### The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

# A Mathematics Paper Two Math Journals Were Mau-Maued into Suppressing

## Academic discourse is increasingly under threat from activist professors.

According to Professor Ted Hill, Amie Wilkinson, a senior professor of mathematics at the University of Chicago, launched a successful campaign to get one mathematics journal that had accepted his paper withdraw its acceptance, and a second journal to "unpublish" the paper after publishing it online, apparently because discussing even mathematical models of hypothetical sex differences is forbidden if someone might interpret the discussion as conflicting with feminist orthodoxy. The saga is recounted in the linked story.

It seems to me that an appropriate response of the bullying described in the story is to get the paper as wide a circulation as possible, and create a Streisand effect.

Here is the abstract:

An elementary mathematical theory based on "selectivity" is proposed to address a question raised by Charles Darwin, namely, how one gender of a sexually dimorphic species might tend to evolve with greater variability than the other gender. Briefly, the theory says that if one sex is relatively selective then from one generation to the next, more variable subpopulations of the opposite sex will tend to prevail over those with lesser variability; and conversely, if a sex is relatively non-selective, then less variable subpopulations of the opposite sex will tend to prevail over those with greater variability. This theory makes no assumptions about differences in means between the sexes, nor does it presume that one sex is selective and the other non-selective. Two mathematical models are presented: a discrete-time one-step statistical model using normally distributed fitness values; and a continuous-time deterministic model using exponentially distributed fitness levels.

You can read the entire paper here.