Category Archives: Pseudoscience

NEW COLUMN: Bogus Stats Of The Violence-Against-Women Industry

Canada, Crime, Feminism, Gender, Pseudoscience, Sex

NEW COLUMN IS “Bogus Stats Of The Violence-Against-Women Industry.” It’s now on WND.Com and The Unz Review.

Excerpt:

Speaking recently to Fox News’ Arthel Neville, Andrew Napolitano, also of Fox News, repeated old feminist canards about sexual assault against women being an under-reported, ever-present crime in American society.

The violence-against-women industry in North America—you know, the one-in-four-women-are-assaulted rot—is propped up by the sub-science or pseudoscience of violence-against-women statistics.

In particular, violence-against-women surveys are based on inflated numbers nobody questions; numbers the advocates bandy about and the politicians rely on when drafting policy and plumping for resources.

I’m thinking of the original 1993 StatsCan Violence Against Women survey, and its preposterous statistical offshoots, which, in turn, were spinoffs of the American violence-against-women statistical sisterhood. Canada follows America’s lead.

Anyone who’s studied research methodology at a good school (check) knows that research is shaped by the researcher’s hypothesis. Duly, the corpus of violence-against-women statistics reflects an exclusive ideological focus on female victimization. It thus consists of single sex surveys—never two sex surveys—with no input from men, to the exclusion of violence females incur from other females, or acts of violence women commit against the man in the relationship.

Developed at the height of the “war against women” moral panic, these foundational questionnaires are the product of a collaboration with advocacy groups and feminist stakeholders, and are thus fraught with problems of unrepresentative samples, lack of corroboration, a reliance on anecdotes, a use of over-inclusive survey questions and, to charitably understate the problem, the broadest definition of assault.

There’s a lot that goes into skewing data.

The “statistical myths” that pervade the rape-is-rampant claims, states libertarian feminist Wendy McElroy, start with “deeply biased researchers,” who proceed invariably from a “false premise or assumption,” who then use biased and small samples whose selection, in turn, is further slanted by paying participants.

Surveys are, of course, inherently dodgy. The general pitfalls of survey methodology, such as asking leading questions, are legion. …

… READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN IS “Bogus Stats Of The Violence-Against-Women Industry.” It’s now on WND.Com and The Unz Review.

NEW COLUMN: Christine Blah-Blah Ford & Her Hippocampus

Ethics, Gender, Ilana Mercer, Pop-Psychology, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry, Science

Christine Blah-Blah Ford & Her Hippocampus” is the current column, now on Townhall.com (slightly abridged).  

An excerpt:

One of many cringe-making moments in Christine Blasey Ford’s protracted complaint before the Senate Judiciary Committee—and the country—was an affectation-dripping reference to her hippocampus.

“Indelible in the hippocampus” was the memory of supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulting her, some 36 years back, asserted Ford in that scratchy, valley-girl voice of hers.

With that, the good “doctor” was making a false appeal to scientific authority. Ford had just planted a falsity in the nation’s collective consciousness. The accuser was demanding that the country believe her and her hippocampus.

All nonsense on stilts.

We want to believe that our minds record the events of our lives meticulously, and that buried in the permafrost of our brain, perfectly preserved, is the key to our woes.

Unfortunately, scientific research negates the notion that forgotten memories exist somewhere in the brain and can be accessed in pristine form.

Granted, we don’t know whether She Who Must Never Be Questioned recovered the Judge-Kavanaugh memory in therapy. That’s because, well, she must never be questioned.

Questioning the left’s latest sacred cow is forbidden. Bovine Republicans blindly obey.

I happened to have covered and thoroughly researched the “recovered memory ruse,” in 1999. Contrary to the trend, one of my own heroes is not Christine Blah-Blah Ford, but a leading world authority on memory, Elizabeth Loftus.

Professor Loftus, who straddles two professorships—one in law, the other in psychology—had come to Vancouver, British Columbia, to testify on behalf of a dedicated Richmond educator, a good man, who had endured three trials, the loss of a career and financial ruin because of the Crown’s attempts to convict him of sexual assault based on memories recovered in therapy. …

… READ THE REST.  Christine Blah-Blah Ford & Her Hippocampus” is now on Townhall.com.

Unabridged, the column appears on other favorite sites: WND.com, The Unz Review, Constitution.com, and American Greatness.

UPDATED (12/12/-18): On The Pseudo-Science of Violence Against Women: Judge Napolitano Takes The Left’s Perspective

Canada, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Gender, libertarianism, Old Right, Pseudoscience, Sex

Speaking to Arthel Neville, left-libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano repeated old feminist canards about sexual assault: It’s allegedly an under-reported, ever-present crime in American society.

This misrepresentation is predictable, coming from Napolitano (a creedal left-libertarian).

Find the truth in “Sub-Science Bolsters Violence-Against-Women Claims” (1999). I wrote it in… 1999 for the Calgary Herald:

Moreover, take into consideration that Canada’s Violence Against Women industry (addressed in the column) takes direction from its American sisterhood. In the War On Men, Canada follows, America leads.

The research on violence against women amounts to mostly:

… single sex survey with no input from men. It reflects an exclusive ideological focus on female victimization and excludes, conveniently, violence females incur from other females. Neither were women asked about their own acts of violence towards the man in the relationship even though dozens of two sex surveys conducted in Canada and the U.S. confirm “that women in relationship with men commit comparatively as many acts of violence as men do, at every level of severity,” as Fekete writes.
Developed at the height of the post-Lepine “war against women” panic, the VAW questionnaires are the product of a collaboration with advocacy groups and feminist stakeholders. They are fraught with problems of unrepresentative sample, lack of corroboration, a reliance on anecdotes, and a use of over inclusive survey questions.
Undergirding the promiscuous statistics yielded in the survey is a reliance on prevalence figures. When claims makers say a third of all women have been assaulted in their lifetime, they refer to the prevalence of assault over a life-time, instead of the incidence of assault over, say, a 12-month period (that being approximately 3 percent). Lifetime rates inflate outcomes considerably and make for good copy. “What existential meaning,” wonders Prof. Fekete, “can be attached to a report that once in an entire lifetime someone that a woman knew touched her knee without an invitation?” ….

READ: “Sub-Science Bolsters Violence-Against-Women Claims.”

As to my Judge Andrew Napolitano archive: it’s  here. It’s mostly BAD, if you’re a libertarian on the hard Right:

UPDATED (12/12/018):  And note, these were finer points of law that Judge Napolitano fudged, not uncharacteristically. The guy is reliably clueless.

See: “Andrew McCarthy BLASTS Judge Napolitano’s Accusations of Trump Campaign Violations : “That’s Not What Happened at All!” (Video)”

School Shootings: A Moral-Health, Not Mental-Health, Problem

Education, Kids, Logic, Pop-Psychology, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry

The NEW COLUMN IS “School Shootings: A Moral-Health, Not Mental-Health, Problem.” It’s now on WND.com. An excerpt:

The tele-experts assert that to do what he did—kill 10 and maim 13, at Santa Fe High School, in Texas—Dimitrios Pagourtzis had to be insane.

Likewise, Nikolas Cruz—killer of 17 in Parkland, Florida—and many shooters before him: All were victims of mental disorder. Or, so say the experts.

Come to think of it, the structure of argument coming from conservative and progressive corners is the same:

Conservatives blame mental health.

Progressives blame the National Rifle Association.

Both factions see the locus of responsibility for these murder sprees as beyond the reach and bailiwick of the individual and of what were once formative and corrective institutions: the church, for example.

As the language deployed in the culture might suggest, crimes aren’t committed, but are caused. Perpetrators don’t do the crime, but are driven to do their deeds by a confluence of uncontrollable factors.

The paradox at the heart of the disease theory of delinquency is that causal theoretical explanations are invoked only after bad deeds have been committed. Good deeds, however extravagant, are in no need of extenuation.

The evidence our tele-therapists advance for a killer’s “madness” is … the murder or murders he has committed.

Whatever the logical fallacy the psychiatrists commit—circular reasoning or backward reasoning—thinking people can agree: This is bad logic.

Fact: When they suggest a shooter is sick, they do so based on the fact that he committed murder.

Let’s run with this “logic”: The reductio ad absurdum of what the mental-health mavens are saying is that to kill, an individual must be deranged.

Does that not imply that the default condition of humanity is goodness?

Indeed, evil has been cast as a symptom of illness. It’s certainly so if to judge by the language used by the experts. …

… READ THE REST. “School Shootings: A Moral-Health, Not Mental-Health, Problem” is on WND.com. And on The Unz Review, Constitution.com., etc.