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Old 12 August 2017, 02:11 AM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 8,621

Damore's own graph, on page 4 of his paper, doesn't support the argument he's making.

He shows two overlapping bell curves, one for women, one for men, of unnamed "trait". Whether these curves are actually taken from any evidence, and if so what evidence, is entirely unclear; and he may have only meant them to give an example of traits that are on average somewhat more likely in some populations than others, as opposed to traits that are entirely in one population and not in the other, as shown by the next graph. But he says that the first one, the overlapping bell curves, is what the actual situation is in regards to the issue at hand: that while there may be an average difference in personality traits, there's a huge degree of overlap.

But those curves wouldn't support a situation in which almost all the engineers, or programmers, or whatever, are male. They would support a situation in which slightly more of the engineers and programmers are male. This does not appear to be the situation that Google's actually got; and I doubt people would be making all that much of a fuss if, say, engineers and programmers were 55% male.

So even if all the rest of his argument were correct -- which I'm not granting -- it would still be necessary to explain the rest of the discrepancy.

As far as McArdle -- she may actually have come to the realization "these are not my people" because her specific co-workers reacted badly to her information dump about her romance and turned in relief instead to a different worker's fiber channel network, and not because of years of hearing them tell about client outings involving (presumably female) strippers; while, apparently, taking for granted that the clients routinely sexually harassed her. But the effect of that environment on a whole lot of other women may well have been quite different. I would have come to that conclusion much sooner, and for reasons having nothing to do with after work hobbies.

And also, I'm female. And unless the person's a close friend, which is a different situation entirely, I don't want to hear all about how their romance with somebody I've never met is going badly. I might want to read about it in an advice column; but I don't want to hear it in my face from a co-worker. I might well have turned with relief to a conversation about tillage equipment.
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