Friday, July 21, 2006

"Your mother and I were talking...

We see that you signed up for physics next semester. Hey, that's great; good for you!

The thing is, we've been keeping track of the latest research in gender-based differences in cognitive abilities, and it turns out physics is more of a "guy class." More males than females scored exceptionally well on a math test given in an enrichment course for high-achieving students at Johns Hopkins, and other studies show that boys often outperform girls in tests of spatial visualization.

So we were thinking you might want to drop physics and sign up for that communications class. The research says girls excel in verbal communication skills.

We only want what's best for you."

I'll give you moment to shake that off. You know, there's no prouder moment for a blog author than when he or she can ask colleagues, "So, have you been following that lively internet discussion on my blog?" I jest. It has been suggested that "lively internet discussion" is an oxymoron of sorts. But I digress.

Amidst the gender-based cognitive differences discussion going on at this blog, I've seen many calls for "let the research be done!" This sentiment follows a noted Ben Franklin quote, "Let the experiment be made." Then again, none of us would have to stretch our imagination too much to envision experiments that shouldn't be made.

What I haven't seen is anyone stepping up to tell me what the point would be. So let me start the song and invite anyone to chime in.

The research results are in. Gender-based cognitive differences have been identified. As a result of these findings, we're now going to... OK, that's where I got nothin'. Somebody go ahead and pick it up from here. (Kindly keep in mind that all such "findings" so far have been insignificant when compared to individual variations within a given gender.) I hope no one suggests parents start having the discussion at the top of this post.

Anyway, tell me the what the application of the research results might be. I am eager to learn.

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