I reported earlier this week on CD about some new research that found strong empirical evidence of a global ‘educational-gender-equality paradox’ — the more gender equality in a country, the fewer women choose STEM degrees and careers. Here’s some interesting commentary from Andrew Sullivan about those scientific findings in his post today “Fired for Science” (emphasis added):
In a sane world, this would be no big deal. Who cares if men and women congregate disproportionately in different professions? It’s no outrage that a huge majority of those employed in the publishing industry are women, for example — so why should it be so appalling that over 80% of computer coding graduates are men? As long as we keep doing our best to ensure more baseline equality of opportunity, inequality of outcome should be seen, in my view, as a celebration of actual human diversity, rather than its abrogation. I don’t want women and men to be interchangeable non-gendered “humans.” I love the differences in the world as much as our commonalities. And those differences may even become more pronounced as our real life choices expand.
But in the world we now live in, I am actually committing an act of sexual harassment by merely writing the previous paragraph. Yes, I’m citing a respected, peer-reviewed 2018 study. No, I’m not drawing some idiotic conclusion that men are somehow better at math than women. I haven’t touched a single human being; I haven’t said anything personally to anyone; I don’t work in an office. But, under current law, I’m a sexual harasser who could be fired with cause for mentioning scientific data.
That’s what the National Labor Relations Board found last week in a review of Google’s termination of James Damore (it’s separate from his ongoing suit against Google). They found that Damore’s claim that there are differentials between men and women of this kind that may have some impact on the male-female balance at Google, and that there is greater variability among men’s IQs than women’s (another fact), were firable offenses. Money quote: “Employers must be permitted to ‘nip in the bud’ the kinds of employee conduct that could lead to a ‘hostile workplace.’” Airing these studies in the context of Google’s aggressive “diversity” policies is thereby a form of abuse.
In other words, according to the NLRB, referencing peer-reviewed studies can be grounds for firing someone, “notwithstanding Damore’s effort to cloak his comments with ‘scientific’ references and analysis, and notwithstanding ‘not all women’ disclaimers.” Notice that the word “scientific” is in quotes, where the science is not in dispute. And notice the dismissal of any argument that cites distributions and bell curves — very basic statistical tools — as if they are designed to obscure rather than reveal the complicated truth.
This is not just another elite campus incident. It’s embedded in federal employment law. It’s practiced by one of the most powerful corporations on the planet. In the fight between science and today’s social-justice movement, science has little chance. It will either conform to ideology or be banished from consideration.
MP: As one commenter on my CD post asked: “I wonder – why is this outcome labeled a paradox? In the most advanced egalitarian societies, women and men self-select into different areas of interest. It makes perfect sense to anyone who observes the norms of behavior in typical people.”