PC Academics 'Memory Hole' Important Paper on Gender, IQ, and Performance

P. Gardner Goldsmith | September 18, 2018
Remember the days when Orwell’s “1984” and Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” were more dystopian speculative fiction than they were instruction manuals or sarcastic spoofs of nascent socio-political trends?

No longer. Their worlds are reality, and the latest example is a doozy, showing the Social Justice Warrior zeal to flush down the Memory Hole a scientific paper investigating the performance difference of highly intelligent males and females.

Retired Georgia Tech professor of Mathematics, Theordore Hill, explains his experience in a recent piece for Quillette. He notes his interest in what has fascinated many scientists for years: the fact that when IQ is laid out on a graph, the bell curve for women is much more concentrated in the middle, while the male population contains more outliers, on both the highest and lowest performers.

It’s known as The Greater Male Variability Hypothesis – the idea that there are more male geniuses and idiots in the male population than in the female population -- and, as Hill notes:

Multiple studies have found that boys and men are over-represented at both the high and low ends of the distributions in categories ranging from birth weight and brain structures and 60-meter dash times to reading and mathematics test scores. There are significantly more men than women, for example, among Nobel laureates, music composers, and chess champions—and also among homeless people, suicide victims, and federal prison inmates.

Fascinating stuff, right? In fact, this differential is noted in animals as well. Hill writes:

Evidence for this hypothesis is fairly robust and has been reported in species ranging from adders and sockeye salmon to wasps and orangutans, as well as humans.

To help him in his calculations, he enlisted the aid of Sergei Tabachnikov, a Professor of Mathematics at Pennsylvania State University, and they sent the report to the Viewpoint section of the Mathematical Intelligencier, which welcomes “contentious subjects.”

Given the fact that Lawrence Summers was driven from his Presidency at Harvard a decade ago for merely asking if these performance differentials might be subjects of further exploration and understanding, one might have hoped that the subject would no longer push some people into hysterics. (By the way, Summers soon was appointed Treasury Secretary for the Obama Administration, so we all would have been better off if the Political Correctness Police had left him alone at Harvard.)

Well, the atmosphere for academic and scientific inquiry into differentials between men and women has not changed. In fact, it might be more hostile towards open discussion than when Summers was pushed out of Hahhhvahhhd.

The paper by Hill and Tabachnikov was published, and Tabachnikov received immediate grief for it at Penn State.

At a faculty meeting the week before, the Department Head had explained that sometimes values such as academic freedom and free speech come into conflict with other values to which Penn State was committed. A female colleague had then instructed Sergei that he needed to admit and fight bias, adding that the belief that ‘women have a lesser chance to succeed in mathematics at the very top end is bias.’ Sergei said he had spent ‘endless hours’ talking to people who explained that the paper was ‘bad and harmful’ and tried to convince him to ‘withdraw my name to restore peace at the department and to avoid losing whatever political capital I may still have.’

Reason’s Robby Soave discusses what happened to the paper itself:

Mathematical Intelligencer rescinded its acceptance of the paper. According to its editor-in-chief, publishing Hill and Tabachnikov's work would create a ‘very real possibility that the right-wing media may pick this up and hype it internationally.’ In his Quillette piece, Hill claims that a University of Chicago mathematics professor, Amie Wilkinson, lobbied the journal to abandon its plans to publish the piece.

Another publication, the New York Journal of Mathematics (NYJM) agreed to publish it, but then the paper simply “disappeared” from the journal, and another article was in its place.

IQ and performance study, meet Memory Hole.

Writes Hill:

As it turned out, Amie Wilkinson is married to Benson Farb, a member of the NYJM editorial board. Upon discovering that the journal had published my paper, Professor Farb had written a furious email to [NYJM Editor-in-Chief Mark Steinberger] demanding that it be deleted at once.


The very idea of scientific inquiry appears to be quashed in favor of political correctness. Inherent in the argument of social justice feminists is that the differences in male and female performance are culturally derived. They claim that patriarchal societal arrangements put women at disadvantages when it comes to standardized tests, and that educational system biases push men into tech fields, science, math, and engineering. Yet by behaving in such a defensive way, by not even allowing the possibility of studying potential reasons – be they environmental or genetic – the social justice warriors are attempting to protect their view at the expense of possibly supporting their view through empirical research.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Years before Summers was driven from Harvard, John Stossel did an excellent report for ABC’s “20/20” in which he spoke to scientists and “feminists” about studies that show cognitive and physical differences between males and females. Women have better senses of smell. Men have better depth perception. Generally, women remember driving directions in a series of turns and street names. Men just “know where north is” (because there is actually a mineral in the heads of mammals and birds that helps them orient north and south, and men have more of it than women do).

Stossel spoke to “feminists”, and many said that even trying to study the differences was “sexist”.

But physical gender differences are obvious. So why not know about others? What’s wrong with knowing, discovering, wondering about the reasons?

Can’t have that. If you write about it, your paper has to disappear. Not for the sake of science, but for feelings.

If reality makes you feel bad, SJWs, you’ve got more problems than the purported “patriarchy”, and you might want to “check your privilege”.

Because Nature doesn’t care.