Many of us wish that there was a simple link between an unconscious bias, as measured by the popular IAT test administered by Hardvard or similar tests, and biased behavior. This would give a clear path to fix any bias problem. However, Brian Nosek who is one of the co-authors of the IAT test just released a paper  that show that changes in implicit bias don’t lead to changes in behavior. You can find a summary of the article and its findings here .
The paper examining 499 studies over 20 years involving 80,859 participants that used the IAT and other, similar measures. They discovered two things: One is that the correlation between implicit bias and discriminatory behavior appears weaker than previously thought. They also conclude that there is very little evidence that changes in implicit bias have anything to do with changes in a person’s behavior. These findings, they write, "produce a challenge for this area of research." The finding that changes in implicit bias don’t lead to changes in behavior, Forscher says, "should be stunning."
"I see implicit bias as a potential means to an end, something that tells us what to do and some possible remedies for what we see in the world," Forscher says. "So if there’s little evidence to show that changing implicit bias is a useful way of changing those behaviors, my next question is ‘What should we do?’"
"Implicit biases are malleable. Our brains are incredibly complex, and the implicit associations that we have formed can be gradually unlearned through a variety of debiasing techniques."
I don't know... isn't it almost by definition not 'implicit bias' then?
Building upon tests that has not held up to scrutiny without having a good argument for why it is different this time violates how science explores and builds knowledge. Science is a technique that produce a network of knowledge , where the core nodes are viewed as facts because they have successfully held up to scrutiny by other pieces of knowledge and has worked as a foundation for other pieces of knowledge.
In science pieces of knowledge that builds upon claims that are shown to be invalid, such as the IAT test, are viewed as inheriting the problems of the knowledge it builds upon.
There are people who, for political purposes, demonize people for their sexual orientation or gender identity, and actively seek to enact laws designed to punish and/or humiliate those people. However, I'm not aware at this time of any particular attempt to pass laws to make it more difficult and dangerous for, say, ugly people to use the restroom, or forbidding handicapped people from getting married (that's not to say these things are not possible! there's certainly plenty of systemic bias against these groups, and there have been political movements against disabled individuals in the past--including some which categorized "gender non-conformity" as a mental illness--but that's not the focus of current political movements that I'm aware of).
So, naturally the immediate focus is on pushing back against the currently demonized group. In the future, when the focus of demagogues who invent enemies to foment rage and gain votes shifts to handicapped individuals or overweight people, then it will be critical to focus on fighting those forms of hate.
Now, if you are only focused on repealing laws, then you might have a case, but a lot of the gender nonconformist activism focuses on positive laws and other forms of punishment on those who don't accept them. So, insofar as there is a positive push, then it is only a small interest group out of the suffering multitudes that are benefited and my case stands that the focus on gender nonconformism is myopic.
It's worth reading 
If you think this is the case.
Could you elaborate on the kind of discrimination you're thinking of? I'm sure people who can't see have a harder time getting jobs (and for sure have to work harder to overcome things like websites with screen-reader-hostile content), but I'm not sure if you're referring to subconscious discrimination or explicit discrimination.
The subconscious stuff is harder to deal with because it might not even hit a surface level. On the other hand, the open hostility that the LGBTQ+ people faced was easier to 'diagnose' or recognize, and thus begin dealing with.
People not even knowing one exists seems, in a way, an even more dispiriting sort of discrimination than that faced by the current persecuted group du jour.
More of these 'unseen' groups: the elderly, the extreme rural poor, the home bound, the institutionally insane, those suffering from debilitating disease, foster children shut away in group homes. And this is only considering groups we can easily access within our own nation. Much more even greater suffering in other countries.
Rarely do I see these groups mentioned in the media focus on the suffering and oppressed, but it seems intuitively a much larger grouping, and possibly enduring much more suffering than gender nonconformists.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that uglier people are more subject to family violence, loan discrimination, etc. I am not aware of the science on the subject. But are you saying you are certain enough about the science that we should forget about it?
I suspect many of these comments are perceiving that OP is trying to minimize the seriousness of race and sexuality based discrimination, and pushing back on that. That’s valiant, but I don’t think that’s what OP said.
I think we should care about racism and care about other forms of discrimination too. I don’t think it’s a zero sum game, and the more practice we have finding empathy the better we will treat everyone.
This is a perfect example actually... sometimes racism manifests as “ugly policing” and so taking appearance policing more seriously will actually help us be less racist.
Many kinds of discrimination exists and some get overlooked, but you are not really helping anyone by denying reality.
So you’re specifically focused on institutionalized violence? I agree that gay people and many racial groups have special status there.
I thought we were talking about violence that’s not overtly state sanctioned, like violence against women, etc. That was my confusion. I live in the U.S. and that’s the bulk of the violence I see against gay people, black people, etc. What I would call illegal violence, held in place by cultural norms more than overt institutions.
Now if you sincerely believe ugly people face even worse persecution than this, go ahead and argue this with the knowledge and evidence you have. Don't just poison the well and move the goalpost - that makes people assume you are not arguing in good faith.
Its not that we are a lot more tolerant towards race/orientation but rather humans being vastly intolerant towards anything that is biologically negative.
Our brain is programmed by thousends of years of evolution to reject unattractive/sick/(insert any disability) partners.
This is something our whole civilisation is based on and i dont think it will change.
And i say that as a pretty unattractive person. Fortunetely trumps like power, money and status exist to help few of us.
Accessibility for the disabled is also less of a "culture war"-type issue, so progress (or lack of progress) doesn't tend to be as visible.
So you think you know more about how commonly LGBTQIA+ people are discriminated against than LGBTQIA+ people themselves? You think you are an authority on something you seemingly have never experienced. Think about that for a second. This is implicit bias. Learn to trust minorities when they say they're being disrespected, marginalized, etc.
Also, gender-noncomformists are gaining respect in mainstream society because of their own work. Don't try to theorize away the blood, sweat, and tears of LGBTQIA+ activists.
I'm not sure what the solution is.
Once you see this clearly, the idea that one can be literally unable to gather enough data, but somehow one is obligated to just create an answer even so is just... weird.
And one of the major criticisms of the current scientific system is that you can't publish a paper that says "We looked for X and didn't find it", so there's massive incentive to just force an answer out. And when you force an answer out, whereever the answer came from... it isn't the data. It's something else. Varies depending on the topic, of course, but it's certainly not the data.
(By contrast, in life we must frequently create answers to questions we don't have enough data to scientifically answer the question. That's the nature of the ride we're on. But it is improper to force answers in the scientific domain.)
This. I've been trying to find a way to articulate that for months.
Huge wins are things such as BIG5 etc, and IAT being administered at scale before it was validated seems like a huge mistake.
That also would have been once an argument used against homosexuality.
In the 80's it was considered fact that homosexuality was a health risk. AIDs was a huge concern.
This is untrue. You could say "it was considered by some/many/bigoted people" but I doubt it was ever true that the same percentage of people with relevant medical experience thought homosexuality was as unhealthy as obesity.
Even if it were true, it would be a straw man unless you were also claiming that all gay people had AIDS and/or it was impossible to have gay sex without contracting HIV.
All obese people are obese. Inside that bucket of the population, some people are genetically or culturally predisposed, but some significant portion of obese people are capable of making healthier choices and are failing to do so. I don't think it's right to go out of our way to make these people unhappy, but at the same time I think it's obviously better for everyone if society encourages these people to make healthier choices.
Summary: Study at the height of the AIDS death rate found that homosexuality led to shortened lifespan. AIDS death rate has declined dramatically, but there has not been a followup study.
Here's a politifact analysis: https://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2012/jun/07/b...
More recently, a 2014 pro-LGBT study claimed to show a shortened lifespan, attributed to prejudice: https://www.medicaldaily.com/can-prejudice-kill-you-lesbian-... though this failed replication ("No effect found") https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027795361...
I don't argue that obesity isn't bad for you, but the issue is more complex, and I don't think it's right to stigmatize people for it.
Regardless, unlike obesity, no one can remove their homosexuality and it is fairly insulting to suggest that.
If you want people to change, you have to show people not only that there are alternatives, and how to obtain the alternatives, but lastly -- and most importantly -- why they should strive for those alternatives. If you're just a dick to them, it doesn't help anyone.
Judging someone for being fat is about like judging someone for not being born rich. Eating and exercise habits are taught very young, and are very hard to change. It's very rare you see someone who is obese who wasn't put on that path by their parents.
Rather than make disparaging comments, I'm sure you have a friend who you could invite out for a jog? Or over to your place for dinners once or twice a week? Not everyone has rewards wired in the same as you do, certainly if they are obese they know it and can do without your reminder, and likely they've struggled to lose the weight and just need a bit more support.
You can either judge, and feel smug, or choose to help a friend.
Where have we heard that before...
I'm not saying that obesity isn't bad for you, that shit will kill you, nor is it not understood how you can lose weight. But I feel like morbid obesity isn't as simple a solution as that, just like homosexuality can't be "cured" by simply stopping having sex with your own gender.
Excess food consumption is not a disease.
Now you can certainly argue, and quite effectively, that excess food consumption is addictive behavior, nearly identical to drug or alcohol abuse, but it's not a disease. There are conscious decisions made, and repeated. You are eating the donuts. You are drinking the vodka. You are shooting the heroin. You are smoking the cigarette. The substances might be addictive, but there is still an active and continuously ongoing decision making process going on.
You are so confident in your knowledge on this topic that you deflect and post an irrelevant link. Brilliant dialog and engagement, what a great debate we are having here.
BRB my disease is inflicting me with a carb-loaded bagel this morning. You see, it is not simply that I am overconsuming calories for whatever reason (addictive / compulsive reward seeking behavior? No certainly not), instead the simple physics of weight gain and weight loss is a disease.
Damnit, I dropped my iPhone on the floor. It must be that disease of physics known as gravity!
Consider smokers. Addiction and pulmonary cancer is a disease. Smoking cigarettes everyday for decades is not per se but it's a cause.
We tend to have special moral treatment for diseases that are preventable and caused by one's own behavior.
Dietary habits are entirely active choices, it's an active decision making process, and weight is the outcome of those inputs. Gaining or losing weight is basic physics.
Perhaps obesity and food abuse/addiction should be looked at much the same way that drug abuse/addiction is looked at. Obesity is the natural outcome of food abuse.
Or food enjoyment. A different reaction to the realization that we are mortal.
You can try it out for yourself at: https://implicit.harvard.edu/
Since obesity is generally seen as a moral failing rather than something that can't be controlled, people are comfortable admitting their bias. However, for race where it's rather unfair and also doing so will get you fired or worse they prefer not to.
The IAT tests measure association (that's what the "A" stands for), not "bias". Probably I associate "Norwegian" with "tall", but that doesn't necessarily mean I'll overestimate the height of a Norwegian person who is standing in front of me. Perhaps I will, but that's an entirely different question, and the bias might go in the other direction from the association: if you're expecting someone to be tall then they might look short when they're in fact average.
Therefore, fat is more or less a signifier of class, just as race is, and the bias against fat people is more or less just a manifestation in part of how much we demonize the poor in this country.
A friend who studied developmental psych told me scientists are still far from reaching an agreement about the causal factors of homosexuality, that there's actually growing evidence that homosexuality is actually more correlated with one's environment during early (first 3-5 years) childhood. But since how one develops in early childhood is just as binding as the expressions of your genes, you might as well say you're born with your orientation.
When you use "socially constructed" to mean "influenced in any way at all by society," it becomes meaningless. Its strong meaning, "entirely constructed by society with no natural basis at all," is a useful idea.
I don't know that any serious person has claimed that attitudes about weight and homosexuality are unchanging human universals. Historical literature shows a variety of attitudes to both. Societies around the world have a range of attitudes. A post-modernist who claims to have discovered this idea is being disingenuous.