The scandal of gender: how feminists are offended by theorem

The scandal of gender: how feminists are offended by theorem

It is considered that natural science — a field of objective knowledge that transcends ideology and personal ambition. But in real life things can be more complicated.


Mathematician Theodore hill wrote a scholarly article, which has consistently been rejected by one journal and unpublished elsewhere. The quality of work at anything. It turned out that, according to civil activists, the article stirs up feelings of a young, insecure girls. This was the reason for bullying as a scientist and editions of scientific journals.

Evolution question

Even Charles Darwin noticed that different types of males often with a greater variability than females. In the time of Darwin to gender statements have not been treated with such rigor as in our days: if Darwin was alive today, he would have to be more evasive and did not use the words male and female, stimulating the audience. However, Darwin spoke directly, and this directness was interested in mathematics Theodore hill. According to the hill, it seemed interesting suggestion of the Creator of the theory of evolution, that due to the stronger differences males better adapt to changing environmental conditions.

Hill noted that Darwin described pattern is observed in humans: for example, boys have a stronger variation in terms of weight during the birth. In addition, men not only represent the majority owners of scientific awards and sports records, but also the largest number of homeless, criminals and suicide victims.

This phenomenon and took the hill in their work. Currently, the article by the hill available on the website of preprints Note that the author did not consider the justice of the hypothesis, but only examined possible statistical investigation.

Imagine two sexes, A and B. A — electoral gender: its representatives are denied mating more than half of the other sex, the V. Such a hypothesis is quite realistic: sea lions offspring leaves only every 25th male. Suppose now that the floor is composed of two groups, B1 and B2. The average attractiveness of the B1 and B2 are the same, but the variation in the indicator of the attractiveness of the B1 more. Then among the representatives B1, the proportion of those who leave offspring, will be more than among the representatives of B2: it is to this group will belong to the “best” individuals from the tail of the statistical distribution.

Note that if the floor is less selective and rejects only the worst of the knights (less than half of the distribution), the situation will reverse and B2 group will have an advantage in reproduction.

More clearly stated the consequence of the distinction of gender senior research fellow, Institute of information transmission problems for them. A. A. Kharkevich of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IITP RAS), Alexander Pankin, one of the first who drew attention to the scandal disappeared from the publication articles. In order not to affect ideologically sensitive on earth, he offered an explanation on the example of the Martians.

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“Suppose that Martians selectively prefer Marciano with a large head size. Suppose that there are two parts of population of marcianos equal to the number. The first part is a head with a diameter of 50 cm with variations within 1 cm of the second part for some reason the average diameter of the head — the same 50 cm, but 20% of this group, more head size 51 cm and 20% — less than 49 cm, the second group approximately every fifth Martian has a head with an attractive larger than 51 cm, and in the first group there are none at all. In the end, the offspring will leave only the large head of the! of the second part. Note that the average head size of offspring all this has no effect: the first and the second group differ genetically not the average head size, namely the spread of this value. Thus, the average variability in this index of Marciano will increase. From the theorem of Theodore hill, this conclusion is correct and for some more General cases,” explains Panin.

The author (a study he conducted together with a colleague from the University of Pennsylvania Sergey Tabachnikov) noted that his work neither confirms nor refutes the hypothesis of greater variability of males, but only considering what traits will appear in the evolution of species in the case if this is true.

But, as subsequent events showed, the article itself could be the reason for gender studies.Fuzzy logic

Purely mathematical calculations of scientists accepted for publication in the journal Mathematical Intelligencer, the editors who evaluated the work very positively, according to the scientist. But when the tobacco companies have placed a preliminary version of the publication, the authors started the problem. They contacted representatives of the Association “Women in mathematics” and warned that publication of work that can hurt young women professionals. In addition, the organization noted that mathematicians can simply be accused of sexism.

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The scandal grew: Tabachnikov tried to convince to remove his name from the publication. Hill contacted representatives of “Women in mathematics” and stood up for his colleague, adding that attacks only one of the authors is unfair. To business joined the national science Foundation that required the magazine to exclude the mention of himself in the article (the study was conducted with funding of the Fund). As noted by the hill, it was also made with the filing of “Women in mathematics”, which described the article as promoting a “pseudoscientific ideas”.

On the same day, the authors of the study were given to understand that article at all will not be published. Editor-in-chief told the hill that he had not received any claim regarding the scientific component of the text, but expressed concerns about the reaction that it can cause. She even compared the article with the monuments to the heroes of the Confederacy — another acute in American society theme.