In any debate I’ve ever had about the rights of women, anecdotal evidence is invariably offered as support of some outrageous claim that women are “naturally different” from men in a way that makes us less apt in the public sphere or less able to act on our own behalves. Part of the frustration that stems from these conversations is the realization that it is hard to refute these sexist arguments with anything other than contradictory anecdotes, since it is hard to get ethically obtained falsifiable data about your own species. It is notoriously hard to limit the variables in any experiment done on humans and, even in such a case where you could, you would still have to contend with the researcher’s biases. Just yesterday, Casmall advised me that I should just not worry about the more harmless types of sexism, since common stereotypes are just too hard to debunk with logic.
However, researchers at the
UPDATE: Thus Spake Zuska has an elegant post about how reluctant people are to change their sexist ideas, even in the face Science-worthy data. Apparently, anecdotal evidence (which Zuska loving refers to as the My Personal Experience About the Way Things Are Defense) actually trumps science. Yup, as Z. says:
...some people are unwilling to have their constraints relieved. For those men who are so enamored of the Strong Silent Man stereotype, I wish they'd live up to their self-proclaimed identity and shut up about it already.Can I get an Amen?