0385: "How It Works"

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EnterTheBowser
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby EnterTheBowser » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:53 am UTC



If one really wanted to analyze things, one might note that there are four humans in the pictures of the toys on that website. Three of them are boys, who are excited to be doing science successfully. One of them is a very disappointed girl, who did not manage to science successfully.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby GodShapedBullet » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:00 am UTC

Hey, so I was kind of wondering:

What's up with the title of this comic?

"How It Works" seems awfully depressing. Is it Pessimism Monday or something?

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby Flewellyn » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:04 am UTC

Izzhov wrote:But this raises the question: where on Earth does this particular societal force come from? It's everywhere. Since the vast majority of societies have this kind of structure to them (i.e. with men doing the labor and women raising the children), I must conclude that some biological predisposition is involved.


There is a biological factor involved, but it isn't in the brain. It's this: men are, on average, larger and stronger than women. This means that, in ancient agrarian societies, men could easily bully women into taking subservient roles and doing drudge work. Since it was easy to do, many of them did.

The pattern held, because it was convenient to men, who had the greater strength, to have a convenient underclass to exploit. Those men who didn't exploit and abuse women were often crowded out of the leadership positions by those who did, because the exploiters had the advantage of free labor from their captive women. So it became almost de rigueur in agrarian societies: to be successful, men must oppress women.

But the thing about oppression is, oppressors ALWAYS fear that the oppressed will rise up and rebel. So they knew, instinctively, that they had to rely on more than just physical strength to keep women down; therefor they contrived to keep women out of every possible position of power that would make them a threat to male dominance. This included education of any sort that would not fall within the strictly prescribed sphere women were relegated to, that of domestic servant and sex partner.

Then, partly to assuage their consciences, and partly to encourage those men who weren't necessarily sold on the idea of dominating women, they invented excuses, such as "It is the will of the gods/God", or "It is natural law". Or, much later on, "It is simply a product of evolution." Women were and are consistently told that they are less capable, less intelligent, less holy, and less deserving than men, and when everybody tells you the same thing, you start to believe it. These excuses helped to cement the idea that men who dominated women were only doing what was right and natural, and kept the pattern going.

This varied in intensity by culture and time period, of course, but the pattern is nearly universal. Women in some societies had access to some degrees of freedom and social status that those in others did not, but they were always kept out of positions of true power whenever possible. When it wasn't possible, and a woman did manage to achieve real power, she always faced, at the very least, public censure and doubt, often outright villifcation, sometimes even assault or death.

This has been the pattern for millenia. It's only started to break in the last couple of hundred years because of the Enlightenment, and it's been slow going, with women who stand up for their rights facing resistance and attack every step of the way. Even today, women and girls are still told that they're not as good at some things as men and boys (like math!), and that therefor they shouldn't try. And the whole "our brains evolved differently" thing is just another piece of that. It sounds nice, it "explains" the problem in such a way that absolves anybody from having to solve it, and it justifies the existing inequality and bad treatment. But it's false, and harmful.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby EtzHadaat » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:11 am UTC

I don't think it's likely at all that men are genetically better at math. Not because it couldn't work that way biologically, it certainly could, but because extensive testing has been done comparing students with similar mathematical educations and no one has found that men are better. We're not discussing this in a void here, this question has been asked many many times and the answer has always been no.

I'm going to assume that it's just an issue of people conforming to what they're expected to do, and then that perpetuates it further. :/

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby LassLisa » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:26 am UTC

To take things in a slightly different direction, I want to add that it's not just "gender stereotypes" that people rely on when deciding whether to generalize, it's also sample size.

There are some interesting studies looking at the 'critical mass' of women necessary for a woman to be comfortable speaking up, asking questions, etc. in a classroom; when it's just me and fourteen men it's not just Lisa asking a dumb question it's The Girl asking a dumb question. When it's me, three other women, and ten men it's a lot more likely that I won't be seen as representative of my entire gender.

Similarly, when the only Asian kid is on the math team, Asians are all nerds, but when you get a social environment that's mostly Asian (like my high school) you start to recognize that they can be druggies, bimbos, or thugs just like anyone else. People overgeneralize the good and the bad alike.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby bcdm » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:28 am UTC

GodShapedBullet wrote:I'm an Indian and I decided to go to medical school and I always feel a little guilty that I'm not fighting against stereotypes by going into something like art or good stand-up comedy.


Meh, that's okay. One of the funniest comics in Canada is doing the job just fine, thanks.

This guy ain't too bad either.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby ninnies » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:50 am UTC

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.

Solved.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby kellsbells » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:53 am UTC

xorm wrote:Did ANYONE else notice that the stick-people writing on the board are apparently left-handed?


Whoa! Now we know the truth: while this comic is a tragically accurate portrayal of gender stereotyping, it also comments on the erroneous but highly present belief that lefties are inferior. As a lefty, I'm glad that Randall has addressed the issue.
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby xorm » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:39 am UTC

LassLisa wrote:To take things in a slightly different direction, I want to add that it's not just "gender stereotypes" that people rely on when deciding whether to generalize, it's also sample size.

There are some interesting studies looking at the 'critical mass' of women necessary for a woman to be comfortable speaking up, asking questions, etc. in a classroom; when it's just me and fourteen men it's not just Lisa asking a dumb question it's The Girl asking a dumb question. When it's me, three other women, and ten men it's a lot more likely that I won't be seen as representative of my entire gender.

Similarly, when the only Asian kid is on the math team, Asians are all nerds, but when you get a social environment that's mostly Asian (like my high school) you start to recognize that they can be druggies, bimbos, or thugs just like anyone else. People overgeneralize the good and the bad alike.



I live in Fremont, CA [USA]. Asians are a majority here. I regularly see Asian druggies, bimbos AND thugs.
That being said, most of the asian guys aren't any of those...kind of like most populations...

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby marcoantonio » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:51 am UTC

I remember reading somewhere a study that tracked the differences of thought/predisposition back to caveman days:
Women looked after the babies, therefore their senses developed more acutely to tell good fruit/bays from bad ones, (wider smell and sensorial range) while men went out hunting, which meant they had to be more focused and better at target-aiming: Therefore women grew better at social skills (raising the young'uns and gathering with other women) and sensitive to their environment (be it smell, hearing or emotional) while men grew better at being competitive and logical (how to coordinate an attack on an elephant), and more focused: running, aiming and killing lunch and ignoring any possible distraction.

I'm sure there are a million ways to apply (or not) these skills to modern humans, but it just made sense to me that men and women ARE different, neither better nor worst, just a different set of skills.

I also think that modern civilisation has very little in the way of 'nature', so the case could be argued that overcoming nature is part of our nurture... :) There's a difference between being 'equal' and being 'the same'!

M .

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby helenfunkyhelen » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:43 am UTC

I took the comic as a comment on sexism in general with math as an example, rather than specifically sexism in math. Hence 'How It Works'. Sadly, because of the subjugation of women throughout history, those who try to succeed and then fail don't just fail themselves but their whole gender. Even worse, the situation can be reversed and still provide ammunition for a sexist. Example: 'women suck at science.' 'what about marie curie?' 'yeah, but that's ONE woman against HUNDREDS of male scientists.'

I went to a single sex high school, and after reading this topic I am so grateful for that. At least when we were all girls it was just a case of 'this individual is good at math, this individual is not'.

And those of you who defend the position that men are biologically superior at science subjects, I am in no position to prove that either way but I would ask you to think about the consequences of that kind of attitude. If you had a young daughter learning math, would you want that idea to be in the back of her teacher's head? And if it was, mightn't that explain WHY she appeared "naturally" less good at math than the boys?

Schizo
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby Schizo » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:54 am UTC

The answers don't make any sense.
The integral doesn't appear to have any limits so ought to be 1/3(x^3) + c, if there were limits on the integral, it would be possible for the integral to equal pi, but then there would be no constant to be added on, so pi + c is an even worse answer technically, as it could never be appropriate

MJZimmer88
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby MJZimmer88 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:06 am UTC

Well naturally the response given by a male to getting a problem wrong would be 'This problem sucks' or even 'I suck at math.' Girls tend to give the response 'Math sucks.' Never taking responsibility for their faults... shame on them.

:twisted:

:roll:

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby Indoctrine » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:39 am UTC

Not all girls are bad at maths. Really.

My extension class (equivalent of calculus maths in America) is about half girls (including me) and most of them never need any help.
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K^2
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby K^2 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:33 pm UTC

Schizo wrote:The answers don't make any sense.
The integral doesn't appear to have any limits so ought to be 1/3(x^3) + c, if there were limits on the integral, it would be possible for the integral to equal pi, but then there would be no constant to be added on, so pi + c is an even worse answer technically, as it could never be appropriate

There is a solution, though. Differentiate both sides, and you'll trivially get x=0. Integral[0]=Constant, in this case Pi. All is well.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby Markavian » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:44 pm UTC

Well I found that to be an interesting and informative read on the equal opportunity nature of mathematicians highlighting a possible gender bias problem between supporting male and female students into higher education.

There was just one thing that bugged me tho:
Spoffin wrote:
antonfire wrote:
Spoffin wrote:Its okay to do it for the lolz though.
not really
Yeah, I know, I said THAT for the lolz.
Hence use of the word "lolz"

Its "for the lulz", the word you use makes me cringe.

I've decided I'm not any good at Maths. I was ok at school, but now I'm a programmer- now I get other people to do the maths for me.

marcyt
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby marcyt » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:53 pm UTC

surely the point of this comic isn't that some people suck at math, it's that some people deserve to get a slap for being so rude as to say, "You suck at math" when others make a mistake...? It's the same guy in both panels being snide and there's no reason for him to be that way. He's just trying to be superior, he's not making a qualitative statement that everyone should accept. He _might_ be better at math than the other two but his frickin' attitude makes US not give a rat's ass.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby marcyt » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:55 pm UTC

And it's not a sexist comic by any means---he applies the same rudeness to both genders.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby Markavian » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:02 pm UTC

marcyt wrote:And it's not a sexist comic by any means---he applies the same rudeness to both genders.
If that were true, why didn't he say "Boys suck at Maths" to the first guy or "You suck at maths" to the girl in the second panel? Either of those alternatives would be gender neutral as insults, as it stands, I say its intended to be a sexist remark.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby Rockin' Roel » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:07 pm UTC

kellsbells wrote:
xorm wrote:Did ANYONE else notice that the stick-people writing on the board are apparently left-handed?


Whoa! Now we know the truth: while this comic is a tragically accurate portrayal of gender stereotyping, it also comments on the erroneous but highly present belief that lefties are inferior. As a lefty, I'm glad that Randall has addressed the issue.

I never heard of that stereotype. The stereotype of “lefties are evil” was there around the time of Leonardo da Vinci, but he prove the opposite. Actually, most lefties I know and have heard of are/were successful, smart people.

On a side note, I envy a lot of girls for being better at studying than me. The Greek class at our school was full of guys at first, but in the end, they were 6 girls.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby 1337geek » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:12 pm UTC

Anyone else notice how the title text joke is very similar to a Brian Regan joke? You know, the one where the kid gets the first word of the spelling bee wrong 'cause he knows he's not going to win. "'Cat. K-A-T. I'm outta here.' Then as he walked past you to his seat he'd whisper to you, 'I know there's two Ts.'"
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby surreality » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:46 pm UTC

it's funny because both my math teacher and the best student in my calc class are female.

hmm, it's true if you don't know what you're differentiating in respect to, that that could be right... interesting. I was just going to point out (of course someone already did) the lack of "dx".

we've decided when we take our AP test that the proctor won't know what we mean if someone shouts "Don't forget the plus C!" right before we take the test...

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby mountaingoat » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:59 pm UTC

Izzhov wrote:
sean22190 wrote:I would show this to my math teacher because she constantly reminds us of this (obviously), but she'd probably think it was sexist.

Well, it pretty much is sexist, unless you're really just cutting the women in half or something. Come to think of it, that's still sexist, because you're singling out women. :P

It IS sexist but it was entirely joking. I actually said it in a voice just above a whisper to two of my friends, one who happens to be a girl.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby Ozone » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:03 pm UTC

Yes, discriminating against females in a math class would be wrong. But, firing and humiliating any headmaster who has the bravery to contemplate that perhaps there are physical reasons for males achieving better scores and higher turnout in math is almost at bad.
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Sexism (in this forum)

Postby Lea Wiemann » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:26 pm UTC

I hate how everytime the topic of sexism in science is brought up, some people start pseudo-scientifically speculating about genetic differences. This is sexist, and it is damaging, because it reinforces the destructive stereotype.

I seem to recall that in some parts of the worls, math is, interestingly, seen as a "girl thing". I also believe that in those parts where it's seen as a "boy thing" and girls underperform in sciences, girls can be brought to the same levels of academic performance as boys by placing them in single-sex schools — so the problem seems to be the education system, or gender dynamics in the classroom; probably both. (There are probably studies about this.) I am absolutely certain that I've never seen a study that actually shows intrinsic aptitude differences between genders.

Note also how people make the explanation conform to their stereotype: "Men were hunting, so they needed more logic." This is clearly faulty — for hunting you particularly need strength and dexterity, not logic. The opposite claim, "women were keeping the household and making tools, so they needed more logic," is about as convincing, and just as faulty.

Let me give you an example that, I believe, could be heard very frequently up until 30-40 years ago, and still exists in some (many?) people's minds to this day:

"Africans are bad at math because of their genetics. They come from completely different evolutionary lines, so it's not surprising their brains have developed differently. Given that their societies are so primitive, their brains didn't have to develop strong logical reasoning skills. [Alternatively: Their primitive societies can only be explained by weaker reasoning skills.] How else could it be that people of African heritage are doing constantly bad at math?" (I think I'll stop here, you get the idea.)

Is this racist (besides factually wrong)? Yes, definitely. Are equivalent speculations about the female brain sexist? Yes, just as definitely.

So next time you want to speculate about genetic differences, please think about my racist example.

— Lea

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby mudge » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:41 pm UTC

The comic made me chuckle to myself, but this:

Herman wrote:Attn: Girls

You are probably better at math than you have been lead to believe. Consider becoming an engineer.

My college has a great engineering program.

Come to my school.

Please.


made me laugh out loud
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby TeslaA » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:01 pm UTC

Boys always generalize from one example.

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Re: Sexism (in this forum)

Postby Kalos » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:05 pm UTC

Lea Wiemann wrote:So next time you want to speculate about genetic differences, please think about my racist example.

Pointless play of the race card to make your point seem justified FTW

Studies have shown that the male and female brain are indeed different. The male brain tends to be (as in is not guaranteed) stronger in the areas of the logical, the female brain tends to be (as in is not guaranteed) stronger in the areas of the emotional/intuitive. It doesn't mean that women magically can't learn math, or men magically can't be empathetic, as education and upbringing plays a much more important role, but the difference is there.

TeslaA wrote:Boys always generalize from one example.

Many boys do, as do many women.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby yjester » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:16 pm UTC

xorm wrote:Did ANYONE else notice that the stick-people writing on the board are apparently left-handed?


Wow, girls are all left-handed!
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby A.B. » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:16 pm UTC

Blaaah. A nice piece of sugar coated Basic Human Decency. Please, girls do suck at math, and by that I mean - and I shouldn't even have to explain myself - that on average girls are not as good as math as boys. Now if you imagine two gaussians, one with a lower mean, and consider the ratio of boys / girls with a certain amount of math skills, you'll find the ratio is next to insignificant when average skills are concerned but becomes ridiculously high in favor of boys as soon as you move a little higher up the gaussian.

So no, the guy is not just being a "sexist" - booou let's point at him and booo him - he has just made an obvious observation, and this particular instance reminds him of this generic observation.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby double entendre » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:23 pm UTC

Spoffin wrote:
antonfire wrote:
Spoffin wrote:Its okay to do it for the lolz though.
not really

Yeah, I know, I said THAT for the lolz.

It's still not okay. The unacceptability appies recursively as well.

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Re: Sexism (in this forum)

Postby double entendre » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:26 pm UTC

Kalos wrote:
TeslaA wrote:Boys always generalize from one example.

Many boys do, as do many women.

Indeed. I do hope that TeslaA was joking.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby Azathfeld » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:33 pm UTC

Obviously, men are better at math because in a hunter-gatherer environment evolutionary pressure would naturally select for the ability to do differential calculus in men. IT'S SCIENCE!

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Re: Sexism (in this forum)

Postby TeslaA » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:34 pm UTC

double entendre wrote:
Kalos wrote:
TeslaA wrote:Boys always generalize from one example.

Many boys do, as do many women.

Indeed. I do hope that TeslaA was joking.


Your hopes are not in vain. (It just seemed like the appropriate ironic rejoinder to today's offering.)

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby lizz612 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

A.B. wrote:Blaaah. A nice piece of sugar coated Basic Human Decency. Please, girls do suck at math, and by that I mean - and I shouldn't even have to explain myself - that on average girls are not as good as math as boys. Now if you imagine two gaussians, one with a lower mean, and consider the ratio of boys / girls with a certain amount of math skills, you'll find the ratio is next to insignificant when average skills are concerned but becomes ridiculously high in favor of boys as soon as you move a little higher up the gaussian.

So no, the guy is not just being a "sexist" - booou let's point at him and booo him - he has just made an obvious observation, and this particular instance reminds him of this generic observation.


You missed the point.

Whatever even the most recent study says, its still studying a population that has grown up with a social force that says "girls are bad at math, and boys don't like nerds anyway." That social factor is way stronger than any small differences in brain chemistry. So the difference you are seeing is not based on intrinsic ability to do math, its based on a cultural stigma against women doing higher math. Its the same for the underrepresentation of women in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, both as professors at universities and in the private sector.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby Belial » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:38 pm UTC

I think we can't entirely dismiss biology. Biologically speaking, men and women are different. You may be thinking now "Congrats RS you have made a ground breaking discovery...not" but I will continue. Who is to say that these biological differences don't extend into brain. Here is my reasoning. Men and women produce different hormones and have different body chemical balances as far as normal levels of certain chemicals such as thyroid hormone in the body at any given time. What is to say that these chemicals, as they traverse int he blood stream and enter the brain, don't have different effects on cognitive ability pertaining to certain hemispheres of the brain. Maybe estrogen manipulates some neurotransmitter that I can't necessarily name atm to the extent that her quantative ability is less than if that part of the brain were not exposed to such a large amount of estrogen. Or maybe testosterone is what enhances math skills and giving a female steroids would make her better at math. I don't know how much research has already been done in this filed this is just my thoughts on a possible scenario.


That's a nice fantasy, but until you can actually point to the places estrogen affects brain formation, and explain why on a chemical level (as opposed to an "evolutionary psychology/neurology" level), it is just fantasy.

Convenient fantasy, actually, if you're the type that desperately wants to believe that men and women are different and therefore we don't have to change society or our own attitudes in any way because things are just fine thanks because I'm perfectly comfortable and change is scary LALALALALALAALALA

A.B. wrote:Blaaah. A nice piece of sugar coated Basic Human Decency. Please, girls do suck at math, and by that I mean - and I shouldn't even have to explain myself - that on average girls are not as good as math as boys. Now if you imagine two gaussians, one with a lower mean, and consider the ratio of boys / girls with a certain amount of math skills, you'll find the ratio is next to insignificant when average skills are concerned but becomes ridiculously high in favor of boys as soon as you move a little higher up the gaussian.

So no, the guy is not just being a "sexist" - booou let's point at him and booo him - he has just made an obvious observation, and this particular instance reminds him of this generic observation.


Wow. Boys suck at life.
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby flyingdics » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:49 pm UTC

For an interesting perspective on the topic, listen to the last 20 minutes or so of http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=326 [This American Life]. It's not specifically math related, but it gives a little insight into the relationship girls have with being smart in public.

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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby SneakyMongo » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:54 pm UTC

Arguably, the primary reason for mankinds intellectual development is increasingly complex social dynamics (and the benefits well executed dynamics can bring to individual lineages).
Thus, women would expectedly be on-par with men as both need to engage in an equal level of social interaction and deductions. Men operate in the leadership role probably because mankind's diet prevents females from grouping, and thus allowing the average physical superiority of man to overwhelm a majority of female adversaries. (the cousin-monkey to the chimp eats a more easily collectable diet, allowing women to bond, and thus the species is a feminist social structure compared to chimp-society's misogyny- which I am extrapolating to humans because I AM JUST THAT COOL)
Hence, this innate evolutionary psychology stuff is on very shakey ground as it 1) has no stastical evidence and 2) has a viable counter-theorm of equal probability.
So we are left unable to assert either theory over the other given the skanty nature of modern anthropological comprehension of our evolution (we aren't even sure why we walked upright).
So I maintian anyone saying girls suck at mathmatics because of some postulated inherent inferiority is on very, very shakey ground.

AS FOR THE COMIC ITSELF
I think its like the Chappelle show's white supremacist who was black. In that, it is a very visual representation of the inherent absurdity of putting totally irrelevant bits of information (gender, race, sexual orientation, elasticity) as the basis to determine traits of entire population groups. The extra layer of craziness shown is that those extremely flimsy traits of the population groups are then utilized in reverse to determine the nature or ability of individuals within that group. Thus establishing....a sterotype
Further, it is a fun little example of what is happening in the US with Hillary
Oh no, we're caught in the cross-fire
Wait, the werewolves have machine guns?
-Spoony Experiment

marcyt
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby marcyt » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:55 pm UTC

When I read it, I completely missed the transition from "YOU suck at math" to "GIRLS suck at math." The comic isn't sexist but the speaker is, obviously. I'm a girl and I suck at math but that's because I wasn't taught it very well. My daughter is a girl and she's a math genius. I teach at a university (not in math of course!) and I have a lot of female students who are great in math. Female teachers in math and science are sought by school districts all over the country and are often given signing bonuses--there are still not enough women pursuing careers in those fields.

So "how it works" describes how stereotypes are formed--I don't know if he meant it to be just a comment on sexism or if this is just one situation. If the girl were a black man, for example, the comic would still work. In any case, my reaction is still the same: the guy needs a good slap!! :twisted:

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podbaydoor
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Re: "How It Works" Discussion

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:56 pm UTC

A.B. wrote:Blaaah. A nice piece of sugar coated Basic Human Decency. Please, girls do suck at math, and by that I mean - and I shouldn't even have to explain myself - that on average girls are not as good as math as boys. Now if you imagine two gaussians, one with a lower mean, and consider the ratio of boys / girls with a certain amount of math skills, you'll find the ratio is next to insignificant when average skills are concerned but becomes ridiculously high in favor of boys as soon as you move a little higher up the gaussian.

So no, the guy is not just being a "sexist" - booou let's point at him and booo him - he has just made an obvious observation, and this particular instance reminds him of this generic observation.


Maybe you're right about the numbers, but you still haven't explained why. You seem to assume that a lot of girls being bad at math leads to the conclusion that girls are intrinsically bad at math. Doesn't take into consideration all the issues that all the lovely people here have been talking about - pressures of society, unfair stereotyping, unequal child-raising, many factors (including people like you spouting statistics like that) conspiring to convince girls they suck at math because they're female, etcetera.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
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a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.


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