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Old 01-18-2005, 08:27 AM   #16
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Let's look at a broader question: should we identify innate differences between the sexes (or races)?
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:51 AM   #17
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but is it really an innate difference? i beg to differ.
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:54 AM   #18
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but is it really an innate difference? i beg to differ.
I think it's absurd for people to claim there are no innate differences between men and women.
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:57 AM   #19
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but is it really an innate difference? i beg to differ.
Summers' statement appears overly broad and sloppy. Not what you would expect from an Ivy League president. If there was a kernal of truth supported by significant research, it was certainly lost in the conclusionary statements.

But my question is to the broader concept. Other than obvious physical differences, should be identify innate differences between groups of people?
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:04 AM   #20
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Let's look at a broader question: should we identify innate differences between the sexes (or races)?

there are no innate differences between the races. there is no "race" gene -- as in the genetic difference between you and me is no greater, or smaller, than the genetic difference between me and someone from Kenya, or Cambodia.

gender differences are much murkier, and very interesting -- i suppose much of it comes down to the nature vs. nurture argument. i'm a big old social constructionist, so i'd argue that most of the differences between men and women in the sciences can be chalked up to societal attitudes towards aptitude as demonstrated by men or women.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:04 AM   #21
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I think it's absurd for people to claim there are no innate differences between men and women.
i'm not claiming that at all. i'm talking about this specific instance. i agree that there are innate differences.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:12 AM   #22
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i'm not claiming that at all. i'm talking about this specific instance. i agree that there are innate differences.
Ahh okay, I thought you were replying to the more broad question nbcrusader asked.

I'm not sure what to think about this instance. As I already said, studies show that from early on girls generally outperform boys in language and verbal skills, while boys generally outperform girls in math and science. Do I know if these are innate differences? No clue. Do I think it should be studied? Yes.

I tend to think any differences here come from social influences- girls still tend to play with dolls and socialize more with other children which would stimulate the verbal part of the brain whereas young boys tend to fiddle with toys and that sort of thing more, which could stimulate the spatial part of the brain. Of course, this is generalizing so there are many exceptions.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:18 AM   #23
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Originally posted by Irvine511
there are no innate differences between the races. there is no "race" gene -- as in the genetic difference between you and me is no greater, or smaller, than the genetic difference between me and someone from Kenya, or Cambodia.
Is that a conclusion that we shouldn't look, or is that the conclusion of scientific research?

I am not suggesting that I disagree with your statement. But it appears that we are touching on an area of research that may be unacceptable to conduct.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:34 AM   #24
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Is that a conclusion that we shouldn't look, or is that the conclusion of scientific research?

I am not suggesting that I disagree with your statement. But it appears that we are touching on an area of research that may be unacceptable to conduct.

Maybe the biggest issue is: what difference would it make if there was a study to find innate differences in people? Do we really need to know and why do we need to know? Would this be information that would benefit mankind or would it be detrimental? I think the real fear here is that if this were studied and some differences were found, people would use these differences as reasons to discriminate...ect. The P.C. thing today is to say that everyone is exactly the same and leave it at that-maybe that's not a bad thing?

In my Anthropological Research Methods class a couple years ago we had a debate about whether there are innate differences between different groups of people, which was very interesting. We had to study different anthropologists, and some very prominant ones said that it would only be natural for some innate differences to occur in seperate (think arctic/tropical) groups of people if you believe in evolution. I don't know if I agree, but it was interesting.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:11 AM   #25
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Summers said two things:

1. Men may be better than women at science and/or engineering.

2. This difference may explain what has been labeled discrimination.

We live in a society that endlessly classifys and categorizes people (who we hire, who we promote, who we give raises to, etc.....). By the very nature of our society, we do not say that everyone is exactly the same.

The tension is the classification based on legitimate and illegitimate reasons.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:51 AM   #26
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Did any of you read beyond the misleading headline? "Women Lack 'Natural Ability' In Some Fields, Harvard President Says"

Did he state this as his opinion? No. read on:

"Summers told the Globe he was discussing hypotheses based on the scholarly work assembled for the conference, not expressing his own views. He also said more research needs to be done on the issues."
and this:
"Conference organizers said Summers was asked to be provocative, and that he was invited as a top economist, not as a Harvard official."

and this:"It's possible I made some reference to innate differences," he said. He said people "would prefer to believe" that the differences in performance between the sexes are due to social factors, "but these are things that need to be studied."

If I'm not mistaken the purpose of this conference was to address the fact that women aren't succeeding in certain fields to the degree that men are.

So what you do is put all your possible theories on the table to try to figure out the problem.

Now if we're not even allowed to discuss the possibility of innate differences between men and women, who's the one being closed minded? the militancy in some of these posts is quite astonishing.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:56 AM   #27
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Who's saying we're not allowed to discuss this possibility? Several of us, including myself have acknowledged that there are in fact innate differences.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:57 AM   #28
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Also, following this train of thought, are we not allowed to discuss the possibility of innate differences between straight and gay? But I thought the majority of gay opinion was that they were born that way? I'm lost.....
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:59 AM   #29
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Where are you getting this feeling that we're "not allowed" to discuss the differences?
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Old 01-18-2005, 11:12 AM   #30
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Where are you getting this feeling that we're "not allowed" to discuss the differences?
reference previous posts by jamila and indra.
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