Man, lotsa dust on this keyboard. Gotta start with something easy to warm up the ol’ thinker.
Steve Sailer has an old, but still very interesting article tabulating the differences between gay men and lesbians. It’s very easy to draw inferences from the article, but Sailer’s strategy of *wink* *nudge* *point* kinda grinds on me. I like my analysis the way I like my liquor: straight-up.
Here are some exemplary tendencies:
- Gays have a visually oriented cognitive style, whereas lesbians have a verbally oriented cognitive style.
- Gays have classical and avant-garde taste in art, whereas lesbians have folksy and traditional taste in art.
- Gays see humans as art objects, whereas lesbians resent objectification.
- Gays are snobbish and hierarchical, whereas lesbians are sensitive to lesser talents.
Paraphrased from “Why Lesbians Aren’t Gay”
by Steve Sailer
in National Review
I acknowledge that inference is a weakness of mine, so I engage in it for the same reason that I exercise. So I’ll just slip into something comfortable and you can watch me exercise. Metaphorically speaking.
Oh yeah, but you should read the rest of the original article first. (Achievement unlocked: Awful compositional structure!)
The point of all this is to study the malleability of differences between men and women, although Sailer takes his time in saying so. After we realize this, gender analysis becomes a trivial game of matchmaking between column A and column B. Are men’s brains wired from birth to have a visual cognitive preference? Let me just look at the column for gay male tendencies and…yup, that doesn’t appear to change much with nurture. Are men wired to prefer jobs outdoors? Nope, looks like that’s primarily a cultural thing.
To defer criticism for a moment, I’ll recall to critics’ very intelligent and educated minds* that heritability is not the same as malleability. A 100% (virtually) heritable trait like height can be very malleable by the environment, particularly malnutrition and death.
Studying the differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals can provide a means for ruling out nature as the causal agent in gender traits, and to a weaker extent it can rule out nurture as a causal agent. A few complications can arise in the logic that are isomorphic to those in adopted twins studies, so I’ll just refer you to that. Anyway, since we’re talking spectra and distributions and modalities I get to play hard and fast with the fuzzy logic.
Another troubling detail is that personality traits are only malleable for a relatively short while, and are essentially set in stone after cognitive development ends (and peaks) at 25ish years old. Wherefore the saying that you become forever the person you are in your twenties. This makes studies of malleability rather difficult, because we also need to determine the period of the trait’s formation.
The study of sexual preferences, in particular, is becoming very clear. Sexuality in males becomes intractable very quickly, perhaps at the onset of puberty, which may explain the relative abundance of fetishism among males as compared to females. (Then again, this observation is confounded by the base rate fallacy because men are more variable than women. Women are more similar to other women than men are similar to other men.)
Speaking less from a logical perspective and more from a taxonomical/ontological perspective, I think homosexuality is a better classified as a fetish than a disorder. In part, this is merely a practical treatment which happens to produce useful policies. But I dunno, fetishes appear in groups the same way disorders do. Maybe it’s coincidence. Where does one find useful data on sexual paraphilia?
Well that went all over the bloody place. In conclusion, I need to get my hands on some grant money. And some brilliant but aspergic grad students who will work tirelessly for a song and dance, but now I’m just repeating myself.
*Hey Mom! Lookit me being all subtle and stuff!