Science of sex differences

The Science of Sex Differences Is Complicated (and Biased)

There’s a lot of discussion about the problematic Google manifesto, and one of the issues brought up is the science of sex differences.

Yes it is complex.
Yes there are many factors present.
Yes there can be biases.
And the Google memo in question does seem to me to be a very accurate description of the evidence available today. Why someone would get fired for using evidence based science is beyond me, unless those doing the firing were dogmatically opposed to science as a methodology.

A difference of only .2 sd in distributions means that those near the middle are almost identical, yet at the extreme of the tail of the distributions (3.5sd) it is a 3:1 difference.
People at the leading edge of any field tend to be on the tails of distributions.
Relatively small difference between the sexes can and do produce very big differences at the tails of the distributions. That is basic statistics, nothing whatever to do with bias or power or control.
And saying that is not to deny that bias and power and control can be present.
Situations are complex – really complex.

Over simplifying them in any set of dimensions leads to model failure.

I am all for equality of opportunity for all individuals, and I am also for meritocracy in the particulars of any situation. That may mean differences in the ratios of sexes or any other metric in practice in any specific situation. Small changes in contexts can have big changes in outcomes, that is how species get to exist.

The firing of James Damore from Google looks to me to be the result of management ideology dominating over scientific evidence.

And I am sure that there are many cases of real discrimination present in Google and elsewhere. It exists. We need to each work against it, where-ever we find it.

And I am no fan of equality.
I don’t want to be exactly like anyone else – no fun in that, it is dangerous to promote monocultures.
I am a fan of diversity.
And everyone needs to be empowered to be as diverse as they responsibly choose (where ecological and social responsibility are necessary constraints on naive freedom), that actually allows individual life and individual liberty to be our highest rational values.
In our modern context of our exponentially expanding ability to automate any process, that seems to demand we implement some sort of universal basic income (UBI) as a transition strategy to a secure future.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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