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Imagine if this headline read "Research on drunks' preference for aggressiveness and sobers' for politeness". Would anyone argue that nurture and societal norms is the reason drunks behave more aggressively ?

As someone who has been drunk on testosterone most of their life, I can testify it is a powerful and fun drug. Perhaps if research was framed in terms of hormonal differences rather than sex differences it wouldn't be as intrinsically controversial.




It shouldn't be controversial at all. There are sex differences. A good chunk of those differences are the effect of hormonal differences that stem from sexual dimorphism that in turn likely stem from some other evolutionary selection process.

Does culture play a role in behavior? Probably. But is there an inherent difference between the sexes? Yes.


In the nature vs nurture debate, every time someone argues for all nature or all nurture it’s an ideological position. That biology has no influence on behavior is as absurd as that society has none. The division into nature and nurture is also not as clean-cut as people think it is. There are many things in human culture that are that way because of biology and our culture influences our biology over the long run.


Plus unless the person arguing is a biologist backed by some hard evidence, it is only ideology talking.


Unless it's James Watson, then shut him up, fire him, and take all his awards away.

Plenty of biologists see what happens, and toe the line so they can keep their lives and pay their mortgages.


Hopefully we can just all agree that no amount of nurture will turn a duck into a swan or vice versa.


Finding out which things are more affected by culture is still interesting and worthwhile.


Sure, but that's the point. Paraphrasing brodo's reply, anyone who says outcomes here are all culture or all nature is full of it. However, we've swung all the way to the other end where to imply that nature might play a role in outcomes here is grounds for excommunication from many circles (see Damore and Empathizing–systemizing theory).


It seems to me that if it is the case that testosterone is responsible, then it would be much better science to identify that and have "high testosterone" vs "low testosterone" groups. You'd be able to predict more strongly if the evidence isn't binary but rather a variable.

This is similar to the claims that "race" predicts health issues, when actually it's usually some specific gene which is only correlated with race.

I don't see how it helps to introduce that extra layer of indirection.


> hormonal differences rather than sex differences it wouldn't be as intrinsically controversial.

it is controversial only if you assume that

- we can control sex differences more than hormonal differences (in fact it's quite the opposite)

- cultural differences are more controllable than biological differences (same as above)

it doesn't matter how you frame it, the study shows a clear tendency, we can discuss the implications or the correctness of the study, methodology and title

For the first a functioning brain it's enough, for the rest we are subject to burden of the proof.




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