Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably

Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably. By Lance Welton.

During World War I, seven of the medical schools attached to the University of London decided to start admitting female students, as did Oxford and Edinburgh University. But by 1928, five of these London colleges had decided to stop admitting women, with the other two heavily restricting female numbers. Oxford voted for a ratio of no more than one female for every six males. Male academics and students were concerned that the presence of female students, let alone staff, would “alter the character of the teaching” and lead to “feminine government” of universities. In other words, the “masculine” dimension to academia — rigorously, unemotionally and coldly examining facts and arguments — would be wrecked by the increasing presence of emotional and over-empathetic girls. …

With females, universities tend to become safe spaces where the pursuit of truths are discouraged because some find them upsetting:

A recent column by Christopher DeGroot looked how feminization is destroying academia. … DeGroot presents a reasonable argument about how this fundamental change in the university environment — from a place where all ideas are freely debated, to a “safe space” for the feelings of irrational people — occurred.  In order to calmly debate all ideas, you need to put emotion aside. But females are simply less able to do that than males because they are higher in Neuroticism — feeling negative feelings strongly. Thus, they more easily become overwhelmed by negative feelings, precluding them from logical thought.

Similarly, new ideas, or being contradicted, will likely upset some people. But, in the pursuit of academic debate, you have to ignore this and calmly present both sides. However, this is more difficult for females, because they are more sympathetic, meaning that “not hurting people’s feelings” can become their highest ideal. Higher in Conscientiousness (“rule-following”) and lower in intellectual curiosity than males, females are also more conformist. This means they are less able to understand that, in academia, the truth is ever more closely reached by being non-conformist — by questioning the current “truth.”

Thus, argues DeGroot, female domination of academia will seriously damage academia as a place where ideas can be seriously debated.

Females in universities tend to suppress the geniuses, who fueled the Enlightenment and industrial revolution that dragged humanity away from the Malthusian existence for the first time ever:

A recent video by British independent scientist “The Jolly Heretic” — Dr Edward Dutton — has gone even further, claiming that female dominance of universities is destroying the “genius” type that is critical to the generation of original ideas (This idea is developed further in The Genius Famine, by Edward Dutton & Bruce Charlton). …

He argues that geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier high IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and moderately low Conscientiousness. This means they are clever enough to solve a difficult problem, but being low in rule-following, can also “think outside the box.” And, being low in Agreeableness, they don’t care about offending people, which original ideas always do.

An aspect of Agreeableness is empathy—being concerned with the feelings of others and being able to guess what they might be. Dutton shows that people who are high in “systematizing” (which males typically are compared to females, with systematizing being vital to problem solving) tend to be low in empathy. Thus, Dutton argues, you don’t get many women geniuses because their IQ range is more bunched towards the mean; and also because they are too high in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness.

Universities, traditionally dominated by males, have in essence been about giving geniuses a place in which they can attempt to solve their problems, working at their chosen problems for years on end. But Dutton argues that female academics tend to be the “Head Girl Type” (chief prefect at all-girls schools in the UK) with “normal range” high IQ and high in Conscientiousness and Agreeableness — the exact opposite of a typical genius. Accordingly, once you allow females into academia, they will be promoted over genius males because they come across as better people to work with — more conscientious, easier to be around and more socially skilled. But this will tend to deny geniuses the place of nurture they need.

As females come to dominate, the culture of academia will feminize. High in Conscientiousness, women will create a rule-governed bureaucracy where research occurs through incremental steps and a certain number of publications must be presented every few years, rather than through genius breakthroughs. But geniuses typically work on huge problems for years. So this bureaucracy will make it impossible for them to do this and keep their jobs.

Women will also create a culture of co-operative “research groups,” anathema to the kind of anti-social loners who tend towards genius. And females will, of course, tend to create an atmosphere of emotion and empathy, the enemy of the unemotional, coldly systematic style of the genius — and, traditionally, of academia.

In this atmosphere, “not causing offense” will become much more important. But genius breakthroughs are only made, ultimately, by causing offence.

Pointing out precisely where the carbon dioxide theory of global warming is wrong is going to upset a lot of people. It’s quite discouraging to going public.