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Free Minds & Free Markets

Plenty of Science Shows That Men and Women Are Just Programmed Differently

Google banning talk about that is appalling, though owners can do as they like with their companies.

Why aren't there more women criminals?! Men in jail outnumber women by a ratio of 14-to-1. We male stutterers outnumber women, too.

This isn't fair! We need more affirmative action! These disparities must be caused by sex discrimination because everyone knows there are no real differences between genders.

After all, Google fired engineer James Damore for daring to suggest that there is a biological reason men dominate tech leadership.

Google's CEO said: "To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive."

Then the media lied about what Damore wrote.

The Washington Post: "women may be genetically unsuited" for tech jobs.

CNN: "women are not biologically fit."

But Damore never said that.

New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post and even Forbes called his memo "anti-diversity." The Atlantic worsened it to an "anti-diversity screed."

But it wasn't "anti-diversity." "I value diversity," Damore wrote, saying he is "not denying that sexism exists."

It certainly wasn't a "screed." It was a thoughtful argument suggesting that "not all differences are socially constructed ... (M)en and women biologically differ."

Can't have that.

The enlightened media quickly explained, "Differences between men and women are slim to none" (CNBC) and "major books have debunked the idea of important brain differences" (Recode).

Wow. "Major books"!

This is absurd. Of course, there are big differences!

I didn't always understand that. My Princeton professors taught me that differences are caused by sexism. Boys are encouraged to achieve, girls to nurture. If we socialize equally, they said, just as many girls will want to go to monster truck rallies and become CEOs. Boys will nurture and more will take up ballet.

Some of it happened. Men did become more nurturing. More women became CEOs.

But no amount of government force and corporate "diversity, integrity, governance" programs will equalize the numbers.

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  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Thanks for the stat on more men in jail; I knew that, in general, but I am so tired of people goiing to such ridiculous lengths to rationalize every little social injustice, that I frankly just don't care any more. Why even bother trying to rebut them when they don't listen, don't even hear your words, unless they can pretend to have heard something evil so they have yet another excuse to call you names and walk away sneering?

    But maybe that stat will at least startle them out of their sanctimonious sneer for just a moment. Male life expectancy is also shorter almost universally.

  • Brian||

    I doubt it.

    These are the actual sexist stereotypes engaged by society, and they're so prevalent and accepted that they don't even riveter to progressives. In fact, their BS folds into it nicely:

    Men have agency and have expendibility inversely proportional to their accomplishment; the less accomplished, or criminal, a man is, the worse he is, and the less society could give a fuck (see: schools, prisons, military).

    Women lack agency and are really judged by their beauty. And, since it's so unfair that hey don't have agency, they deserve special protection from everyone and everything, especially disposable men, and beautiful women.

    No one's about to start caring about a prison full of men anytime soon. It would be a cultural shift bigger than the civil rights movement. It would be like make up suddenly going totally out of style.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "No one's about to start caring about a prison full of men anytime soon. "

    I care!!! The ONLY way to fix this 14 to 1 imbalance, is Government Almighty coercion! We MUST start releasing many-many violent male prisoners IMMEDIATELY!!! And round up some more women... In a "3 felonies a day" environment, I am sure we can charge them with SOMETHING... And imprison more women, till these numbers are fair and balanced, to show that we as a society truly treasure equality and fairness!!!

  • SQRLSY One||

    The other thing that bothers the crap out of me (as one who truly treasures equality) is how there are way, WAY more naked titty bars out there, than naked dwonky bars, for heterosexuals at least... I have not seen the statistics about the ratio of male hetero whores to females hetero whores, but I bet the numbers are astronomically in favor of women!

    CLEARLY we need more equality for those hetero men wanting to better themselves, using their bodies this way!!! Where is the EEOC, why are they not doing better at policing the ratios at the naked titty bars and cat houses?!?!

  • Trainer||

    I don't know a single straight woman who likes male strippers. They'll go to a male strip club for a celebration (usually one involving age or change marital status) but it's more like "let's do something raunchy" than they really want to see guys strip.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Actually, male strippers get more support for the career choice than female strippers get (EXOTIC DANCERS: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN SOCIETAL REACTION, SUBCULTURAL TIES, AND CONVENTIONAL SUPPORT).

    It's just one more case where women get shamed for earning an income. Sluts are defended from criticism by white knights who fight slut shaming, but sex workers don't get those protections.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    You've never seen a woman slap a man, SQRLSY One?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Maybe there are fewer women in jail, because gangs give women the safe jobs like looking out for the cops and give men the dangerous jobs like drive by shootings. If the military did this, most Americans would condemn it as sexists, but they see the lack of women in combat roles among gang members as proof that women are less prone to take risks.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Women are about 15% of the active duty military personnel (2015 Military Demographics). So we do not have gender parity there, but we do has less sexism in the military than in gangs.

  • Jerryskids||

    You might want to check the stats on mental hospitals, too.

    I thought it was common knowledge that a random woman is more likely to be closer to the average woman than a random man is to be closer to the average man, the range of men's abilities and characteristics is more extreme - in both directions - than the abilities and characteristics of women's.

    Might be some sort of herd instinct, women find safety in anonymity and being non-descript and fitting in with the herd in order to protect themselves and their offspring while men can find better opportunities for mating by being distinctive and standing out from the herd. Look at birds, for example, it's the male birds that tend to have the distinctive attractive plumage whereas the females that tend to be drab and non-distinctive - camouflage protection from being noticed by predators, in other words.

  • Murray Rothtard||

    it's simple evolutionary biology.

    men create millions of sperm daily. women make an egg a month and require a year to give birth and recover.

    makes sense to have huge variance in male ability so you can throw the bad sperm in prison and let the good sperm impregnate everyone. men are expendable.

    the women are too valuable to have that much variance.

  • Lester224||

    That's not quite right. Men have larger variation than women in some traits but not others. The spatial component of IQ is one of them. (Programming doesn't require much mental spatial rotation in 3 dimensions BTW). Did you mean that the X chromosome has less diversity in general than the Y? That's true, but the X chromosome is hardly the end-all of gene-driven diversity.

  • Ariki||

    "find safety in anonymity and being non-descript and fitting in with the herd in order to protect themselves"

    Source of current progressive ideology?

  • mtrueman||

    "Thanks for the stat on more men in jail;"

    You might feel that women are slacking off when it comes to committing crimes and being sent to jail. But don't assume all crimes are of the same gravity. The crimes women are likely to commit are far more egregious than those committed by men. The murder of defenseless babies and children, for example, is far more likely to be done by a woman than a man.

  • MG58||

    There might be "plenty of science," but Stossel has hardly shared any beyond vague things like infant girls sitting up and rhesus monkeys playing with trucks. When the rhesus monkey example comes up, one should ask themselves: Why would a rhesus monkey know what a toy truck is and why would it differentiate the truck from other toys? Were male monkeys also born with a knowledge of trucks?

  • GILMORE™||

    There might be "plenty of science," but Stossel has hardly shared any

    ""In the case of personality traits, evidence that men and women may have different average levels of certain traits is rather strong. For instance, sex differences in negative emotionality are universal across cultures; developmentally emerge across all cultures at exactly the same time; are linked to diagnosed (not just self-reported) mental health issues; appear rooted in sex differences in neurology, gene activation, and hormones; are larger in more gender egalitarian nations; and so forth (for a short review of this evidence, see here.)""

  • SQRLSY One||

    Sad to say, all of the "virtue signalers" out there give less than zero hoots about what the science has to say. Talking science to these people is usually about the same as arguing with your toilet bowl.

  • DJK||

    Which is hilarious, as they're the sorts who turn up to "science marches" and the like.

  • ||

    Why would a rhesus monkey know what a toy truck is and why would it differentiate the truck from other toys? Were male monkeys also born with a knowledge of trucks?

    Apparently, you didn't play with much of anything as a kid did you?

    The whole point is that if, somehow, parents imprinted on their kids some manner of concept of a truck and associated it with boys, it would be weaker or non-existent in monkeys. The whole point of using monkeys is that even the parents have no cognizance or cultural impression of 'truck'. The fact that the toy is a mechanically complex object meant to mimic the real mechanically complex object appeals to the gender intrinsically. 'Boys like trucks' *can't* be part of the equation.

  • Ariki||

    Knowledge of trucks, no.
    Curiosity for unusual objects yes?

    Are curiosity and risk taking that far apart?
    I wonder whats over the unknown horizon = I wonder how this interesting thing works?

  • JWatts||

    "Yes, America was extremely sexist just 50 years ago. It was taboo for women to smoke, wear pants in public "

    Say what? Stossel is generally brilliant but how did this line of revisionist history get into the article.

    Hell, their were cigarettes specifically designed for Women 50 years ago with ads to match.

    1968 - "Virginia Slims is a brand of cigarette manufactured by Altria (formerly Phillip Morris Companies). The brand was introduced in 1968 and marketed to young professional women using the slogan "You've come a long way, baby."

    "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Slims"

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yup-yo, thanks for pointing out that Stossel makes a slip-shod historian... 150 years ago would have been far more accurate...

  • sasob||

    Well he's definitely mistaken about the pants thing. Women and girls commonly wore slacks and pedal-pushers in the nineteen fifties - in casual situations anyway.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It was taboo for women and the cigarette companies were trying to get to the female market thru marketing.

    More ignorance from your lefties on history. Stossel was growing up in those years and has some observations about what was what.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Bullshit... "Flappers" were smoking in the 1920s. https://rutgersconsumersociety.wordpress.com/ . . .
    2012/09/20/roaring-flapping-smoking/

  • Jerryskids||

    You do know that "flappers" were generally considered to be loose women, right? And as popular as loose women generally are, there was an official social onus on them, a "taboo" if you will. And Virginia Slims in 1968 - 50 years ago - was deliberately appealing to feminists as breakers of taboos on what was socially acceptable for women to do.

  • sasob||

    Who was Mary Tyler Moore appealing to when she was doing cigarette commercials (for either Larks or Tareytons, with the activated charcoal filter - I dis-remember which) on the Dick Van Dyke show back in the very early sixties? Feminists? They weren't mainstream yet that far back.

    Smoking taboo for women? Uh...yeah. Tell it to Ayn Rand (or the characters in her novels) and the various other women who used fancy cigarette holders. Watch some of the old movies from the thirties and forties. I even had a great aunt who smoked a corncob pipe all her life until she died in the early nineteen fifties. And as a kid growing up in the fifties and sixties I can tell you I saw plenty of women smoking - even teenage girls. In fact, when cigarettes were first invented they were considered to be a woman's smoke - real men smoked a pipe or cigars. Women have probably always smoked, although it's true that it wasn't as common among women as among men.

  • Rhywun||

    I remember seeing (I Love) Lucy smoke all the time in the fifties. It was not a taboo well before 1968.

  • sasob||

    Yup, and she was another who did cigarette commercials.

  • DarrenM||

    It's hard to believe, but culture is not homogenous. What do Mary Tyler Moore and Lucille Ball have in common? Any taboos on women smoking varied from region to region. You honestly are unaware of anyplace that frowned upon women smoking at that time?

  • PG23COLO||

    Stossel is just plain wrong about smoking having been taboo for women. It was common for women of all classes to smoke, including my mother and other "Navy wives" of the 1940s and the 1950s. My mother was a very conservative and proper southern woman, and would never have smoked if there was any cultural stigma attached to it. She did quit abruptly in the 1950s, when she decided it was unhealthy. Her sudden quitting shamed my Navy officer father into quitting at the same time.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Cigarettes were marketing to women after the suffrage movement succeeded. The tobacco companies rode the tidal wave of women's liberation by associating cigarettes with newfound independence.

    This isn't "controversial". It's well known.

  • NebulousFocus||

    ENB seems to be believe in the blank slate.

  • Microaggressor||

    Deleted. Anyone know what it said?

  • sasob||

    Lack of content doesn't mean the slates can't be different.

  • mortiscrum||

    While I agree on the baseline points (men and women are generally different in some measurable ways), this article is making a weird, and unfounded, leap. Yes there are differences between men and women. However, there's nothing to suggest that ALL of the statistical differences in outcomes that we see can be attributed to those biological differences. This is a very odd claim to make when one is admitting to the existence of sexism in the very same article.

    For instance, the percentage of Google computer engineers that are women is significantly lower than the number of computer sciences graduates that are women. This isn't a smoking gun of "sexism at Google!", but it's pretty suggestive of it.

    This article isn't wrong. But it isn't right either.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You are not right either.

  • mortiscrum||

    Care to elaborate?

  • ||

    This isn't a smoking gun of "sexism at Google!", but it's pretty suggestive of it.

    Or not, it could literally be a case of Simpson's Paradox.

    More relevantly to libertarianism (and possibly even equality/diversity), you're statistically inferring guilt on something that isn't technically or Constitutionally a crime. It's entirely possible that in their drive to meet minority/immigrant quotas Google upset their gender balance and that the fault for the gender imbalance lies outside Google and even the US's control. It's equally likely that the gender proportion graduation rate is out of sync or otherwise lagging the economic cycles.

  • ||

    Bahaha, clearly logic isn't your strong suit. Google is a "pinnacle" job, they have historically had a practice of taking the best and brightest, the top echelon of computer engineers, care to tell me how many of them are women (this is when you can at least "suggest" sexism)?
    Secondly, people having an education in a field does not necessarily mean that they will enter that field, especially specifically as computer engineers. For the record, computer sciences degree =/= explicitly being a computer engineer. There are many fields that surround computer engineering that the aggregate of women would rather be.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I talked to an old friend of mine from college, who became a medical doctor. He says that a TON of women these days get a doctor's education, then never practice, because they marry male doctors. Maybe similar things go on with those women who get degrees in software?

  • ||

    Could be, but I figure quite a few of them either get jobs not in the field, or secondly get jobs in the computer sciences arena that isn't exactly computer engineering. I don't know about (assuming you're American) the American medical education system.

  • Jen G.||

    I have a Masters in Comp Sci and went the project management track rather than the software development. I like both but my female brain gives me a natural advantage in the communication and organizational skills needed in management as opposed to my see-problem-fix-problem male peers.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I know a female MD that is mostly leaving the profession to stay at home with her two young children.

  • Lester224||

    Proves your point! I know one who is not.

  • NoVaNick||

    Lots of women get Ph.D.s in the life sciences too, yet few go on to faculty positions in research with their own labs. They have made the same argument about sexism in hiring, pay, etc. Yet, the number one reason perhaps is the time investment these jobs require during what are the childbearing years. Women certainly can achieve these positions (professor, doctor, software engineer), and some do, but many CHOOSE not to. Of course, the leftist solution to this is to have universal free childcare, so that women can spend time on their career instead of kids. Not sure this would make much difference IMO.

  • DJK||

    How many of these people (who are elites by definition) would actually want their children going to the government-provided childcare facilities? My guess is about the same percentage of elites who currently prefer their children go to public schools, get Medicaid, etc. Not very damn many, in other words.

  • Ride 'Em||

    Canada, a few years back, was thinking of limiting women studying to be doctors as a higher percentage of women were not "lifers". This is because Canada had a shortage of doctors. The PC crowd went wild, the idea was dropped, and Canada still has a shortage of doctors.

  • mortiscrum||

    You've ignored my main point in favor of criticizing my (admittedly weak) example.

    Ignore Google for a second - it's unsupported by any evidence to say that the status quo is the correct breakdown of men and women by job because of differing biology. To hold that position is to say that sexism doesn't exist - and that is flatly ridiculous.

  • ||

    To hold that position is to say that sexism doesn't exist - and that is flatly ridiculous.

    I think there's a dual nature to the semantics of sexism that's being abused. It's the same old issue with discrimination and bias. Technically, these words originated or can be used without a moral connotation.

    It's entirely possible for one person to refer to the elimination of sexism and the other to refer to the acceptance of background levels of sexism (however arbitrarily low or high) as the same goal state.

    You may desire that the sexes determine their worth intrinsically, he may desire that the market determine it intrinsically and both may be occurring and you're both opposed to it. So for both of you, simultaneously, sexism would exist and not exist and need elimination by taking no specific action.

  • mortiscrum||

    I see your point. My problem though is the frequency in which calls to address sexism (or racism) are met with "no, that's just some combination of biological differences and personal choices. So the correct course of action is to do nothing at all." I agree that those are factors to keep in mind in some eventual "end state" where biases have been rooted out, but it seems awfully optimistic to think we're there yet.

  • ||

    I agree that those are factors to keep in mind in some eventual "end state" where biases have been rooted out, but it seems awfully optimistic to think we're there yet.

    There is no 'end state' (it's progressivism) which is why it should be 'least burdensome' approach. If you find a guy who's hired nothing but men, make him hire at least one women or hand over some percentage of his hiring decisions to the guy who hires only women and vice versa. Otherwise, you get into the shittiness of fucking with over the market in order to empirically decide whether being Indian or female is more valuable.

    'Higher percentage than graduated at the time of respective hiring' is a pretty frivolous implication of beyond a shadow of a doubt guilt and assumes some contradictory things that may, in fact, be true (I know of several women in hiring positions who knowingly hold pro-male biases for strictly pragmatic/platonic reasons.)

  • DJK||

    Thanks for admitting that your example was weak. That's a rarity on the Interwebs (or in general, I suppose). At any rate, you seem to be making the same mistake that you criticize. Stossel never said all sex differences are determined by biology, that the status quo is the correct breakdown, or anything like that. He's simply saying that there's plenty of evidence that biology is a significant factor in this issue and takes issue with those who hold the opposite view of the one that you earlier attributed to him - that it's all about culture and society and conditioning.

  • Microaggressor||

    Mortiscrum is attacking a strawman. Nobody said the gender breakdown is "correct" or even desireable. Nobody said that physiological factors means that sexism can't also be a factor. The postmodernist position is that it's 100% sexism and 0% biology. The science says that biology is more than 0%, but we don't know how much. Nobody but mortiscrum's imaginary boogeyman says that biology is 100% of the cause.

  • mortiscrum||

    The problem arises in the "implied" portions. Why are people so quick to defend this guy's position? He's not saying anything that hasn't been said before, and he's not even saying it particularly well. It's almost impossible to NOT read between the lines and think people are defending the current status quo. If all he was actually trying to do was point out some interesting science, why not do that? Why turn it in to an advice column to Google, suggesting they abandon at least some of their efforts at gender parity? Are you familiar with the debate tactic "Motte and Bailey?" This smells an awful lot like that.

    Taking you at your word, should I assume that you're in favor of the current anti-discrimination laws, and would maybe even like to see them strengthened? Or maybe you favor a different tactic entirely in order to stamp out sexual discrimination?

  • Bra Ket||

    "Why are people so quick to defend this guy's position?"

    Probably because the outrage was so uncalled for, and the destruction of the guy to maintain the PC narrative was an injustice that triggers people.

    If you want to understand him and his actions read the interviews he did. A lot of silliness going on inside google, like calling out "microagressions" and tons of encouragement for employees to give feedback and be active in the policymaking. It wasn't out of left field at all, he just naively grabbed the wrong issue and ran, and it blew up on him.

    As for Stossel, I remember his special about gender differences. It was about lowering standards to allow female firefighters. so his points were much easier to see there, since it was about physical ability instead of programming ability. And as he stays he still got the derision and scorn.

  • Lester224||

    A lot of comp sci people go into finance. A lot of women comp sci grads go into computer science jobs initially and then move into program management because the bro-culture gets old. There are a lot of women comp sci grads doing quality assurance testing on code.

    Google hires the top echelon of computer engineers male or female. A woman engineer at Google is likely to be a much better engineer than the best male engineer at x-small-tech-company.

    My guess is one reason they want to hire more women at Google so that the women who can run teams, encourage cohesiveness and communicate with the rest of the corporation (like product development, user interface design, marketing, sales) balance out the ultra-brilliant pinnacle asshole programmers.

  • Principal Spittle||

    "They yacky cunts will balance out the broculture asshole programmers"

    Equalized that for you.

  • DJK||

    When did Stossel come clase to saying ALL of the statistical differences are attributed to biological differences?

    Re: the percentage of Google computer engineers being lower than the number of computer science graduates (those are different fields, btw), why does that necessarily suggest sexism? It's also possible (and backed by a huge swath of research) that, for instance, women are more willing to sacrifice work for home life or whatever than vice versa. In an era in which young people are expected to go to college and women are told that they should go into STEM, it's not surprising that many would graduate with CS degrees and that fewer than all of those who did would stay in that field for a long time.

    It's only suggestive when you have a predetermined conclusion and fail to consider other possible explanations. This is a highly multivariate question. Simplistic analysis is not going to get you anywhere.

  • DJK||

    *come close

  • Bubba Jones||

    He actually concedes that point in reference to the fact that men did learn to be more nurturing and there are more women CEOs.

    This whole debates falls into a fallacy of extremism. It is possible for there to be a both a biological bias and a social bias. In fact, I'd expect that to be the case. A biological bias would be reinforced by social bias.

    We should work to remove the social bias, so that women who do want to be CEOs can have that path open, but we shouldn't try to put square pegs in round holes.

    Nuance apparently has no place in organizational structures.

  • SlyJeff||

    I've generally enjoyed Reason, but this recent defense of this memo is a big turn off. So many articles devoted to it, far too many.

    Yes, the liberal media has overstated some of the things is said, but reading it, just because he SAID he was for equality and against discrimination doesn't make it so. The ideas he puts forth in place of what Google has tried to do to reduce discrimination are either unworkable or terrible ("De-emphasize empathy"? Really?)

    Are there biological differences between men and women? Yes. Does that mean we accept that women are biologically prone to be more neurotic? If you are going to drop that bomb in a public place, you better be ready for what is coming.

    Do I think that making a big deal out of micro-agressions is a problem? Yeah, I do. I'm with reason on this. But there was a lot of really bad junk in this memo, so I don't need to buy off on it just because he's against some of the more ridiculous things that google does.

    But, at least with Reasons coverage I know that after hearing all the criticism, the author has doubled down and said he stands by all of it. So the parts he got wrong can no longer be looked upon as misguided, but now are willful ignorance.

  • ||

    "If you are going to drop that bomb in a public place, you better be ready for what is coming." Does it make it any less true? Basing truth on public backlash levels is stupid. What he meant was biologically, in aggregate, women are less inclined to enjoy stressful and uncertain situations that provide no stability. This is more simply demonstrated in the professions women and men choose, and completely makes sense biologically.

    Feel free to cite the parts he got "ignorantly wrong"...

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    Zero chance this happens.

    Partisans are real good at telling you how wrong you are, but never EVER take the time to elaborate upon or support their allegations

  • SlyJeff||

    I don't know why you label me a "Partisan". I don't support fully ANY party or ideology, though I tend to be closest toward libertarians (but disagree in some important ways).

  • DarrenM||

    Just because you claim not to "support fully ANY party or ideology" doesn't mean you don't. You're perfectly willing to discount Damore's assertions, but you expect us to take your word at face value?

  • SlyJeff||

    Whether it is true or not is a complicated and debated question. I don't have the knowledge to answer it. But either way, the statement itself will affect people and relationships in the company. Public backlash DOES matter in a company setting where people are affected by things said. There are many things I believe to be objectively true that I either don't discuss, or wait for appropriate situations to discuss, because I understand how they may affect people on the other side who aren't prepared to hear it.

  • SlyJeff||

    Women being more prone to be biologically neurotic is not simply demonstrated in the professions men and women choose. It's a very complicated question to answer because causation does not equal correlation. But beyond that, whether it is a biological tendency or not, it certainly isn't across the board (not all women are more neurotic than men), and so you have to look specifically at Google as a company and the kind of people they hire. They are not looking at a general population pool, but a famously smaller pool of people that is quite small. Even from that population who have indicated skill and an interest in choosing to work at Google, Google chooses to hire more men than women (that is, they hire a much smaller percentage of the available women than they do the available men). It is completely reasonable that Google would want to address this, and it has nothing to do with biology. But by bringing up biology, the author of this memo has now made some very general statements about women that are absolutely going to cause stress in the working relationships around him. And that is something that Google has to address.

  • DarrenM||

    There is a problem with using the word "neurotic". I found one definition that said "suffering from, caused by, or relating to neurosis". On the other hand, I also found there is a difference between "neurosis" and "neuroticism". I would have expected the word "neurotic" to apply to the latter, not the former. It's a little confusing.

  • SlyJeff||

    One example where the author got it "ignorantly wrong" is his suggestion to de-emphasis empathy (which I did give as an example in my post). Empathy is absolutely a strength for a company like Google, and it's also a strength when trying to combat discrimination.

    But in general, there is a lot of very valid criticism that has been made public. I can link you some if you'd like. The fact that this is out there and the author has made no indication that any of this has caused him to reconsider is damning.

    Honestly, with so much volume and controversial ideas, if I were to author something like that, I would expect there to be some valid criticism. Since the author himself has suggested it was worth it to get the conversation going, you'd think he'd want to reassess where good challenges have been made (and there have been some). But instead it sounds like he's doubled down. That is the point that I was making.

  • ||

    Empathy is absolutely a strength for a company like Google, and it's also a strength when trying to combat discrimination.

    Unless you're trying to empathize too hard with too small a portion being discriminated against, then it's a plain old case of diminishing returns. Also, just as there are problems out there that no amount of engineering will solve, there are problems out there that no amount of empathy will solve.

    The fact that Damore was let go for not-exactly alienating anyone with an internal memo and the leaker was (presumably) retained despite alienating the 40-60ish percent that varyingly agree with Damore indicates that Google still lacks empathy or the amount of empathy they have isn't worth what they think it's worth.

  • Jerryskids||

    If you are going to drop that bomb in a public place, you better be ready for what is coming.

    You mean like making sure you file a complaint with the NLRB beforehand alleging that Google engages in illegal discrimination before you release a memo alleging that Google engages in stupid discrimination? Almost as if the guy laid a clever trap for Google, knowing full well Google would likely engage in some retaliation but still surprised they do it after he made sure he was protected from such retaliation.

  • Finrod||

    Try looking in the mirror if you want to see "willful ignorance".

  • Bubba Jones||

    WASHINGTON—When it comes to mental illness, the sexes are different: Women are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression, while men tend toward substance abuse or antisocial disorders, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

    http://www.apa.org/news/press/.....lness.aspx

    So, when the male antisocial programmer says that empathy is over rated, we should fire him?

  • Bra Ket||

    "Neurotic" is a technical term referring to one of the primary dimensions used in psychology research of personality differences.

    That women score higher on the "neuroticism" category is pretty much established scientific fact in that field.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    I thought the folks at Reason had a modicum of intelligence. Don't you know by now that anything (a) not from the left and (b) longer than a 10-second sound byte is a "screed" by definition?

  • Nihil||

    I thought the folks at Reason had a modicum of intelligence. Don't you know by now that anything (a) not from the left and (b) longer than a 10-second sound byte is a "screed" by definition?

    Fixed.

  • Finrod||

    Why do leftists hate science?

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    What do you mean? Leftists LOVE junk science.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Plenty of science shows that men and women are just programmed differently".

    That is hate speech. It is a crime. It also completely ignores LGASKDfdsTV gender-things.
    Which means you are an alt-right fascist.
    Which means antifa has every right to "bash" you.

    Is that the correct REASONING these days, or only in every other article?

  • colorblindkid||

    "company heads are less likely to be female not simply because of sexism but because women are less crazy than men—less likely to be career-obsessed or to take stupid risks for money. That's also a reason there are fewer women in jail. Is that a bad thing?

    Women live longer, have more friends, create better work-life balances."

    Exactly. Women are not oppressed in today's world. There is an argument that they have it easier. I do think all humans evolved to instinctively hold more compassion and empathy for women and children than for men. It makes sense evolutionarily-speaking, since women bear the children and men are replaceable.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    "I value diversity

    If I were to say, "I like John Stossel, but he is a goat fucker", could I then later claim to be unfairly described as anti-Stossel? After all, I said I like him!

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I object that you imply there's something wrong with goat-fucking.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Does liking someone to you mean you cannot be objective about their personality quirks?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    And what's with all the people saying "I'm a libertarian, but...", right?

  • Ariki||

    I like Michael Jackson but.....

  • Cynical Asshole||

    women are less crazy than men

    Citation needed.

  • lap83||

    differently crazy

  • Microaggressor||

    The less harmful term is differently-abled. Thanks.

  • Bubba Jones||

    All the women I know are on antidepressants.

  • Jerryskids||

    Plenty of Science Shows That Men and Women Are Just Programmed Differently

    Yeah, and I'll bet it was men scientists who came up with that, only a man would think that men and women think differently. Women certainly don't think that men and women think differently.

  • ||

    Quasi-related: First Female Navy SEAL Officer Candidate Quits After One Week

    Had she completed the three-week course, she would have been eligible for review by the NSW officer community manager and officer selection panel in September and, if selected, received orders by October to report to NSW's grueling 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training course.
    ...
    The entrant, one of a handful of female applicants who have applied for elite special warfare roles, appears to have exited the training pipeline after completing just half of the command's screening evaluations, sources told Task & Purpose.

    I, in no way, would consider myself to be an equal soldier to this woman. However, the fact remains that these women are washing out from (actual servicemembers might correct me) a program that precedes BUD/S and generally is easier/has a lower washout rate. A program that has something like a 70% success rate for male applicants.

    I expect the standards to be lowered and re-worked to a more 'team-oriented' approach any time now.

  • Bubba Jones||

    The article doesn't say what the washout rate is for this first selection, but she was a Junior in ROTC. I think it's a bit early to judge overall success rates.

  • ||

    The article doesn't say what the washout rate is for this first selection, but she was a Junior in ROTC.

    Junior ROTC means that she's had her freshman, sophomore, and Jr. years of ROTC/College to figure out that she wants to be a SEAL and prepare for it. As opposed to the 18-yr.-old enlisted men who sign up effectively right out of HS. The 70% number is a/the approximation of the 'Officer' candidate success rate. Keep in mind this is SOAS which is well before actual BUD/S training, Hell Week, and 70% washout rates.

    My understanding is that her lack of success puts her in the lower 30% of Officer applicants and the lower 50% of general applicants. Also, there's no real reason to judge her in isolation considering the fact that it's well known that similar happened with the Marine and Army combat roles and that other Nation's armies operate under the same basic gender-disparate precept and/or suffer the same basic lack-of-supposedly-unneeded-transition to mixed-gender combat units.

  • JFree||

    So basically you are saying that a program that is screening out will be adjusted in order for you to make unsupported assertions about PC? I didn't realize you were so influential.

  • ||

    So basically you are saying that a program that is screening out will be adjusted in order for you to make unsupported assertions about PC? I didn't realize you were so influential.

    No. I'm saying an objective screening program that wasn't really in any way specifically gender-oriented will likely be downward adjusted to accommodate a greater class of not-less-qualified people. Precisely the sort of thing a screening program should be designed not to do but, paradoxically, just like it has in pretty much every other instance it was faced with this... disparity of logic.

  • colorblindkid||

    I am pretty scrawny. There are millions of women stronger than me. This doesn't change the fact that men are, on average, stronger than women, and the strongest man will always be stronger than the strongest woman. This is such basic logic I don't understand how these people don't understand.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    As if the mustache wasn't a dead giveaway that Stossel is a giant woman-hater.

  • Lester224||

    All my girl friends say mustaches are gross. Either have a beard or shave.

  • AlmightyJB||

    When a male and female coed get drink and have sex, which one is guilty of rape? No one seems to take issue with always blaming the man but how can they do that if there is no difference between genders?

  • sarcasmic||

    Jeez, Stossel. Didn't anyone tell you that you're not allowed to even notice difference in people? To even notice is to engage in hatred. The act of observing is itself an act of hatred. It's just not allowed. We are only allowed to notice things that are within a person's control. Like political affiliation or bad habits. And we're totally allowed to hate people based upon their choices. Encouraged even. But merely observing differences that are not within a person's control is the same as hating them for things that are within their control. Exactly the same thing.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    It's also wrong to not notice differences. For example, it's racist to say that you don't treat people differently based on their skin color.

  • Meh.||

    Great article. Unfortunately, it's hard to get people to even listen to these scientific facts, especially when you're a young woman and your peers keep accusing you of only stating these facts "just to try to attract guys." I haven't really found a good comeback except for ignoring them, I guess.

    Also, only tangentially related, but it is very encouraging to learn that even Stossel struggles with stuttering too!

  • DJK||

    It's an interesting (read: hypocritical) perspective, for sure. Attack a woman (in a highly sexist manner, I might add - suggesting that you're adopting a philosophy just to get guys, seriously?) for having agency and arriving at a different conclusion.

  • Rebel Scum||

    "anti-American, crazy thinking."

    It's anti-american to stray from the groupthink, John. Where have you been the past 8+ years, you sexist cisgender shitlord?!

  • Microaggressor||

    The most plausible explanation for the left's embrace of science denial is simple.
    Acknowledging these facts is anathema to the social justice worldview. It proves that getting the 50/50 gender balance they desire is impossible. And efforts to "fix" it are misguided and often counterproductive. Most people do not have the intellectual courage to come to terms with the fact that their life's work has been a pointless pursuit of an impossible utopian fantasy.

  • Lester224||

    The right and the left engage in science denial when it's convenient for them. I've seen a great deal of science denial on the right.

  • colorblindkid||

    But nobody denies there is science denial on the right. It's the hypocrites on the left and in the press that are most annoying. The anti-nuclear movement angers me more than any other movement in the world, because they're the same people that claim to FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE, and it is one of the most Luddite, anti-science movements out there.

  • JFree||

    Plenty of science shows that men and women are just programmed differently.

    If you look at almost any statistical distribution of something (strength/intelligence/dexterity/etc) by gender - men have much wider variation with larger 'tail'/outlier values and women have narrower variation with higher cluster around the mean/median.

    I suspect this is a consequence of evolution. If women were the main source of genetic variation, then they would run a much higher risk of dying in pregnancy - potential fetus/mother rejection because of incompatible chromosomal variation would run both ways and for all offspring and for the entire pregnancy. Each X chromosome pair from the mother would potentially conflict with itself (re fertility) and with X chromosomes from the father for a baby girl as well as Y chromosomes from the father for a baby boy. Instead the X chromosomes serve now to preserve traits from one generation to the next - while the Y serve as the main 'mutation'. It's likely in fact that 'survival of the fittest' already killed off women (and their offspring) whose X chromosomes were the source of generational variation instead of generational stability.

    The result is that women are much more like other women than men are like other men. And for any selection system where the outliers are more likely to be selected ('the smartest, the strongest, the most psychotic'), men are going to be a MUCH larger portion of that group than women are.

  • Dillinger||

    Why aren't there more women criminals?

    they run the damn planet, why would they need to crime it up too?

  • jjjjj||

    Science says there are differences between men and women, but SCIENCE! says we have no f-ing clue so be whatever you want to be because brains and social constructs and Neil de Grasse Tyson and shit!

  • Lester224||

    This is an informed article from an senior ex-Google employer who knows what engineering is all about, unlike Danmore who has no clue.

    https://tinyurl.com/ya38lyz2

  • Lester224||

    Spoke too soon. A few good points in it, but a lot of garbage too.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The writer's commentary on engineering management (Point #2) is pretty much on target.

    His Point #1 blithely dismisses the science of both biological and social differences between men and women. His point #3 demonstrates a lack of reading comprehension that so many of Damore's critics exhibit.

    Overall, though, the writer is correct that an organization like Google had to purge Damore, and that Damore was foolish to express his criticism outside the circle of his most trusted friends. All organizations have taboos that cannot be violated.

  • Lester224||

    I'm reading Danmore's stuff again, and I think his accusation of Google "lowering the bar" during recruiting is what led the ex-Googler to say Danmore was implying that female employees aren't really good enough, and that implication is really corrosive. That "lowering the bar" phrase is really inflammatory very insulting. Trying to reach more women during recruitment (for example by targeting campus women's organizations) is not "lowering the bar". Providing some training programs for women is not "lowering the bar" (although maybe it's 'unfair'). Valuing a variety of strengths in different people is not "lowering the bar". So, that phrase, along with the "neurotic" bit may be what a lot of the negative feedback is about.

  • Freelancelot||

    "Women live longer...[and] create better work-life balances."

    First, longevity statistics are, well, statistical abstractions. You know, the Third Circle of Hell of the three circles of Hell of lies.

    Second, women tend to cut men's lives shorter during marriage or other prolonged intimate relationships between the (2) genders. Call it the "fruit fly effect" if you wish.

    Third, the "work-life balancing" act is bullshit. One year of life is worth 20 years of (literal or figurative) hibernation. Men are superior in their apprehension of this basic, elemental fact of life.

  • Freelancelot||

    *of the Hell of lies

  • Response||

    What Stossel wrote would get him fired from Google.

  • Richard Stallman||

    There are statistical differences in behavior between human males and human females. They result from a combination of genetics and environment. Experience changes the physical structure of the brain.

    Perhaps someday we will know enough to prise apart the contribution of genetics and the contribution of environment, but at this point we have no idea.

  • colorblindkid||

    But nobody, not even the most sexist people, are saying that environment doesn't have any effect at all. There are, however, a large number of people in academia who are absolute blank slatists, who deny the possibility of any and all evolutionary influence on the behaviors of men and women, on average. That is no better than outright creationism.

  • Bill Adams||

    Yes, America was extremely sexist just 50 years ago. It was taboo for women to smoke, wear pants in public or to go a bar alone. A woman couldn't get a credit card without a husband's or father's signature. Really.


    Wouldn't you know the only thing wrong with the article would be the lip service to the opposition? Just 50 years ago was 1967, and I assure you women were smoking, wearing pants, and going to bars alone to beat the band, and had been doing so for decades. Really. Credit cards for the masses were still a new thing, he might be only five or ten years off on that one.

  • Joanne Marinelli||

    Google is not just a company, however. It is a contradiction between efficiency, which had an impact on my contracts as a disability journalist, and a progressive nursemaid, unable to handle a few spitballs on the basis of "experience", when it comes to appropriation, whether it is a matter of innate gender differences, or the rise of identity politics, which I believe will doom us all, despite libertarian tenants. I am not a species optimist, and the argument might be made, if Google is going the way of Ex Machina, with the mother of all Turing tests, that the search giant doesn't have much faith in our biology either.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Why aren't there more women criminals?! Men in jail outnumber women by a ratio of 14-to-1.

    Because it is socially acceptable for a woman to slap a man. If we arrested women every time they slapped their boyfriends and husbands, we would have gender parity in jail.

  • Lester224||

    Slapped as opposed to beat the shit out of.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    You want me to find you some photos of male domestic violence victims? Because I assure you, a woman can do anything a man can do. Including picking up a blunt object and breaking every part of a man's face. And when that man calls the cops, current feminist-influenced police procedure is to arrest him.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The enlightened media quickly explained, "Differences between men and women are slim to none" (CNBC) and "major books have debunked the idea of important brain differences" (Recode).

    That is a transphobic thing to say these days.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Yes, America was extremely sexist just 50 years ago. It was taboo for women to smoke, wear pants in public or to go a bar alone. A woman couldn't get a credit card without a husband's or father's signature. Really.

    Transvestic Disorder is still listed as a mental illness in the DSM 5.

  • Stephen Hemingway||

    It is forbidden to suggest that differences in IQ have anything to do with genetics. Research on this topic will not attract funding. Anyone who attempts to work in this field will become a pariah. It would be very interesting to do research to find out how such rigid orthodoxy can establish itself in institutions where independent thought is - supposedly - so highly valued.

  • Cranedoc||

    Sense and science are NOT ALLOWED at the diversity table! Science especially is icky when it contradicts popular ideas about gender. Excommunicate violators and BURN THE WITCH!

  • VOTE MILES||

    Men are from Mars. This is old hat.

  • Lester224||

    Here's what Danmore said that is the reason many think he was saying women and minorities are less qualified

    "Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for "diversity" candidates by decreasing the false negative rate"

    That's a reach. Google has very, very high standards. They can get the top few percent of hires whether they be men or women. If they hire a woman or minority with a tiny bit lower score on some programming test then a white male, you can bet that person has other qualifications (like social skills, communication skills, business savvy, work experience) that make up for it.

    Reaching out to get a wider pool of candidates (e.g. recruiting at women and minority technical organizations) isn't "lowering the bar". It's just getting a wider pool of candidates.

    Most colleges and technical workplaces already have affirmative action for white males as they statistically have worse grades and scores than Asian males by the way.

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