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Author Topic: The Plot Thickens...  (Read 2489 times)

Paul Keith

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The Plot Thickens...
« on: February 21, 2011, 09:15 PM »
The Male Guide on how to Subtract a Woman's Math Skills

Researchers at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Pennsylvania State University at University Park asked 150 undergraduates at a large university in the Midwest — 67 women and 83 men — to participate in what they were told was a study of how people work together in teams. Instead, says Sarah J. Gervais, the lead author, the study examined how being visually “checked out” by a member of the opposite sex affected each student’s performance on math problems.

“This is ironic because those people that are causing them to underperform, they’re also wanting to interact with them more in the future.”

The men appeared to be unfazed when their female interviewers stared at the men’s chests before and after asking the first, third, and fifth interview questions, Ms. Gervais says.

“This is a subtle gaze,” she explains. “It’s not that they’re looking there for 10 seconds. They’re briefly gazing before and after asking those questions.”

I would like to read this study, but if the control condition was women staring at men’s chests, then that is just plain stupid. A better scenario would have been to have the women exhibit subtle flirting behavior (good eye contact, brushing aside the hair, occasional touches). I think this might be a female behavior that is more equivalent to the I-think-you’re-hot objectifying gaze of a male.

Reading is so difficult. The experiment did not sample a population, much less randomly. The number of subjects was determined by calculating statistical power and was not large. The men in the study who gazed at women did not excel in math. They were stooges. However, you are right on one point. The study you describe is absurd.

In my opinion, this study needs to be taken in the context of other studies done on similar issues. Of which I’m no expert, but for the sake of positive feedback to the writer on this interesting topic, I do remember some studies done with students at single-sex schools vs those at co-ed schools, which indicated better academic performance at the single sex schools. Perhaps not rocket science, however I think it’s okay to be aware of this kind of socially interacting environment and it’s impact.
The other direction where this study could go, is with the recent studies that have indicated that women have a different psychological ‘hierarchy’ – and one in which relationships rate highly. Perhaps deep in the psyche of a woman, who is being admired – she is analyzing whether this person is a possible marriage candidate? and therefore a more important analysis is taking place than the current (superficial) maths problem…

Oh and it's safe to say DC remains to be one of the few sites that doesn't need this posted on their front lawn:

By the way, what’s happened to civil academic discourse? There’s hardly a hint of reasoned empirically-based critique in all this commentary. Instead we have bald assertions and name-calling (“just plain stupid”, “bad research”, and “pseudo-academic crap”) unsupported by any argument or scientific fact. Similarly unburdened by data are those who firmly believe in the results of the study (“So what else is new?” and “Did we really need a study for this? Sounds like natural reactions.”) and their polar opposites who don’t believe in them at all (“If I actually believed this nonsense…” and “such a poorly defined and executed study it makes me laugh…”). Instead, if you find an experiment from a respectable journal out of your field interesting or puzzling, why not just ask how the data fit (or not) with other known facts and share your knowledge with us?

Source: http://www.circvsmax...owthread.php?t=81087

That is hilarious. All my male students need to do to lower the class average relative to their own scores to check out some boobs.

I don't see the problem. It's not like women need those math skills in the kitchen.

Seriously though, couldn't that simply being attributed to being in an uncomfortable situation?

So if their reaction to being uncomfortable is to start more interaction with them...
Unless the interaction was slapping the guy in the face, I think that's not fitting.

I guess that means I should stare more obvious at women's breasts...

It means the study is overlooking something simple - The women found those men attractive to start with. When the men stared at their chests it sigbaled to the women "this guy wants what I want", thus the lowering of logical processes and the sluttification desire to be with them.

I'm geussing the study didn't use catpissmen or nerds.

How not to sexually harass:
Be Handsome
Be Attractive
Don't be Unattractive

4. Look gay enough that she mistakes your interest for looking like you want to ask her where she got those shoes


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Re: The Plot Thickens...
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 11:27 PM »
Hm-m-m-m ... interesting.  Obtuse, but interesting  :huh:.  Oh, well, 2011 is young yet ... they're bound to get at least one (1) better paper in the remainder of the year.  :P


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Re: The Plot Thickens...
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 01:25 AM »
Wait a minute...

They had men stare at women's chests and it made the women feel uncomfortable enough to have a negative effect on the women's ability to do math?

And when they had women stare at the men's chests the men did not feel uncomfortable and had no problem with doing math?

Maybe they need to have the women stare at the men's crotches to have the same effect.  :P

Stoic Joker

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Re: The Plot Thickens...
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 06:50 AM »
Maybe they need to have the women stare at the men's crotches to have the same effect.

I was wondering about that one myself - invalid "test" - a break in eye contact is usually more a sign of weakness/uncertainty. It's not going to un-nerve anybody; especially a we're chronically "thick" about subtleties.


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Re: The Plot Thickens...
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 11:12 AM »
Ha, you nailed it app, I don't understand how anyone could make such an obvious mistake!

Anyway, as many of the comments quoted by Paul point out, this 'study', as described, had so many other variables floating around that it's conclusions are irrelevant.


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Re: The Plot Thickens...
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2011, 04:02 AM »
The only thing you can take out from this study is that men staring at a women's breasts will affect her performance - at maths, but possibly also in salary negociations, in meetings, interviews etc.

THe conclusion that men are immune certainly is invalid, they would have to find something that is culturally as uncomfortably objectifying to men as staring at breasts is to women. And that is harder to find because our culture doesnt objectify men on obviously visible things the way it does women.

So it is a disadvantage women have - one of many that act cumulatively - one that wont vanish overnight because it needs the culture to change, and that takes a couple generations, each one having grown with less toxic messages and therefore less affected...
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 04:06 AM by iphigenie »