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Exposing “gender studies” as a Sokal hoax

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“Conceptual penis” as a social construct at Skeptic Reading Room:

The publication of our hoax reveals two problems. One relates to the business model of pay-to-publish, open-access journals. The other lies at the heart of academic fields like gender studies.

Our hoax was similar, of course, but it aimed to expose a more troubling bias. The most potent among the human susceptibilities to corruption by fashionable nonsense is the temptation to uncritically endorse morally fashionable nonsense. That is, we assumed we could publish outright nonsense provided it looked the part and portrayed a moralizing attitude that comported with the editors’ moral convictions. Like any impostor, ours had to dress the part, though we made our disguise as ridiculous and caricatured as possible—not so much affixing an obviously fake mustache to mask its true identity as donning two of them as false eyebrows

Our hoax was similar, of course, but it aimed to expose a more troubling bias. The most potent among the human susceptibilities to corruption by fashionable nonsense is the temptation to uncritically endorse morally fashionable nonsense. That is, we assumed we could publish outright nonsense provided it looked the part and portrayed a moralizing attitude that comported with the editors’ moral convictions. Like any impostor, ours had to dress the part, though we made our disguise as ridiculous and caricatured as possible—not so much affixing an obviously fake mustache to mask its true identity as donning two of them as false eyebrows. More.

But why does it matter? Doesn’t “science” now mean whatever pressure groups want it to?

Guess: Our betters will continue to plump for this utter crap on our tax dollars and search for laws to punish the rest of us for revealing it (hate speech, and such). Maybe no one needs science to do anything useful any more.

See also: The multiverse: The long march of progressive politics through science institutions

5 Replies to “Exposing “gender studies” as a Sokal hoax

  1. 1
    EricMH says:

    Wouldn’t it be possible to hoax evolutionary theory based journals in this way?

  2. 2
    News says:

    EricMH at 1, the problem is an embarrassment of riches. See “The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants” for what they take seriously.

    The problem with “gender studies” is that it is becoming a force for ignorance and darkness on campuses: How can we defend the right to think for ourselves? You need true grit and a thick skin

  3. 3
    johnnyb says:

    Who says they haven’t?

    Pegasoferae, an unexpected mammalian clade revealed by tracking ancient retroposon insertions

    Short description – bats and horses are very closely related. There’s another really good one, but I can’t remember it at the moment.

    The funny thing is, this is real data!

  4. 4
    Phinehas says:

    We intended to test the hypothesis that flattery of the academic Left’s moral architecture in general, and of the moral orthodoxy in gender studies in particular, is the overwhelming determiner of publication in an academic journal in the field. That is, we sought to demonstrate that a desire for a certain moral view of the world to be validated could overcome the critical assessment required for legitimate scholarship. Particularly, we suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding almost-religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil. On the evidence, our suspicion was justified.

    I think there’s an even deeper underlying problem. If morality has no objective foundation, then social studies are about defining the truth via political strategies more than discovering them via scientific ones. Thus, “scientific” papers on such subjects are destined to be merely political manifestos dressed up in lab coats to provide themselves a patina of legitimacy.

  5. 5

    Here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IFL21ZS_3U

    Is a hilarious comparison of actual gender studies papers with the fake one above.

    News – I’m wondering if you have been paying any attention to Jordan Peterson and his testimony before the Canadian Senate regarding bill C-16? You know, the one that suggests we accept an expanding universe full of “gender pronouns” or die?

    https://www.youtube.com/user/JordanPetersonVideos/videos

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