Will Feminists Again Attempt To Censor Science?

Ashley Herzog
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Posted: Mar 13, 2008 10:58 AM
Will Feminists Again Attempt To Censor Science?

How long before feminists try to censor this? Last week, Science Daily reported on a study from Northwestern University which proved “that girls have superior language abilities than boys...and gender differences in language appear biological.” Through MRI scans, the researchers discovered that girls’ brains work harder and use more areas during language tasks than boys’—leading them to conclude that “boys’ and girls’ brains are different.”

This is bad news for feminists, who insist that men and women are really the same (besides the obvious physical distinctions), and that any differences are the products of socialization, “gender roles” and discrimination—and any scientist who suggests otherwise will be punished. We’ll probably never know how great a role biology plays in gender differences, because feminists try to prevent anyone from researching it.

That’s exactly what happened at Harvard University in 2005. During an academic conference, Harvard’s then-president Larry Summers discussed several theories about why there are fewer female math and science professors. In addition to gender discrimination, Summers floated the possibility of “different availability of aptitude at the high end”—in other words, there are more men than women with the top-notch math and science abilities expected of elite professors. He also noted that more research was needed to explain the gender discrepancy.

But, apparently, more research is the last thing feminists want. At the mere suggestion of innate gender differences, a few feminists in the audience literally ran from the room crying. One professor, Nancy Hopkins, said she had to leave the room “or else I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up.” (While Hopkins never responded to Summers with a scientific argument, she did manage to reinforce the stereotype that women are too emotional to handle scientific debate and will respond to difficult situations by bursting into tears. Thanks, Nancy!) A few months later, Summers was forced out of his presidency in order to appease the science-averse feminists.

Predictably, scholars who aren’t intimidated by feminists are ridiculed and ostracized. Last year, Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatriast at the University of California San Francisco, published her book The Female Brain, which is based on more than a thousand studies from the fields of genetics, neuroscience, and endocrinology. After decades of research, Brizendine concluded that male and female brains are both structurally and hormonally different. As she wrote, “there is no unisex brain…girls arrive already wired as girls, and boys arrive already wired as boys.”

Feminist book reviewers and columnists—who don’t have degrees in neuroscience, just a faith-based belief that socialization accounts for all gender differences—savagely attacked Brizendine and the book, calling it “garbage” and “scary.” Displaying feminists’ typical open-mindedness to scientific facts, one reviewer claimed that “I found my self slamming the book down and walking out of the room in an aggressive and angry mood.”

With this level of censorship, it’s no wonder that scientists are expected to hide research that suggests men and women are innately different. We can rest assured that a book like The Female Brain will never be assigned reading in a college classroom. Meanwhile, sociology and women’s studies textbooks are filled with laughably false assertions about gender. Legitimate scholarship is being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

Of course, not all feminists reject scientific explanations for gender differences—but they’re often out-screamed by the ones who do, allowing the denial to reach absurd new heights. In their book Professing Feminism, women’s studies professors Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge described a confrontation with a fellow feminist. The feminist was angry over suggestions that women should breast-feed babies, because—in her words—“research shows that men can lactate, too.”

Given their current level of anti-science hysteria, I’m looking forward to the day when some feminists start angrily denouncing the idea that women have ovaries and men don’t.