Category Archive 'Social Science'

22 Sep 2015

Worse Than Berlin in 1945

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damsel-in-distress1
A typical male-female relationship at Yale today.

The Association of American Universities (AAU), a nationally recognized research organization, arranged last Spring to have a Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct taken by undergraduate and graduate and professional students at 27 colleges and universities.

pdf

The results at Yale were more spectacular than merely impressive. The survey’s results apparently demonstrate that “By senior year, 34.6 percent of female undergraduates reported experiencing nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching by force or incapacitation.” These are sexual assaults that meet criminal standards.

“Among female undergraduates, 28.1 percent experienced this type of assault since entering Yale University and 14.3 percent experienced this type of assault during the current school year.”

When the Russian Army took Berlin in 1945, “[a]t least 100,000 women are believed to have been raped” (Wikipedia) out of a population of 2,000,000 women.

So roughly 5% of German women were successfully sexually assaulted in 1945 by a hostile invading army of primitives bent upon revenge, while in 2015 at Yale almost three times as many (14.3% ) of the young ladies suffer the same fate worse than death. Goodness gracious!

YaleSexualAssault

08 Feb 2011

Diversity, the Lack Thereof, in the Social Sciences

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The New York Times has an amusing item about the professional bias investigators of the modern academic world finding themselves confronted with powerful evidence of a very large beam in their own collective eye.

Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”

It was identified by Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia who studies the intuitive foundations of morality and ideology. He polled his audience at the San Antonio Convention Center, starting by asking how many considered themselves politically liberal. A sea of hands appeared, and Dr. Haidt estimated that liberals made up 80 percent of the 1,000 psychologists in the ballroom. When he asked for centrists and libertarians, he spotted fewer than three dozen hands. And then, when he asked for conservatives, he counted a grand total of three.

“This is a statistically impossible lack of diversity,” Dr. Haidt concluded, noting polls showing that 40 percent of Americans are conservative and 20 percent are liberal. In his speech and in an interview, Dr. Haidt argued that social psychologists are a “tribal-moral community” united by “sacred values” that hinder research and damage their credibility — and blind them to the hostile climate they’ve created for non-liberals.

“Anywhere in the world that social psychologists see women or minorities underrepresented by a factor of two or three, our minds jump to discrimination as the explanation,” said Dr. Haidt, who called himself a longtime liberal turned centrist. “But when we find out that conservatives are underrepresented among us by a factor of more than 100, suddenly everyone finds it quite easy to generate alternate explanations.”

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The social sciences are build around left-wing assumptions and perspectives, so it isn’t all that surprising to me that Sociology and Anthro departments are overwhelmingly populated by left-wing democrats, but lack of political diversity in American colleges and universities notoriously extends far beyond the social sciences. English and History departments are scarcely more diverse in their political representation.

Steven Hayward, at Power-Line, describes the well-known phenomenon of conservative fear and isolation on the modern university faculty.

I have a good friend–I won’t name out him here though–who is a tenured faculty member in a premier humanities department at a leading east coast university, and he’s . . . a conservative! How did he slip by the PC police? Simple: he kept his head down in graduate school and as a junior faculty member, practicing self-censorship and publishing boring journal articles that said little or nothing. When he finally got tenure review, he told his closest friend on the faculty, sotto voce, that “Actually I’m a Republican.” His faculty friend, similarly sotto voce, said, “Really? I’m a Republican, too!”

That’s the scandalous state of things in American universities today. Here and there–Hillsdale College, George Mason Law School, Ashland University come to mind–the administration is able to hire first rate conservative scholars at below market rates because they are actively discriminated against at probably 90 percent of American colleges and universities. Other universities will tolerate a token conservative, but having a second conservative in a department is beyond the pale.

A few weeks ago, I posted a link referred to in private email correspondence by a younger person from Yale, now teaching English at a major university. As is the custom, I mentioned his name as my source for the post in a final “hat tip.” A few hours later, I received an email from that university professor, thanking me for the courtesy, but asking me to remove his name from this blog for fear that the association with Never Yet Melted might possibly out his unacceptable personal political views and jeopardize his candidacy for tenure. Conservative faculty members all over America today live in real, and well-founded, fear of being victimized by discrimination on the basis of their political views.

24 Dec 2006

Conservatives Versus Liberals: Who Really Helps?

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Wilfred McClay, in the Wall Street Journal, finds a new empirical study reaches counterintuitive conclusions, according nonetheless with his own life experience.

Back in my misspent youth, I helped manage a political campaign. My candidate was, like myself, an energetic liberal Democrat, and we ran a summer-long door-to-door campaign throughout the sprawling district. I accompanied the candidate on his daily outings, recording data about each visit on 3 x 5 cards that had been prepared in advance. They included the party registration of the voters, as gathered from Board of Elections printouts.

After a number of weeks of this ceaseless contact with our would-be constituents, both of us noticed something disturbing. There was a consistent disparity between what we expected and what we found in the people we met. Self-labeled liberals would, at most, dutifully proclaim their support for our candidacy, but they were often curt and ungenerous with their time and money. Conservatives, who looked upon our ideas with suspicion, nevertheless were quite willing to talk with us about them, not to mention offering us glasses of water, inviting us onto their porches and into their homes, and otherwise treating us with courtesy and respect.

The candidate himself mused to me one day, as we sat on a curb together, “If I’m ever hit by a car, I sure as hell hope that the next guy to come along will be a conservative.” I asked him why. “Simple. A liberal will blame the unsafe conditions of the highways, blame budget cuts and keep driving. A conservative will get out of his car and help.”

That was quite a concession for him to make, and at the time I thought it unwarranted. But I remembered it years later when I was serving as a vestryman for my Episcopal church and became privy to information about the stewardship commitments of my fellow parishioners. I knew all these people intimately, and yet I was stunned by the pattern that I saw: The most vocal, liberal and politically oriented members of the parish, even if they were in positions of leadership, gave almost nothing, while the most hidebound conservatives, even if they were unhappy with what was going on, gave much.

These two anecdotes convey, in a nutshell, the chief insight of “Who Really Cares.”

By consulting a wide range of metrics, ranging from rates of charitable giving to hours of volunteer work donated, Mr. Brooks concludes that four distinct forces appear to have primary responsibility for making people behave charitably: religion, skepticism about the government’s role in economic life, strong families and personal entrepreneurship. Those Americans who have all four, or at least three, are much more likely to behave charitably than those who do not.


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