Quickies

Quickies: White Privilege/Victimhood, the Loch Ness Monster, and Low Status Men

  • Sure, Whites Are Privileged—but Not Me Personally! – ” ‘In both experiments, we found that whites exposed to evidence of white privilege claimed more hardships than those not exposed to evidence of privilege,’ the researchers report. In other words, evidence that their race was an advantage prompted white people to move toward a victimhood mindset.” From Courtney.
  • ‘Go Set A Watchman’ Is A Revelation On Race, Not A Disappointment – “If Mockingbird projects a South that can be read in terms of black and white, Watchman shows us the gray complexity that is the real Dixie. In this powerful newly published story about the Finch family, Lee presents a wider window into the white Southern heart, and tells us it is finally time for us all to shatter the false gods of the past and be free.”
  • Loch Ness monster hunter concludes: it’s a big catfish – “Rather than being a primeval beast, he suspects it is a Wels catfish, a native European catfish that the paper said could grow up to 13 ft (4 meters) long. Victorians introduced the fish to the dark waters of the loch to provide sport.” This guy pretty much gave up his life for 25 years to hunt Nessie. That’s almost as notable as the rest of the story.
  • Study: Low status men more likely to bully women online – “Women receive up to 10 times more negative comments than men in online chatrooms and three times the negativity when playing online games. Some have argued this is because women are entering male-dominated spaces that are full of misogynists. But in a study that we just published, we show that the cause could be something much simpler: the negative and sexist comments expressed by some men are really just a form of bullying, motivated by the fact that they are perceived as being lower in the pecking order.” Next time someone is being a jerk in a video game, I’ll make sure to let them know about this study, haha. From Amy.
  • What Do A Chlorinator And A Condom Tied To A Catheter Have In Common? – These are part of a list of innovations that could potentially save millions of lives, all around the world.

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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4 Comments

  1. July 20, 2015 at 9:45 am —

    Echidne of the Snakes had a critical take on the study about men bullying women online:

    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.ca/2015/07/todays-evolutionary-psychology.html

    She writes:

    “The competition for mates in evolutionary psychology is an INTRA-SEX competition, between individuals of the same sex. Or so I have always read. Men compete for a higher place in the hierarchy with OTHER MEN, not with women, so as to get most pu**y. From that evolutionary perspective the place of women in the hierarchy should be irrelevant.
    […]
    The findings, as discussed in the linked article, give much stronger support to the theory that some men feel great shame when they lose to “girls,” and the idea that there are places women shouldn’t enter. Whether that has anything to do with intra-male sexual competition looks pretty dubious, given that the results don’t show bullying used in that sense.”

    • July 20, 2015 at 11:00 am —

      Right, I can believe Michael Kasumovic’s summary interpretation is off the mark here.

      But the underlying data is still interesting and new: men with a lower self image in a social setting are more frequently insulting and hostile. It raises some interesting possible approaches to the problem.

  2. July 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm —

    Mary,

    Speaking of Harper Lee’s new book, here’s an interesting, yet somewhat heartwarming post from “Live Science”

    Why Atticus Finch’s Racist Shift in ‘Watchman’ Could Be an Anomaly
    http://www.livescience.com/51599-atticus-finch-racism.html

  3. July 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm —

    Mary,

    “Rather than being a primeval beast, he suspects it is a Wels catfish, a native European catfish that the paper said could grow up to 13 ft (4 meters) long.”

    In many instances, the Loch Ness monster could also just be a funny shaped log. People tend to mistake a lot of things for mythical beasts, for one reason or another.

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