Toby Young Toby Young

Science is on the side of the trans activists

Some interesting scientific research on gender differences was published last week. Two social scientists studied the preferences of 80,000 people in 76 countries to determine whether there’s a link between the attitudes of men and women to risk-taking, patience, altruism, trust and so on, and how advanced a country is in terms of economic development and gender equality.

If gender is a social construct, as many feminists claim, you’d expect men and women’s preferences to be more divergent in places like Pakistan, Malaysia and Nigeria, where gender roles are quite traditional and women have fewer economic opportunities, than in the Nordic countries. However, the opposite is true. The researchers discovered that the more economically developed a country is and the greater the gender equality, the less likely men and women’s attitudes are to converge. This suggests that average psychological differences between men and women are partly biological. How else to account for the fact that when men and women are free to pursue their own interests, gender differences become more pronounced, not less?

It’s not as if feminists are in favour of the way in which gender is assigned at present

This isn’t a novel finding: there have been numerous studies showing much the same thing. Earlier this year, a couple of psychologists looked at the participation of women in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) across the world and discovered that the more gender equality there is in a country, the less likely women are to study Stem subjects or pursue careers in these areas. The phenomenon even has a name: the gender-equality paradox. But it’s only a paradox if you believe gender differences are socially constructed.

Needless to say, plenty of feminists dispute this research and dismiss ‘biological essentialism’ as pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo designed to justify patriarchal oppression.

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