Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Althouse Rule spotting

First a quick reminder, the Althouse Rule states that, "If you do scientific research into the differences between men and women, you must portray whatever you find to be true of women as superior." In pointing it out, Ann Althouse is making a sociological observation and not endorsing the rule.

And here is the study I want to highlight today:
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have analyzed 700 million words and phrases from the Facebook messages of 75,000 volunteers. The resulting word clouds show the extent to which our use of language is influenced by our personality, age, and sex.
And now read the description of how language is influenced by male and female sexuality:
Men tend to use the possessive 'my' when mentioning their wife or girlfriend more than women use 'my' with 'husband' or 'boyfriend.' Males also use more profanity and object references (e.g. "xbox").

Women use more emotion words, like 'excited,' first-person singulars, while using more psychological and social terms, like "love you" and the heart emoticon: "<3".
The article calls these results "disturbingly predictable". The commenters at the bottom of the article at the link, on the other hand, quickly point out a big logical mistake. For how is it possible to talk about your wife, or husband for that matter, without using the possessive?

Assuming it really is true that women don't use the possessive before words like husband, hubby or boyfriend, then it must be that they are more likely to use these words when describing men that other women, possibly celebrities, are in a relationship with. The obvious corollary, then, is that women are less likely to mention men they have some sort of relationship than men are to mention women they are in a relationship with when using social media.

As I've mentioned before, when couples break up, women are responsible for ending 80 percent of non-married breakups and two thirds of divorces. The results above, viewed objectively, tend to confirm the thesis that women are less committed to their loving relationships with men than vice versa.

1 comment:

  1. The article calls these results "disturbingly predictable".

    Predictable, but why "disturbingly"? Men and women are different, despite what is taught in the elite graduate schools.