-breeding/migration between tribes. The two tribes compete for territory.

Both tribes send men out to do the territorial fighting (the testosterone plus size makes them better at spear fighting).

Tribe A has less variable men. B has more.

After a period of fighting. Men get senior enough in the society to come back and breed, having multiple wives.

Over time, B would prosper. Having more variety
their seniors would carry more genetic change than the seniors of A. Meaning that B would select for the most viable faster. 100 generations down, B would gradually beat A down.

Given most of human history was pre-guns, men did most the fighting, were exposed to more danger and
therefore were the vehicle for the selection part of the natural selection process. It makes sense they vary more.

Makes the species more robust in response to change from a micro-evolution viewpoint.

So why do liberals disregard micro-evolution (which is proven) in the educational equity context but
worship it in the creation of life context (which is not proven, but supported * )

* Unless the new comet sample has life-like chemicals in which case the "Aliens/Angels seeding the universe" theory looks way better.

Many Christians have a good sense of micro-evolution and can use it while being smart enough to recognize the assumptions of natural selection break down for creation of life.

You can't have selection without genes. And it would be a really unlikely event or a miracle for something as complicated as a gene to spontaneously assemble itself.

Did you notice a higher percentage of doctors believe in God than social scientists? Living proof that liberal atheism is really stupid.

-----------

Cavalli-Sforza noted that many white Americans insist that differences in measured IQ show that whites are brighter than blacks, whereas the higher Japanese scores must be due to better high schools.

Posted by: bad Jim on January 18, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Actually racists are known to describe inferior races as stupid but smarter races (asians/jews*) as shrewd or sneaky.

In Australia, I had some white guys explain to me that they were superior to the Aboriginals because they worked harder. They were superior to the Asians because they got to Australia first and had more entitlement.


Posted by: McAristole on January 18, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

A radical proposal to improve verbal skills for all is to mandate foreign language instruction for all children, starting in kindergarten. For most of the country Spanish is the obvious second language to teach. Instruction should continue through high school, and include the grammar and literature of both languages.

The hunch behind this is that we don't do enough to stimulate the verbal skills of children at the age at which they can most easily acquire them. I also have a low regard for the sorts of science and arithmetic taught in elementary school, so I think some diversion of time and resources would be profitable.

Posted by: bad Jim on January 18, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Dead.

Posted by: al on January 18, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

So from what limited data does exist, and the more recent study does seem reasonably well-designed and interpreted, lesbians perform WORSE than hetero females, and gay males BETTER than hetero males, suggesting reversal of typical sex-specific cognitive ability.

Posted by: Nads on January 18, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

Er, think before you post. Your studies support my contention. That pressure to be dated by guys isn't doing any harm *.

Lesbian women like women, they perform worse than straight. Homo men don't like women, they perform better than straights who like women.

Maybe liking women drags down your performance?

Might explain why boys do better in single sex schools. No distractions.

Even at 13, staring at girls in class was a major waste of time. Perhaps strict uniforms might help male performance. Or as a charter school, co-ed schools where women have to fail an appearance test.

* Western liberal education. Good at googling papers. Lousy at thinking how they fit into an assertion or argument. Too busy ignoring non-PC arguments.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Prepare to have your minds blown:

The Return of the Puppet Masters
-- Carl Zimmer

Are brain parasites altering the personalities of three billion people? The question emerged a few years ago, and it shows no signs of going away.

No, he's not kidding about that. Just go read it and have your mind opened very wide...

Posted by: David W. on January 19, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

how women used to be socialized to not show up the men folk. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.

Posted by: David W. on January 18, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

In Asia, socialization is kinda funny for many parents.

Women are encouraged to be smart in high school to win a place in University and meet the right men. At college and early work, the pressure decreases.

Then from 25 onwards, the pressure to have relationships and be headed towards marriage increases. Then 30 onwards, relatives spend all their time wondering why the woman isn't married.

Women are represented in higher percentages in the workplace and management than in the West. However I do note, a subconscious expectation that her husband do better than her* or a subconscious expectation that the career-oriented woman, never has a family.

* One model is for the male to take higher risk career paths (banking/entrepreneurship) than pay less initially but more later. Successful women aim for men from those groups or older men.

Posted by: McA on January 19, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

It's not out of the question that girls are actually smarter than boys. The data is perfectly consistent with the contention that the fewer obstacles we put in their way, the better girls do. Perhaps it isn't the emphasis on verbal skills, or video games, or hip-hop and the culture of masculinity. Perhaps it's only the decline of sexism.

Posted by: bad Jim on January 19, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Er, think before you post. Your studies support my contention. That pressure to be dated by guys isn't doing any harm *.
* Western liberal education. Good at googling papers. Lousy at thinking how they fit into an assertion or argument. Too busy ignoring non-PC arguments.
Posted by: McAristotle

I didn't google, dipshit ... I'm a trained MD with a solid research background ... in genetics (so I, of course, used Pubmed). That's MY education, pissant. ...

and I know that my posting supports your assertion ... my annoyance with you is your unfortunate tendeancy to pull bullshit out of your ass without evidence to back it up. I proveded backup. Now, please shut the fuck up and run along to a thread which you may be better qualified to comment on.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

I tried to read the linked article, but - due to my inferior masculine verbal skills (which also severely inhibit my ability to do word problems; lessee, two trains leave different stations twenty minutes apart ...) - I couldn't keep myself from moving my lips as I read, and I'm now so hopelessly bogged down that I've given up entirely.

BTW, didja hear that black people have better physiques than white people because they have six square inches less skin? So, it's stretched tighter, see. (True story - told to me by an old high school buddy who, unfortunately, went on to become a bigot.)

Posted by: sidewinder on January 19, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

All of which is reminiscent of Kevin's take of female bloggers not making the "A" list and being in short supply. Some ladies weren't exactly knocked out by that assessment.
The reaction of male assertiveness coming into play still seems as valid as any other conjecture.

Posted by: opit on January 19, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, didja hear that black people have better physiques than white people because they have six square inches less skin? So, it's stretched tighter, see. (True story - told to me by an old high school buddy who, unfortunately, went on to become a bigot.)
Posted by: sidewinder

he was probably insecure about his own six fewer inches.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

This may have been answered upthread, but since I'm a guy, I lack the reading comprehension to make it all the way through...

Anway, in response to Tango, Dr. Hopkins and the people who got ticked off at Summers were not upset because he suggested that men and women may have differences in their brains. They were ticked because Summers baselessly suggested that these purported differences were responsible for there being fewer women among the scientific elite. Summers was mostly ignorant on the subject, he was speaking at a career conference, and he was talking to many women who not only were obvious exceptions to the crap Summers was peddling, but also had done their own actual work in the field, and knew that Summers was full of shit. Very few controversies over the past year, made me as angry as those who defended Summers as being a victim of some PC lynch mob.

Posted by: Alan on January 19, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

His proposed solution is 100% "nuture"--fathers setting a good example by reading in front of their sons, and remedial reading comprehension help for kids who are lagging.

I think Lindsay's assessment is correct. What we're seeing here is a difference that has grown due to educational and cultural changes. It's not surprising that the problem has been getting worse over time. The curricula change of 1989 that Whitmire makes note of began with boys who had not experienced full immersion in the new philosophy so they were able to salvage some rudiments of more effective instruction. The boys who came later, especially the ones who had no exposure to pre-reform instruction, are more severely handicapped by the changed priorities:

Between 1992 and 2002, among high school seniors, girls lost two points in reading scores and boys six points, leaving a 16-point differential in their averages on tests given by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. In the fall semester of kindergarten in 1998, on a different test, girls outperformed boys by 0.9 points. By the spring semester, the difference had nearly doubled, to 1.6 points.

Although one might expect the schools to be trying hard to make reading appealing to boys, the K-12 literature curriculum may in fact be contributing to the problem. It has long been known that there are strong differences between boys and girls in their literary preferences. According to reading interest surveys, both boys and girls are unlikely to choose books based on an "issues" approach, and children are not interested in reading about ways to reform society -- or themselves. But boys prefer adventure tales, war, sports and historical nonfiction, while girls prefer stories about personal relationships and fantasy. Moreover, when given choices, boys do not choose stories that feature girls, while girls frequently select stories that appeal to boys.

Unfortunately, the textbooks and literature assigned in the elementary grades do not reflect the dispositions of male students. Few strong and active male role models can be found as lead characters. Gone are the inspiring biographies of the most important American presidents, inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs. No military valor, no high adventure. On the other hand, stories about adventurous and brave women abound. Publishers seem to be more interested in avoiding "masculine" perspectives or "stereotypes" than in getting boys to like what they are assigned to read.

At the middle school level, the kind of quality literature that might appeal to boys has been replaced by Young Adult Literature, that is, easy-to-read, short novels about teenagers and problems such as drug addiction, teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, domestic violence, divorced parents and bullying. Older literary fare has also been replaced by something called "culturally relevant" literature -- texts that appeal to students' ethnic group identification on the assumption that sharing the leading character's ethnicity will motivate them to read.

There is no evidence whatsoever that either of these types of reading fare has turned boys into lifelong readers or learners. On the contrary, the evidence is accumulating that by the time they go on to high school, boys have lost their interest in reading about the fictional lives, thoughts and feelings of mature individuals in works written in high-quality prose, and they are no longer motivated by an exciting plot to persist in the struggle they will have with the vocabulary that goes with it.

Combine an agenda of cultural change directed at shaping the minds of the young with the need to reform education and an unwillingness to acknowledge the effects that follow and you're likely to see the outcomes we're seeing here.

Note Whitmire's referencing of the disparate views of the two groups looking at this issue:

What little research has been done on this shift in the gender gap falls roughly into two camps--the feminists and the pragmatists. . . . The feminist viewpoint is summarized . . . [and] effectively asks: Why can't boys be more like girls? Boys are locked into a masculinity box, the feminist researchers say. Most boys stay inside that box, living by a macho boy code that precludes developing the "language of feelings" needed to express themselves or relate to teachers. Boys who break out of this box are doomed to a life of teasing and being bullied. In other words, young boys never get sufficiently acquainted with their feelings to write A-rated essays.

[ . . . . ]

The pragmatists, mostly male researchers, peer inside the school door and see a feminized world that needs tweaking. Professor Jeffrey Wilhelm, co-author of Reading Don't Fix No Chevys, decries the dearth of boy-friendly reading material. Most literature classes demand that students explore their emotions (not a strong point for boys).

Other pragmatists point to the simple things: Basing grades on turning in homework on time guarantees lower grades for boys. Studies consistently show boys have more trouble than girls turning in homework on time. Some educators and parents explain this by saying that many boys simply forget or decline to turn in completed homework. Here's the boy-thinking: If I answered the homework question to my satisfaction, the task is done. Why turn it in? If you're the parent of a girl, that may sound bizarre. It isn't. Parents of slumping boys know differently.

The criticisms of the reforms and their ideological basis are not recent. The most vocal criticisms, back in 1989, were directed at math reforms:

But critics see a deliberate integration of ideological agendas. The architects of NCTM's 1989 standards declared that social injustices had given white males an advantage over women and minorities in math, and they promised NCTM's reinvented math would equalize scores. Equality would be achieved by eliminating the "computational gate."

So, a quick recap. There is suggestive evidence that curricula reform was infused with ideological slant, the reform wasn't monitored for effectiveness for we see that the performance of both boys and girls slipped, but that boys fell further, and later, after the trend lines became more pronounced there are no efforts to remove the ideological taint from the curricula. We know that, as per above, that "when given choices, boys do not choose stories that feature girls, while girls frequently select stories that appeal to boys." So, the desire to inject ideology and tweak gender roles via reinforcement of positive female images takes priority over the fact that boys aren't playing along by finding the reading material very engaging. The feminist response is that boys need to be more like girls. Terrific. As Whitemire notes in his article:

Another solution lies with teachers' colleges, which, to date, have been part of the problem. Michael Gurian, author of Boys and Girls Learn Differently!, says his survey of education classes reveals that 99 percent fail to offer courses on biological learning differences. There is decent research on this, but it is rarely passed along to teachers.

Now, of course the whole situation is probably riddled with confounding variables, like changing male role models, with imagery that began in the black community and has spread outwards. Add to the list that more woman are seeing that education is crucial to their quest to make better lives for themselves (seen worldwide), and the increased motivation that this engenders, and the greater emphasis on methodical grading practices which reward diligence, and busywork, in addition to knowledge and mastery of content and you have the problem.

A changed environment will lead to favoring some cognitive processes over others. There certainly isn't a gene that predisposes 12 year old boys to reject literature dealing with feminist social issues and other Young Adult Literature, but it's entirely plausible that there is a genetic basis for a gender differential in how we react to stories and imagery that reflects our roles in the world. The neurobiological reactions that are initiated by real, and imaginary, situations could fall along a distribution that is not entirely gender neutral. Now, that gets us right into the nature/nurture debate - are our gender identities socially determined? If they're not, then why are we purposely handicapping boys in order to further an agenda of social re-engineering when we know that the girls, with their greater appreciation of, and skill at, reading are still quite engaged when reading literature that appeals to boys? Why is it more important to make boys more like girls, than getting boys to read without incurring any cost of hindering girls? Simply, the feminist agenda of social change takes some reforms off the table. To reinforce male role models is a regressive step backwards.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 19, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

Look, it's the 'Boys will be boys' scenario - we let them get away with being dumb jocks, and then we're surprised that it has consequences.

The problem with the cortex study is that it hasn't been double-blind tested to brains developed outside our societal norms - ie, raised as a girl or raised as a boy in our society. Until that's done, we'll never know.

While my school had 60% girls in it, and the top half of the scores were heavily weighted towards those girls - the top three students were two boys and a girl (they always scored in the national top percentile of a percentile, and they specifically did not study together.)

So really, we don't know any more than we did before.

Posted by: Crissa on January 19, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

So the self acclaimed verbal skills of tbrosz suggest that he has a girlie brain?

Posted by: nut on January 19, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Alan,

They were ticked because Summers baselessly suggested that these purported differences were responsible for there being fewer women among the scientific elite.

Baselessly? Also, could you please accurately convey Dr. Summers' position when you attempt a recap of the incident. He laid out a number of factors, not just a genetic one.

Very few controversies over the past year, made me as angry as those who defended Summers as being a victim of some PC lynch mob.

This is certainly a revealing comment for you're defending careerists who led the PC lynch mob, and who know how to play the game of "discrimination:"

Confronted with these charges, The Dean of the School of Science quite appropriately launched an investigation. But who did he appoint to chair the investigatory committee? Why Nancy Hopkins herself, the chief complainant. Two-thirds of the committee members were other senior women in the School of Science.

The senior women at MIT were thus judge and jury of their own complaints, interested parties who would profit from a finding of gender discrimination. Profit they did. Among other benefits, Professor Hopkins received an endowed chair, a 20 percent salary increase, $2.5 million of research funds from internal MIT sources, a 5,000 square foot laboratory, an invitation to join the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and an invitation to the White House where the president and Mrs. Clinton praised her courage and expressed the hope that other institutions would follow the MIT example.

I'm sure that Dr. Hopkins will make out just fine, once again, from her case of the vapors. We'll see how the $50 million allocated to the Task Force on Women Faculty is disbursed. I have my suspicions that the leaders of the Stalinist show trial will come out ahead.

Proudly, I'm one of those who made you angry.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 19, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

That would probably explain all the romance novels girls read, while the boys are charged up with porn (and wouldn't be caught dead reading a romance novel, watching a chick flick, or God forbid going to see Bareback Mountain).

In some ways, women have the best of both worlds, since they can enjoy reading romance novels and bawling at chick flicks, while also enjoying the seamier side of porn and general debauchery. It's uncertain according to my research whether women can really experience and appreciate the epic grandeur of a lap dance however.

Of course, I'm just kidding. About this whole response, not just the lap dances.

:)

Posted by: Jimm on January 19, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously this study didn't evaluate the ability of women to read and comprehend science books...or maybe there are just too many pictures in science books?

Hmmmmmm.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics....

From now on I'll only be hiring men if I have physically demanding work requiring their unique ability to lift and maneuver dead weight...

Grow up...there are more important problems in this world!

Posted by: WTF on January 19, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Tangoman: Obviously, because boys don't break out of the box of masculinity, we should feed more pablum to their frail male egos that enforces the male privilidge.

Shorter McA: There's a disjointed opposing position to be argued badly.

Posted by: Crissa on January 19, 2006 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that Dr. Hopkins will make out just fine, once again, from her case of the vapors. We'll see how the $50 million allocated to the Task Force on Women Faculty is disbursed. I have my suspicions that the leaders of the Stalinist show trial will come out ahead.
Posted by: TangoMan

good for her ... it truly is unfortunate that tangoman is so bitter about these women challanging the male-dominated science paradigm.

I'm sure that despite his best efforts, the female faculty do not question whether they truly "belong" there, or are simply filling some dreaded PC role. ... But keep trying, tangoman ... I'm sure you can justify it to yourself, anyways.

on a related note, that gene expression site is creepy ... conservative scientists must be a rare and retarded breed. It bothers me to see creationists quoted alongside solid evolutionary biologists.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Crissa: Feminism, alone amongst all the ideologies of the world, is 100% of unalloyed good and has no negative consequences that offset the good that it accomplished. It's an unthinkable hypothesis that feminism could have unintended negative consequences.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 19, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

re-reading my post, I am unsure now, but hoped to convey a little humor and pox on both sides of this arguement.

Judge each person to their own individual merits.

Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

Nevermind, fuck TangoMan...I'm with Crissa!!!!

Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Nads,

You're a doctor, huh? Too bad you never learned to avoid engaging in fallacious argument.

so bitter about these women challanging

Ad hominem. I never wrote that I was bitter, nor did I ever write anything about being concerned with women challenging "male-dominated science paradigm." It sure sounds like you've been reading too much of Sandra Harding's Newton's Rape Manual as a way of overthrowing that "male-dominated science paradigm."

the female faculty do not question whether they truly "belong" there, or are simply filling some dreaded PC role

Strawman. Provide me a link to where I wrote anything along these lines.

conservative scientists must be a rare and retarded breed.

Funny, how they vote for Senator Kerry, and some write for Seed Magazine.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 19, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Way off, gentlemen. I'll tell you the real reason, based on my son who dropped out of college after two years, and my daughter who stayed to get a degree. Big college kahunas not gonna like this, but so what, it's fact.

The reason is, the girls are a bit behind the guys. They have come late to the game. It wasn't so long ago that they weren't expected to go. College was a hard won privilege for girls. In the back of every woman's mind, those ideas still resonate. They play no part in a guy's attitudes about college.

My son dropped out because he caught on. College is a sham. Four incredibly expensive years, leaving him with a mountain of debt for nothing but a little piece of paper that opens a few doors that never should have been shut in the first place. It took him two years to realize the uselessness of the experience memorizing, regurgitating and quickly forgetting.

Instead of becoming a small cog in a big wheel, he is currently a diving instructor in Hawaii. He lives a life of adventure, in constant contact with our earthly mother. He was thinking he might like to become a marine biologist until he met one who thinks her life is boring. She's retraining to become a diving instructor.

Lifes too short to spend years in a cubicle until the grand day when you can have a corner office. As more and more kids catch on, woah unto the colleges.

Posted by: James of Dc on January 19, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

tangoman: I'm not arguing honestly with you ... guilty.

Your unthinking dismissal of summer's statements, and your mysoginistic assessment that "Dr. Hopkins will make out just fine, once again, from her case of the vapors" just make you seem like a dick, and not worthy of an actual debate.

having said that, I will now continue my ad hominems and strawmen, with little hope or intent of tring to engage an ass like you.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

James of Dc,

Three thoughts/questions...

1) Does your son have health insurance or is he just paying rent?

2) Did you go to college? Just wondering why going to college would leave him with a mountain of debt...didn't provide for your own or is there maybe a reason why you couldn't?

3) Have you told your daughter that you think she is a little slow on the uptake (i.e. dumb) and just a cog in the wheel?

Just wondering....

wtf...you give new meaning to my initials

Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

nads,

I think the whole Summers' incident is quite worthy of debate. My criticism of Dr. Hopkins has nothing to do with her being a woman, and everything to do with crass opportunism, especially after her self-dealing at MIT, not to mention the ire she generated amongst my female colleagues for reinforcing negative stereotypes of woman, (ie. almost fainting and vomiting upon hearing a hypothesis she doesn't agree with) in order to grab frontstage and create controversy.

The fact that Dr. Hopkins is a woman doesn't immunize her from criticism, nor is it fair to categorize my criticism as misogynistic.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 19, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

I proveded backup. Now, please shut the fuck up and run along to a thread which you may be better qualified to comment on.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

And I provided logic. I said the pressure to date boys isn't doing any harm 'cos lesbians "don't outperform straights".

You cited evidence that in your own words supports the contention "lesbians perform WORSE than hetero females, and gay males BETTER than hetero males" then accuse me of not having back up.

But your evidence supports my initial assertion.
Wanting to be dated by boys does no harm.

1. Hetero females want to be dated by males, but perform better than lesbians.

2. Gay males who want to be dated by males, perform better than hetero males

All of which consistent with my initial assertion.
What's worse you did all this and accused me of bad research saying my assertions "originates from his asshole ".

Then when I pointed this out. You said you were an MD, said I didn't provide backing and said I wasn't qualified to post here. And what's worse you said "and I know that my posting supports your assertion " then insulted me.

Well, at least I got some training in high school logic. That the backing should be consistent with my conclusion. And I have the courtesy not to insult someone if my checking supports his hypothesis.

So that's what Med School does. Now you can put someone down instead of thinking! Or cite "backing" without reading what it says.

Just get back to prescribing what the Pharmaceutical companies pay you more to prescribe. I guess you can't do more than read the conclusion then follow your pre-conceived notion anyway.

No wonder your Medical system sucks. Your researchers go political and ad hominem instead of using the scientific method.

Too much liberalism rots your brain, Nads.

If you accidentally kill someone, you think the note saying "do not give penicillin" means "give penicillin" - take up a career prescribing medical marijuana.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

It bothers me to see creationists quoted alongside solid evolutionary biologists.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Nads. Based on your responses to Tangoman and me - I'd say you don't exactly look like someone who can judge what 'solid' means in research.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with the cortex study is that it hasn't been double-blind tested to brains developed outside our societal norms - ie, raised as a girl or raised as a boy in our society. Until that's done, we'll never know.

Posted by: Crissa on January 19, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds good. But you could use that the say any research where the conclusion can be impacted by 'nurture' is suspect.

So if you accept that logic, any social conclusion is supported. Including the fact that women are discriminated against.

If so, what's the basis for affirmative action?
None left standing.

In which case, caps on Asian intakes at California universities are based on unfounded racism rather than social science.

So why is liberal support for quotas logical and creationism not?

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

The fact that Dr. Hopkins is a woman doesn't immunize her from criticism, nor is it fair to categorize my criticism as misogynistic.
Posted by: TangoMan

Her gender, of course, doesn't offer immunity.

Summers specifically commented on the possibility of women's INNATE inability to perform as well in the sciences as an etiology for their underrepresentation in those fields:

that in the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, ...

existence of sexual dimorphism and sex differences in cognition, verbal and math aptitude tests, etc. have demonstrated differences, but NONE have demonstrated any innate deficiency among females.

In america, boys score slightly higher than females on math SAT. This is latched onto by the idealogues as evidence of feminine inability in math. These same surveys show asians and finns scoring MUCH higher than americans, but this isn't explained by biology, but culture. similarly, in the highest scoring group (finns, honk kong, japan) there was NO difference between male/female math scores; Icelandic and Thai females consistently scored HIGHER. (EMBO reports 6, 5, 400402 (2005))

summers specified engineering and science, but women are also underrepresented in medicine faculty, where math skills are decidedly less important. In fact, the single best predictor of med school success is the VERBAL portion of the MCAT (I got an 11).

THIS was summers' mistake ... he made a ridiculous assertion not backed by the evidence, essentially spreading old, dated stereotypes to a room of professional women who (importantly) KNEW the data and what it said. He's the fucking president of harvard ... he should have known better ... he deserved whatever he got.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

What's worse you did all this and accused me of bad research saying my assertions "originates from his asshole ".

because mca, you little bitch, you DID pull this out of your asshole. You had absolutely no knowledge of these studies before I posted them, because you are an ignorant little cumstain who doesn't have the benefit of adequate science education.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

Oh my, McAristotle!

You have got to be kidding me! I unfortunately traced your threads history since I had recently posted and was eagerly awaiting responses. I have to say that that effort was the biggest waste in time I have ever spent in the blogosphere.

Forgetting your comment that 'Too much liberalism rots your brain, Nads.'...Have you yet had a chance to read what you have written in the comment section? Seriously?

Your posts border on the insane. I understand medication is tough to get dialed in correctly but please consider that effect before posting or at the very least get someone whom you have confidence in to read and approve your posts before you send them.

For your own confidence...please.

-wtf

Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

Hate to say it, guys, but Tango's got a pretty good point. An awful lot of the literature you're assigned in school is picked out pretty expressly along ideological lines.

Now, that's not to say that there weren't any good books involved - I certainly enjoyed Shakespeare, Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front, and a few others. I also encountered A Tale of Two Cities no less than three times in three years, due to changing schools and districts. There were -two- Austen novels in my senior year, something for which I may someday forgive the teacher, but not this decade.

Even into college, you see a lot of this. You'll get a history class that assigns the textbook, a book about Native American suffering, and a book about women's sufferage. Now, if the textbook was biased so heavily that you had to spend the rest of the time making up for it, maaaaybe. But it's not; it's as PC as the rest of 'em. Only once you start getting into fairly specialist topics do professors drop the BS and assign a reading list without the go-go-minorities-and-women frills.

One other point while I'm on the topic - would it kill anybody to teach some military history, in all those years you spend in a classroom? Okay, it's a guy topic, but if I can read Pride and Prejudice, Cindy can damned well slog through The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

Finally, the reason why the wheels often come off boys in the ninth grade -here- is because, up until quite recently, that was when social promotion ended... i.e. all those guys who couldn't read and shouldn't have ever gotten out of elementary school without reading just got passed along to high school, at which point they flunked en masse. How many other places is this the case?

Posted by: Avatar on January 19, 2006 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

You had absolutely no knowledge of these studies before I posted them, because you are an ignorant little cumstain who doesn't have the benefit of adequate science education.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

How do you know I didn't know of these studies? Your MD is in telepathy now? I heard you can take that along with your speciality in crystal healing.

By the way, I consider the terms "bitch" and "cumstain" as insults degrading to the female sex. You sexist pig, you.

Seriously, did you really use your fancy journal retrieval system. Pull up the articles, read them, not realise what they said, then draft this:
"suggesting reversal of typical sex-specific cognitive ability".

All of that with a Medical Degree......
Seriously what university did you get that from?

----------

These same surveys show asians and finns scoring MUCH higher than americans, but this isn't explained by biology, but culture

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

Really. Those two cultures have so much in common.

I think the 'fish consumption in childhood' or 'discipline in education' theory is much better. And that's biological.

I take offence at your assumptions Asians aren't superior. How many people ahead of you in your med-school class were Asian or Jewish?

-----------

In fact, the single best predictor of med school success is the VERBAL portion of the MCAT (I got an 11).

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

"Verbal Reasoning (scored 1-15), Physical Sciences (scored 1-15), Biological Sciences (scored 1-15), and an essay section (scored J-T, with T being the highest)".

How did you do on the sciences then? Just curious. I am trying to find an explanation for your really...special abilities as an MD.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

Is it instructive to notice that the rightists here sense an affinity to the gnxp ideologue?

Posted by: bad Jim on January 19, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

Your posts border on the insane.

Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Doctor Nada agrees with me. I got the support of someone with a gen-oo-ine, meddy-cal, dee-gree.

And all in my second language while working on a spreadsheet...

----See below-----------
"and I know that my posting supports your assertion"..... Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: McA on January 19, 2006 at 3:27 AM | PERMALINK

How did you do on the sciences then? Just curious. I am trying to find an explanation for your really...special abilities as an MD.
Posted by: McAristotle

are we having a pissing contest now, little bitch?? 13 and 13 if you care, writing sample R, total 37. >95%ile for all 4 subject areas.

... and there weren't many people ahead of me in my class. ... and how do you know I'm not asian?

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

And all in my second language while working on a spreadsheet...
Posted by: McA

you speak more than one language? I'm impressed ... I didn't think we could train monkeys that well ... yet.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

And I provided logic. I said the pressure to date boys isn't doing any harm 'cos lesbians "don't outperform straights".
You cited evidence that in your own words supports the contention "lesbians perform WORSE than hetero females, and gay males BETTER than hetero males" then accuse me of not having back up.

This is bullshit ... you suggest that a social construct (wanting to date males) is a better explanation for the disparity between gays, heteros, and lesbians than underlying biological differences.

There is less evidence for this than there is for ID. There is vastly more evidence for underlying brain structural differences, both in animals and humans. wanting to date dudes likely has little to do with anything.

... which is why I say that you pull statements completely out of your ass, and should probably be prevented from commenting on science.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:40 AM | PERMALINK

and how do you know I'm not asian?

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

Your spellingt is really good.
--------------

little bitch??

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

Sexist pig!

----------------

... and there weren't many people ahead of me in my class.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

Oh shit. When I go back to school, I better not fall sick. Must bring herbs.

----------------

didn't think we could train monkeys that well ... yet.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

The rote learning and poor use of evidence didn't take. The name calling is something we don't get either.

Us wild beasts are far more noble and civilized.

Monkey isn't an American racist term is it? I got in shit once because I asked an african-american where to get good fried chicken when I meant I wanted to try soul food.

Posted by: McA on January 19, 2006 at 3:40 AM | PERMALINK

Monkey isn't an American racist term is it? I got in shit once because I asked an african-american where to get good fried chicken when I meant I wanted to try soul food.
Posted by: McA

that's actually pretty funny. ... and in your case, no it isn't ... whatever the hell you are, it certainly isn't black. so you don't get to claim their racist tags as your own in a pathetic gotcha attempt.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK

Nads,

In america, boys score slightly higher than females on math SAT. This is latched onto by the idealogues as evidence of feminine inability in math.

You mischaracterize the argument. It is most definitely not the slight difference in the mean, but the far more pronounced disparity we see in variance. Further, with young girls repeatedly getting the message that it is girls that either can't, or aren't required to, do well with math, why is it that there are proportionately far more young boys than girls who do poorly in math. It's the girls getting the negative message but the boys who are found at both the top and the bottom of the variance.

These same surveys show asians and finns scoring MUCH higher than americans, but this isn't explained by biology, but culture.

By Culture? See Stanley Sue and Sumie Okazaki, Asian American Educational Achievements: A Phenomenon in Search of an Explanation, that the parenting styles and values found in East Asian-American homes correlate with lower test scores when they are found in Caucasion homes.

No biology involved? See Genetics of human prefrontal function by G. Winterer and D. Goldman:

The g factor has a normal distribution in the general population, suggesting g is probably a product of several genes that interact with the environment. Moreover, although g correlates with the parental value, it has a tendency to be closer to the population mean, suggesting a regression to the mean. These observations suggest that some genetic variants that influence g will vary between populations rather than within populations. For instance, certain Asian populations have a frequency of 0.60 in COMT Met158 allele, which predicts lower COMT-enzyme activity and thereby better cognitive performance, while Caucasians have a frequency of 0.42 for the same allele.

NO difference between male/female math scores

Check the variance. If you find that there is no gender disparity I will concede to your point and publicly declare that your example falsifies my hypothesis.

he made a ridiculous assertion not backed by the evidence

The case he made for the multiple hypotheses was far stronger than the competing case of unmeasurable discrimination.

bad Jim,

Is it instructive to notice that the rightists here sense an affinity to the gnxp ideologue?

There's so much wrong with your sentence. First, it should be the members of the "reality-based community" that should sense an affinity for data-based arguments rather than the faith-based community.

It just goes to show that the "reality-based community" worships before its own alter of faith and can be adverse to following the evidence and examining hypotheses which threaten their deities.

As for ideologues, all I'm getting as rebuttals are ideological slams devoid of reasoning and evidence. Who's pushing an ideology? Certainly, not me.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 19, 2006 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

Via Avatar...

Re: "would it kill anybody to teach some military history, in all those years you spend in a classroom?"

Sure, it's called ROTC....

History classes usually include all the other factors like politics, economics, sociology, etc.

What military history is not getting enough props in your opinion? Alexander the great, Napolean, Lincoln, Hitler, Stalin, J. Caesar, Washington, Custer, Grant, Jackson, Lee?

Do you want to make any other courses about a particular military leader mandatory?

Just wondering...

And you also complain about...

"Even into college, you see a lot of this...a book about Native American suffering, and a book about women's sufferage."

What's your fucking point?

This was not our country before we took it from Native Americans Indians through less than diplomatic means (ie We Killed most of them).

Until a 100 years ago women could not vote in this country.

O yeah, lets forget about all that...its not important. Forget why the fathers of our country laid their lives on the line in opposition to tyranny...Woman and negros and the redman don't count...it was all about making 'avatar' a happy man.

WHAT A JACKASS!

-wtf

Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 3:54 AM | PERMALINK

This is bullshit ... you suggest that a social construct (wanting to date males) is a better explanation for the disparity between gays, heteros, and lesbians than underlying biological differences.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:40 AM | PERMALINK

Nope.

My original assertion was that the social construct of boys not dating smart women was not affecting female intelligence was not a good one.
There was a group called lesbians who would do better than women if this was the case ... there's an implicit assumption I am making that lesbians are not different than women for other reasons. Please see my original post.

Plus now you are citing biological differences as being well-supported. So what were you bashing Mr. Summers for? If its OK to say straight women are superior than lesbians but not OK to ask if there are differences between men and women; you are letting political correctness interfere with your science.

You need to read a transcript of Summer's comments. I think his position was founded on male variance in IQ rather than overall position.
Men vary more than women. And while the average is probably over. The men, two male standard deviations smarter than the norm are possibly smarter that women two standard deviations out from the norm...all things being equal. And men two deviations down are really dumb. This would explain the PhD thing somewhat. PhD is something that occurs on the far end of mathematical ability.

I think he also made some comments on the inconsistency between the PhD track and having a family. And you don't need science to tell you women have a different approach to family than men.

By the way, I started posting here to improve my logic/english comprehension - then turned conservative because I couldn't see any logic in current liberal positions e.g. affirmitive action that excludes Pacific Islanders, total idealism in international politics, totally naive on environmental issues, totally ignorant of economic support for free trade/incentive impacts of excessive taxation, totally irresponsible in WMD proliferation, totally ignorant of Islam,....

On more about me. And I scored >97% in the verbal component of my GMAT. And 6.0 in my AWA. And >93% in math. For a >99% ranking. Strangely enough, I am now an Asian who could pick up a few more points in math. Proving that testing is utter bullshit - because I am as thick as two slices of Hong Kong milk toast.

And I think David Brin's Uplift Trilogy has a origin of life hypothesis as good as spontaneous formation from organic soup. So ID may or may be right. But teaching macro-evolution as more than a theory is bull-shit.

Got to go. You are getting coherent enough to distract from spreadsheeting.

Are you Asian? And are you Male? I told a white lie. My English passed my Malay sometime ago, so its actually not a second language. I don't really concentrate on these posts though.

---original exchange with David W---

In other words, girls with glasses didn't get passes and showing off your female smarts didn't get you any dates with boys who had prospects.

Posted by: David W. on January 18, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Lesbian women don't outperform straights. So therefore the 'dates with boys' effect can't be significant.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 18, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Mca on January 19, 2006 at 4:06 AM | PERMALINK

whatever the hell you are, it certainly isn't black. .

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK

So its a Black racist term. I am East Asian so its not an insult.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

One final word...

TangoMan, the 'smart' one (and McAlistotle the under-medicated one)...

Seriously...What is your fucking point????

If I marry a black woman and bare a black\white girl should we should encourage her to read and try to send her to college? Or not?

Or maybe we should not bother and we would all be happier if I pushed her towards a vocational beauty school?

What if it is a boy? Should we assume his black genes give him an edge and concentrate on sports? Maybe golf given his mixed heritage or should we go for the gold with football or b-ball?

What if my wife's father was Mexican...would that change anything in your opinion?

If she was Asian would we better off concentrating on a medicine degree.

What if my wife looks black but she was adopted and we 'think' her biological father was from India...computers, maybe?

Just looking for your advice on what race of spouse I should be looking for, as well as what I should do to compensate if I fall in love with a racially non-advantageous woman - which 'might' lead to non-advantageous offspring...

Thanks!

-wtf

Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 4:23 AM | PERMALINK

See Stanley Sue and Sumie Okazaki, Asian American Educational Achievements: A Phenomenon in Search of an Explanation, that the parenting styles and values found in East Asian-American homes correlate with lower test scores when they are found in Caucasion homes.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 19, 2006 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

1) TangoMan: Are you Asian?

2) They didn't test for the right characteristics. Caucasians trying to imitate asian culture always fuck it up. Its not the bamboo in the house, discipline or the chinese brush paintings... its the impossible standards.

Its the reverse of the 'soft bigotry of low expectaions'. We have the 'tough love of ridiculous expectations'.

You score >98% in a high school exam in an Asian family and your parents will come in, look real concerned, say they love you whatever you do then point out there friend's daughter got a perfect score and was in the local paper....

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 4:24 AM | PERMALINK

So its a Black racist term. I am East Asian so its not an insult.
Posted by: McAristotle

In the wrong hands, any word can be a racist word. ... when I say monkey, though, I mean monkey. You may just have to trust me on that, though.

Plus now you are citing biological differences as being well-supported. So what were you bashing Mr. Summers for? If its OK to say straight women are superior than lesbians but not OK to ask if there are differences between men and women; you are letting political correctness interfere with your science.

No, I concede there ARE biological differences ... recently had a paper accepted addressing that very point. In fact, all of the evidence cited supports sex differences.

I bash summers because of his NEXT step, which was an assumption, which is unwarranted and unsupported by evidence, that these differences lead to an INNATE deficiency in math/science ability in females, and that it is THIS which may be responsible for hiring discrepancies.

I'll recheck summers statement, but superficially, I think that this variance argument is a dodge. gene expression studies do, however, show increased variance of male-biased genes in flies, and increased male variance IS a valid hypothesis for sexual antagonistic evolution ... but in this context, it feels more like a dodge to avoid admitting to other more likely reasons why females are underrepresented.

I flame you because you annoy me, as apologists for war criminals tend to do. ... and because you make statements without any evidence to back them up, which is just sloppy. when you wrote the first statement, did you actually KNOW whether or not lesbians ouperformed hetero females? given your inaccuracies and ignorance in the past, I'm guessing no.

... but hey, I could be wrong ... you could be a fucking expert on homosexual neuobehavioral research.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 4:26 AM | PERMALINK

Nads, why do you keep saying "INNATE" in capital letters as if Summers was implying that all women are worse at math/science? For the millionth time, it's about differing distributions, not a blanket lack of ability in all women.

And, once again for the millionth time, Summers offered THREE hypotheses about women's underrepresentation in top faculty positions of the "hard" sciences: discrimination, differing life choices/plans between men and women, and distributional differences in ability.

I'd suggest reading this to learn more about the issue.

Posted by: Andrew on January 19, 2006 at 4:43 AM | PERMALINK

wtf,

Seriously...What is your fucking point????

I want liberals to address the reality of human differences and adapt their policy proposals so that their goals can more effectively be pursued. You can't achieve a goal is you misdiagnose the issue.

Besides, I enjoy tweaking liberals on this issue just as much, ok even more, than I enjoy tweaking conservative creationists on their beliefs.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 19, 2006 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

I like capitalizing INNATE ... its 130am and I need to be sleeping, so I'll capitalize whatever the hell I want. It also happens to be a slient point which has been attempted to be whitewashed from his initial message.

and yes, he brought up 3 issues, but the one he got shit over is tHIs oNe.

amd I haven't seen the raw data btw males and females on american SAT, or international standardized test scores (just summaries and comparisons of means), so I can't intelligently comment on distributions.

however, I will say that given the variability of scores between the different countries, and the variation of male-advantage or female-advantage (or equal) in math scores, I would SUSPECT that the distributions are similarly varied, and therefore an irrelevant dodge for summers and his defenders to make.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 4:49 AM | PERMALINK

Nads,

its 130am and I need to be sleeping,

:) You're not the only one.

but the one he got shit over is tHIs oNe.

The popularity, or in this case the unpopularity, of an idea doesn't tell us anything about its truth value.

I would SUSPECT that the distributions are similarly varied, and therefore an irrelevant dodge for summers and his defenders to make.

Let's be careful of confirmation bias and reaching conclusions based on unsupported premises.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 19, 2006 at 5:08 AM | PERMALINK

you actually KNOW whether or not lesbians ouperformed hetero females?

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 4:26 AM | PERMALINK

I remembered some article in Time/Newsweek a long time ago. Not in the main point but in that there was a thing where gay men were smarter but nothing equivalent for lesbians. This would be too long ago for the newer evidence.

Sure its not academic protocol but if you can miscite evidence like that and not realise it, then not back away from it and insult me. Academic protocol counts for nothing.

I am not a scientist but I think a lot of scientists aren't as logical as they admit to being. Outside of physics, the 'pure experiment' is hard to do and a result its statistics. And statistical interpretation is more art than science.

This article summarises and it emphasises Summers cited several things. And he mentions boy score higher and lower on testing - meaning variance.
http://www.slate.com/id/2112570

And this is the original source
http://www.president.harvard.edu/speeches/2005/nber.html

"there is a difference in the standard deviation, and variability of a male and a female population. And that is true with respect to attributes that are and are not plausibly, culturally determined. If one supposes, as I think is reasonable, that if one is talking about physicists at a top twenty-five research university, one is not talking about people who are two standard deviations above the mean. And perhaps it's not even talking about somebody who is three standard deviations above the mean. But it's talking about people who are three and a half, four standard deviations above the mean in the one in 5,000, one in 10,000 class. Even small differences in the standard deviation will translate into very large differences in the available pool substantially out. I did a very crude calculation, which I'm sure was wrong and certainly was unsubtle, twenty different ways. I looked at the Xie and Shauman paper-looked at the book, rather-looked at the evidence on the sex ratios in the top 5% of twelfth graders. If you look at those-they're all over the map, depends on which test, whether it's math, or science, and so forth-but 50% women, one woman for every two men, would be a high-end estimate from their estimates. From that, you can back out a difference in the implied standard deviations that works out to be about 20%. "

I quote.

See business training actually teaches you not to read the media and go back to the source.

Bottom 5% of the class and top 5% have more men than women. Common sense will tell you that.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 5:25 AM | PERMALINK

Lastly, not everyone who says there is a racial IQ difference is a racist. I think the liberals on this site have bashed those who take this position really unfairly.

I'm not sure on the culture vs genetic differences. I lean on telling people asians are genetically superior. I hope someday someone I know gets some as a result.

Like, African Americans from a certain part of the world are more likely to be sprinters than those Kenyan dudes. Asians are not likely to win milk drinking competitions.....Why get so sensitive?

I'll say this though, affirmitive action is nothing but politics. In your world, "Oprah Winfrey's child" needs more help than a non-English speaking child of a illegal migrant waiter from Russia or Cambodia....that's total garbage.

-------------
I would SUSPECT that the distributions are similarly varied, and therefore an irrelevant dodge for summers and his defenders to make.

Posted by: Nads on January 19, 2006 at 4:49 AM | PERMALINK

Nads - where's your paper? You bashed me for not having one.

Summers had a citation backing him.

You don't need one for this. Just watch kids. Boys vary more in terms of academic behaviour and based on what teachers say are on average worse.

I even proposed a evolutionary model for you up the top for causation.

But no one can research this without being called names by scientists who have to much political correctness knee-jerkism built in.


Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 5:38 AM | PERMALINK

Wollust ward dem Worm gegeben ...

Posted by: bad Jim on January 19, 2006 at 5:53 AM | PERMALINK

TangoMan,

'I enjoy tweaking liberals on this issue...even more than I enjoy tweaking conservative creationists on their beliefs.'

ok...nuff said, I understand!

In 6th grade my friends used to pull wings off butterflys and burn fire ants with a magnifiying glass...Am I cool like you?

Next time you think you have something worthwhile to say I'm sure you will let us all know with a footnote...right?

You so BETRAY your backass tendencies with typically ignorant right-wing bullshit. All opinions are equal right, just different points of view when you say so...

Six ways from Sunday I own you...keep it up jackass!

VOTE DEMOCRAT!
-WTF


Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 6:02 AM | PERMALINK

VOTE DEMOCRAT!
-WTF

Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 6:02 AM | PERMALINK

WTF would you?

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_intelligence

Nads - this is pretty good and cited two studies which indicate greater variability.

Posted by: McA on January 19, 2006 at 6:12 AM | PERMALINK

"pale rider", get the fuck out of here you racist troll. go back to stormfront.

Posted by: blah on January 18, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan,

Is that the best you can do? Remember, I caught you using this tactic the last time you started serial posting your hate screeds here.

The citation of 'stormfront.org' is such a dead giveaway--that is, of course, where I cited your work would be best suited for.

But thanks for playing. Better people than I seem to have handed you your ass overnight.

Posted by: rdw on January 19, 2006 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Whoops, that rdw post at 8:15 was me. We were having fun yesterday pretending to do rdw.

As rdw would no doubt say,

"...gender differences are the result of France and the Kyoto treaty..."

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

More TangoMan:

I'm sure that Dr. Hopkins will make out just fine, once again, from her case of the vapors. We'll see how the $50 million allocated to the Task Force on Women Faculty is disbursed. I have my suspicions that the leaders of the Stalinist show trial will come out ahead.

Anyone who has a different idea is crazy or Stalinist. Now, which ideological slant does that come from? Oh yeah, Republicans like to call Al Gore crazy every time he speaks. Say something TangoMan doesn't like, you're nuts. Well, TangoMan isn't nuts--he's a fanatic who believes this stuff.

It just goes to show that the "reality-based community" worships before its own alter of faith and can be adverse to following the evidence and examining hypotheses which threaten their deities.

TangoMan is a serial blogger who hides behind his anonymity to comment anywhere he can find a forum to push his lies and skewed data. He sneers at the idea that people have serious questions about his 'facts' and then hides behind the veneer of science and academia when, in fact, this is merely good cover for a pathological liar. One would think that the laboriously cited works would stand for themselves; but when they do not, TangoMan assumes you're just not as smart as he is and besides, it's in the data, don't you see?

As for ideologues, all I'm getting as rebuttals are ideological slams devoid of reasoning and evidence. Who's pushing an ideology? Certainly, not me.

TangoMan's ideology is racist hatred. Just try to get him to address the topic of race mixing.

As for the differences between men and women, hello? That's not news. Richard Whitmire did a study of things, found some evidence, then made a suggestion. Take it with a grain of salt.

But remember, TangoMan is here to push another agenda, completely separate from all of this. He hides behind a quasi-profound layer of intellectual superiority that sticks out like a sore thumb from under his white bedsheet.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

"You score >98% in a high school exam in an Asian family and your parents will come in, look real concerned, say they love you whatever you do then point out there friend's daughter got a perfect score and was in the local paper"

LOL! That sounds like my mother. "Yes, I know you got an A, but why did you miss this question?"

Just to get some context for Kevin's post, I looked through the archives to see his position on the Summers issue. Here is what I found:

"And in the end, that was the problem with Summers's remarks. It's not that he raised illegitimate questions. He may even be right. But as the president of an institution that's had a sharply declining track record of hiring women in the sciences during his tenure, it sure sounds an awful lot like he's trying to say that there's not really much he can do about it. Thus the outrage. Context is everything."

As much as I hate to use an overused term, this sounds like the height of PC to me. Summers raises a question and is met with justified outrage because it cuts against a historically disadvantaged group, even though the question itself is legitimate. This study, on the other hand, raises the same questions, but it is ok because it comes out in favor of a historically disadvantaged group. If that is, indeed, the reasoning at work here, then frankly it stinks.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Lesbian women don't outperform straights. So therefore the 'dates with boys' effect can't be significant. Posted by: McAristotle on January 18, 2006 at 11:26 PM

Really, can you name any study whatsoever that took into account sexual orientation?

I don't think there's a single study out there that has.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 19, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Really, can you name any study whatsoever that took into account sexual orientation?

I don't think there's a single study out there that has.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 19, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Ask Doctor Nads. He did my homework for me than insulted me.

------------------------

LOL! That sounds like my mother. "Yes, I know you got an A, but why did you miss this question?"

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

What's your ethnic religious background. Any chance you are Finnish, Jewish or African immigrant?

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

What's your ethnic religious background. Any chance you are Finnish, Jewish or African immigrant?

For someone who screams racism every chance he gets, this is a bit of an odd question. How's that bowl haircut, by the way? Any luck getting your hair to feather back and poof out so that you can look like Jon Bon Jovi?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

McA,
Nope. White/Indian mix, all ancestors in the US no later than early 1900s.

Incidentally, I saw you mention the Thais earlier. My fiancee is Thai, so I am in Thailand pretty regularly. There certainly do seem to be a lot more females in the college population there than males (all are easy to spot since the colleges have uniforms).

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

TangoMan is a serial blogger who hides behind his anonymity

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Aren't you anonymous? Weren't you the guy who had a fairly heated discussion with me once, that got racial. If you are, why not go public.

-------------------------

Just looking for your advice on what race of spouse I should be looking for, as well as what I should do to compensate if I fall in love with a racially non-advantageous woman - which 'might' lead to non-advantageous offspring...

Posted by: wtf on January 19, 2006 at 4:23 AM | PERMALINK

No. Because whoever you are, you should always strive for whatever you can do. The average differences are so small it doesn't matter.
If I remember the impact of being in a happy marriage and not divorcing exceeds the ethnic stuff by lots and lots.

Having said that, if my pure-bred Teochew child wants to play basketball for a living - she'd get the reality chat that Yao Ming's ancestors came from a different province (and possibly a breeding program. He's a second generation state basketballer).

Just tell him him/her has hybrid vigour and is expected to be good at everything. Not as if Tiger Woods let being part Asian hold him back in sports or that Obama chap sets any limits on himself (being part White and all).

The key is belief in your own uniqueness, freeing you as a child from lack of confidence.

God works miracles with small things. He used a murderer and fugitive to rescue his people from slavery. He used the son of a carpenter to send a message to the high priests. He used slaves to humble the Roman Empire...And he used a kid to take out a giant..........you achieve what God plans for you and since he loves you, stretch yourself.

That's why I hate the current American message of victimhood. It guarantees laziness.

I admire Jewish culture far more. They are one of the most oppressed races in the history of mankind..they don't take that fact to go whine. They use it to leave their kids with a sense of obligation to their ancestors to do more and the expectation that they will do well....

City americans are the strangest people. They are so PC. They live in de facto suburban apartheid. And burden themselves with so much dogma.


Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Aren't you anonymous? Weren't you the guy who had a fairly heated discussion with me once, that got racial. If you are, why not go public.

My e-mail address is a working e-mail address, unlike yours.

Yes, I was the guy who called you out for using the polack slur.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Larry Summers only gave average genetic differences as a possible, partial cause of the disparity between men and women's representation at the highest levels in university science departments, not as the definite, exclusive reason.

Folks, these truths can't be denied for very much longer, so the left is better off dealing with them than simply denying them. I think realists on the left like Matt Yglesias and Kevin Drum deserve credit for nudging their co-lefties towards the truth on these issues.

Posted by: lockstep on January 19, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

How's that bowl haircut, by the way? Any luck getting your hair to feather back and poof out so that you can look like Jon Bon Jovi?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Nice. Didn't you just attack someone for not going public with their real name. Why don't you show yours if you wanna got ethnic.

I'm trying for an afro if I ever go non-corporate
The white rocker look is a matter of perms. Afro is a real test of the human will, "I believe I can fly"...

-------------------

There certainly do seem to be a lot more females in the college population there than males (all are easy to spot since the colleges have uniforms).

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

If you check the stats, Asia has more female parlimentarians, more female graduates, more female CEO's. It might be culture. It might be the extended family making child care easier. I just know quotas have nothing to do with it.

And no one thinks Asian women are afraid about being feminine women.

--------------
Nope. White/Indian mix, all ancestors in the US no later than early 1900s.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting. You've got to be third or fourth generation then.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK
That's why I hate the current American message of victimhood. It guarantees laziness.

And yet you embrace the American Right, which epitomizes the culture of victimhood -- going so far as to claim that the religious majority is a victim, that the political faction in power in all three branches of government is victimized into impotence by the minority as an excuse for every failure, and that cower in fear of madmen in caves in Central Asia.

Whatever.

City americans are the strangest people. They are so PC. They live in de facto suburban apartheid. And burden themselves with so much dogma.

Well, I suppose that gives a resounding "no" to the burning question of "Does McAristotle have any understanding of American city life."

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

"City americans are the strangest people. They are so PC. They live in de facto suburban apartheid. And burden themselves with so much dogma."

Actually, McA, urban Americans are the least likely Americans to live in apartheid conditions. The people who live in suburbs or rural areas are much more segregated than the ones in cities. The suburbanites are also much more likely to vote Republican, and much more likely to hold to pretty ugly racial sentiments. I can assure you, you would find a much warmer welcome in one of the large metro areas than in, say, your average small town in Arkansas or Oklahoma.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting. You've got to be third or fourth generation then.

And that's the most ridiculous thing you've burped up all night.

Use a little gel to get the Bon Jovi look. Your pals down at the opium bar will love it.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

I like that when boys do poorly in school, we immediately start talking about fixes that are needed.

Interestingly, when girls do poorly in school, we don't talk about fixes at all, but instead talk about girls' inherent inability to understand the subject material.

It's a funny, funny, funny thing.

Posted by: theorajones on January 19, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Your pals down at the opium bar will love it.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

We still do opium? Wasn't that in the 18th century or some shit?

I'll stick with the bowl dude. Its cheap and goes with the pigtail. My laundry business is going so well.

Can't you find more modern ethnic insults?
-----------------------

your average small town in Arkansas or Oklahoma.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

I was in LA for 2 years. That seems pretty unintegrated. Texas looked pretty integrated to me. Then again....it seemed pretty white/hispanic.
San Francisco was the best integrated.

I was so impressed by the pretty rainbow flags celebrating diversity. A bit less impressed when I found out Berkerly had a higher entry requirement for chinamen.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Can't you find more modern ethnic insults?

I just go with the stuff you bring to the table. You're the best source of ethnic insults and slurs to be found. Every time you pound out one of your syntax-challenged, choppy little stop-start comments, I just run with it.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

the polack slur.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Put the link up so everyone can see the context of the argument then.

--------------------

Interestingly, when girls do poorly in school, we don't talk about fixes at all, but instead talk about girls' inherent inability to understand the subject material.

Posted by: theorajones on January 19, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'd say people do talk about fixes. Maybe its a cultural thing. Women in Australia and Asia seemed to be pretty good in math. Then again - the non-coed schooling is more common.

------------------

branches of government is victimized into impotence by the minority as an excuse for every failure

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

A filibuster is a filibuster. The number of votes are listed. A minority beats a majority...

----------------------

Posted by: McAristotle on January 19, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Put the link up so everyone can see the context of the argument then.

The "Dumb Pollacks" remark:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_11/007630.php#761150

I've done this about three times, and because you're so stupid, you think you can weasel your way out of having said it.

Every time someone calls you on something, you hide behind racism. Then, you go around and use whatever terms you want, including your own use of the word 'chinamen' and then you think, ah-ha, silly white people they no pay no attention.

Guess what? You're even dumber than you realize.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

My question is, what is the operational difference between mathematical skills and verbal skills. They both involve manipulation of symbols according to formal rules. It seems to me that any advantage in verbal skills should automatically translate into mathematical skills.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 19, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Crissa,

Way up thread - Kudos for cutting to the chase.

When McA's English passed his Malay, methinks that it hit a soft shoulder and rolled over.

Pale, thought for a minute that Wit the Liar had stumbled out of Maggie O'Neills a little early.

Posted by: stupid git on January 19, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just the thousands of hours the current generation of boys has spent playing video games instead of reading and doing homework.

Posted by: Michael94116 on January 19, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK
A filibuster is a filibuster.

No doubt, and a filibuster is rarely a factor in the Right's claims of political victimization.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

Regarding your comment about the opium at McA's club, from what I've been able to ascertain, the Long Yang Club stopped that useage sometime back.
They are wired for WiFi though, so McA can post at his leisure.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 19, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK
My question is, what is the operational difference between mathematical skills and verbal skills. They both involve manipulation of symbols according to formal rules.

Verbal skills involve a jump from the symbolic to experiential concepts that are not precisely defined formally, whereas pure mathematical reasoning is purely symbolic. At least, I think that's the distinction.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Did you ever use the phrase 'rat-men'? If so please supply that link too.

Hey, dumbass--that was the poster named "Dustbin of History."

Are you dense on purpose? Has the smack left you giggling and sleepy?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Verbal skills involve a jump from the symbolic to experiential concepts that are not precisely defined formally, whereas pure mathematical reasoning is purely symbolic. At least, I think that's the distinction. Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 11:57 AM

Not necessarily since logical deduction was, at least until it was formalized, was formulated in a linguistic fashion.

All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Substituting mathematical symbols seems to me to not really change the mental operations needed to reason this out. In a similar fashion, mathematical proofs operate in a very similar fashion. That is, at least deductive proofs.

Perhaps the difference arises in mathematical problems which involve deductive skills (a skill set that I would argue is similar to linguistic skills) and inductive skills (a skill set that probably involves more geometric operations).

But I still might be missing something obvious here.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 19, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with theorajones on this one. I find it amusing that we have a "crisis" on our hands now that boys have fallen behind girls in academic achievment.

Posted by: fembot on January 19, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Its the Opium remember?

Posted by: McA on January 19, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

"How about your people, dumbass? Forced to live in abject poverty on the fringes of cities teeming with flowing chemical waste, not even free to pratice Falun Gong or put critical comments on the Internet?

I stand behind it. China is authoritarian and does not practice a scintilla of environmentalism.

Bowl haircut wearing freaks like you cannot even comprehend what real freedom is. You're used to being told what to think and how to act and what bucket to pee it.

Well, you do come from Malaysia, you took the bowl haircut line in stride earlier and the last time I checked, you do allow shantytowns full of people to live without even a hint of proper sewage and sanitation.

Maybe this is a more apt description for the poor servants of their master, McAristotle. If so, I apologize for denigrating these poor people who must live under your fist.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

I've been lucky, I suppose, because as a left-hander I've been told for years that these generalities don't apply to me. Of course in the olden days my kind were told we were possessed by the devil and who knows what else, but luckily that was before my time.

So as an outsider - a left handed male who always had high reading skills probably because I was a first-born and got more of my Mother's attention in the early years I will say "So what?"

The pendulum swings one way, overshoots, and then swings back the other, to overshoot again.

If the boys get a program to try to help their reading skills so what? Maybe like the handicapped ramps and big toilet stalls it will help us all.

In the long run the program will overshoot and there will be a backlash and then we'll do something to 'help' the girls.

Posted by: Tripp on January 19, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

fembot,

I find it amusing that we have a "crisis" on our hands now that boys have fallen behind girls in academic achievment.

We require a "crisis" before we can have the "war," see? It is the only way to get the public's attention away from the NFL playoffs and American Idol.

Posted by: Tripp on January 19, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK
Not necessarily since logical deduction was, at least until it was formalized, was formulated in a linguistic fashion.

All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Substituting mathematical symbols seems to me to not really change the mental operations needed to reason this out.

Well, really, then the question is exactly what did the involve tests tests for as "verbal" skills. But I would still argue that the, even if the operations are purely logical, as there, that a verbal deficit could throw confusing barriers into resolving a question posed in those terms versus the same problem posed in terms of purely-abstract, non-verbal symbology.


Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Now you need to be literate in order to go to college? Haven't these people ever heard of engineering school?

Posted by: alex on January 19, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Well, really, then the question is exactly what did the involve tests tests for as "verbal" skills. But I would still argue that the, even if the operations are purely logical, as there, that a verbal deficit could throw confusing barriers into resolving a question posed in those terms versus the same problem posed in terms of purely-abstract, non-verbal symbology. Posted by: cmdicely on January 19, 2006 at 12:19 PM

True, I guess I'm simply trying to understand what must be taking place within the brain that differentiates these two skills. Which, at least on the surface, seem fairly similar.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 19, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Now you need to be literate in order to go to college? Haven't these people ever heard of engineering school?"

Hey now... we engineers have to take a lot more writing and humanities classes than the other way around.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 19, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis: we engineers have to take a lot more writing

Writing in acronyms doesn't count.

Posted by: alex on January 19, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, if you are prepared to put it up and stand by it... let other readers decide.

I doubt if I'll lose any sleep over what other people think. You, on the other hand, have stayed up way past your bedtime to make no sense whatsoever.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

If fathers read, then their sons will have better verbal skills?

Lamarck lives!

If somebody works on Sunday, then they should be listened to?

Pat Robertson lives!

Posted by: reino on January 19, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

MJ Memphis : I think most of us associate engineers with a healthy dose of individuality and sense of the ridiculous ( and I am aware there are less flattering ways of saying that ).

Posted by: opit on January 19, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

You, on the other hand, have stayed up way past your bedtime to make no sense whatsoever.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sleep? Not in the middle of a tough project - thank you. Its quite common for half a team to be up at midnight in Hong Kong, and this is not in top-tier consulting or banking....

Posted by: McA on January 19, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Its quite common for half a team to be up at midnight in Hong Kong, and this is not in top-tier consulting or banking....

Well, good for you. Thanks for doing your utmost to steal vast amounts of money so that you can buy human slaves for use in the salt mines that TangoMan is planning to stick you in.

You do realize that, on this thread, your boy TangoMan would love to see your people reduced to slavery, don't you?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's pretty obvious that we should just go ahead and let most boys drop out of school after ninth grade.

They can go to work at the auto body shop, or in the coal mine, or on the assembly line (if they can still find one in the US of A) and support us gals while we continue on in school and become doctors and lawyers and such.

They'll be pretty high up on the wage scale, or maybe even entrepreneurs with their own body shops, or oil wells or whatever by the time we're ready to take a few years off to have kids. And then we'll be able to afford to hire illegal immigrants to take care of the kids while we go back to our learned professions and they go back to the dirty businesses you know they prefer, deep down in their little boy hearts.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

And this is why you guys are on the decline. You guys don't have a work ethic and make discredited socialist crap your excuse for not striving...

As the great American philosopher David Chappelle would say,

That's right, bitch!

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

while we continue on in school and become doctors and lawyers and such.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 19, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

And this way the Asian males who go to college will get a 2-1 female to male ratio to make up for all the action they missed, because they didn't make the football team.

There is justice in the world.

Posted by: McA on January 19, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

That's right, bitch!

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Why the sexist pig term again?

Posted by: McA on January 19, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Why the sexist pig term again?

Dave Chappelle, sexist? Hello? He's a comedian. How stupid are you? Has the practice of stealing money from people left you without an ounce of common sense?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

Work is not theft if its a free market. Willing buyer, willing seller.

Nobody's buying what you're selling. What a load. Every penny you've ever had is stolen from honest people, isn't it?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 19, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Do you work for a living? Or do you sit around on government handouts or something.

No, of course not. I work in a bottle washing factory.

You, on the other hand, appear to be leveraging the world's supply of red underwear:

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Jan 20, 2006 Good luck charms are usually worn around the neck, or on wrist. But this year, Chinese Malaysians are wearing them under their pants.

Red men's underwear emblazoned with auspicious animals and characters have become the rage among Malaysian Chinese ahead of the Chinese lunar New Year holidays, the New Straits Times reported Friday.

Red is considered an auspicious color among the Chinese, and an essential component of feng shui, the Chinese belief of improving fortunes.


Posted by: Pale Rider on January 20, 2006 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK
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Posted by: 免费电影 on January 20, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hey are you guys still accepting commments here?

Posted by: Riverbelle on January 20, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

the arrival of the chinese spam is something like a bookend. ... you can comment, but they may fall off the edge and it's uncertain if anyone will notice.

Posted by: Nads on January 20, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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