Giving geniuses a place in which they can attempt to solve their problems

Now here’s a question: Are Women Destroying Academia?. In amongst the text we find this as part of the answer:

In order to calmly debate all ideas, you need to put emotion aside. But females are simply less able to do that than males because they are higher in Neuroticism—feeling negative feelings strongly. Thus, they more easily become overwhelmed by negative feelings, precluding them from logical thought. (Data on personality traits is drawn from Personality, by Daniel Nettle, 2007).

Similarly, new ideas, or being contradicted, will likely upset some people. But, in the pursuit of academic debate, you have to ignore this and calmly present both sides. However, this is more difficult for females, because they are more sympathetic, meaning that “not hurting people’s feelings” can become their highest ideal. Higher in Conscientiousness (“rule-following”) and lower in intellectual curiosity than males, females are also more conformist. This means they are less able to understand that, in academia, the truth is ever more closely reached by being non-conformist—by questioning the current “truth.”

Thus, argues DeGroot, female domination of academia will seriously damage academia as a place where ideas can be seriously debated.

Ed Dutton, in a video entitled “Do Female Reduce Male Per Capita Genius?” takes this critique of feminism even further. He argues that geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier high IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and moderately low Conscientiousness. This means they are clever enough to solve a difficult problem, but being low in rule-following, can also “think outside the box,”. And, being low in Agreeableness, they don’t care about offending people, which original ideas always do.

An aspect of Agreeableness is empathy—being concerned with the feelings of others and being able to guess what they might be. Dutton shows that people who are high in “systematizing” (which males typically are compared to females, with systematizing being vital to problem solving) tend to be low in empathy. Thus, Dutton argues, you don’t get many women geniuses because their IQ range is more bunched towards the mean; and also because they are too high in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness.

Universities, traditionally dominated by males, have in essence been about giving geniuses a place in which they can attempt to solve their problems, working at their chosen problems for years on end. But Dutton argues that female academics tend to be the “Head Girl Type” (chief prefect at all-girls schools in the UK) with “normal range” high IQ and high in Conscientiousness and Agreeableness—the exact opposite of a typical genius. Accordingly, once you allow females into academia, they will be promoted over genius males because they come across as better people to work with—more conscientious, easier to be around and more socially skilled. But this will tend to deny geniuses the place of nurture they need.

As females come to dominate, the culture of academia will feminize. High in Conscientiousness, women will create a rule-governed bureaucracy where research occurs through incremental steps and a certain number of publications must be presented every few years, rather than through genius breakthroughs. But geniuses typically work on huge problems for years. So this bureaucracy will make it impossible for them to do this and keep their jobs.

Women will also create a culture of co-operative “research groups,” anathema to the kind of anti-social loners who tend towards genius. And females will, of course, tend to create an atmosphere of emotion and empathy, the enemy of the unemotional, coldly systematic style of the genius—and, traditionally, of academia.

In this atmosphere, “not causing offence” will become much more important. But genius breakthroughs are only made, ultimately, by causing offence.

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