Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Bryant (
10 Sep 1996 14:47:42 -0600

In article <>,
Shez <> wrote:

> You caught me on a very sore spot, I have seen what rape can do,
>and my reaction was therefore based on emotion .

I, too, have witnessed what rape can do. That's why I defend
the right of researchers to study the topic vigorously, in hopes of
finding useful information for those who would reduce its incidence.

> Should that theory state that it is possibly a specific mating
>adaptation in humans then the general public will no doubt be informed
>by a hungry for news media.
> It will be brought to the attention of the lawyers, and the next rapist
>would have his council arguing that the poor man could not help it, it
>being a specific mating adaptation.

There is even better evidence that infanticide is the output of evolved
psychological adaptations. Nobody has yet used this information in court
(indeed, "insanity" is still the prefered defense in cases of maternal

I agree that the press can be reckless. I agree that the citizenry is
pathetically science-illiterate. I agree that this might even creep its way
into courtrooms--which is why I think scientists should clearly state
that an urge is not an excuse.

But, science cannot be shackled by such considerations. I am astounded
that better science education, critical thinking classes, etc., were not
even suggested in the life of this thread. The only suggestion I have
seen other than my own (that scientists be careful in how they present
data) is that scientists should observe research taboos.

What if rape *were* more likely under certain circumstances? What if we
could reduce the incidence of rape by correcting those circumstances? By
observing censors' wishes and squelching academic freedom of thought and
expression, we would never discover socially invaluble information.

>Having re read the post, I was not objective enough. and for that I
>appologise, but I am human, and you touched a sore spot.

Thank you, Shez. I really appreciate that.

>To reason the probable results of such a
>theory must also be part of the equation, there must be some insight
>into the probable reaction,

Well, agreed. I think scientists should be cautious. But not silenced.

I apply this standard equally; Phil Rushton has alluded to and stated
things about race differences in IQ that I strongly (even angrily)
disagree with. I have answered his assertions by testing alternative
hypotheses, not by denouncing him. Should students in Canada again try
to force the University of Western Ontario to censor Rushton to spare
them their hurt feelings, I will work vigorously to protect Rushton's
(and thus, all of our) academic freedom to research unpopular topics.