The gender gap gets hotter - THE CATASTROPHIZER
 
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A recent study, which I believe is credible even though I so badly want to believe in it (I tend to be suspicious of anything that seems to support my prejudices), has found that girls raised in a matrilineal community in India have spacial reasoning skills equal to those of boys raised in a patrilineal community in India, throwing the whole "boys are naturally better at math because evolution makes them want to have sex with more than one woman and woman are naturally better at sharing and hugging because evolution makes them really sensitive" argument into doubt. 

According to an unattributed, but very professional-sounding, quote from a commenter on the story (who is both trustworthy and determined, as evidenced by his/her screen name: "Frodo Baggins"):

"The authors looked at some of the cultural factors that might be expected to explain the difference between the two societies. Males are likely to receive more education in the patrilineal society, and the authors found that introducing education as a factor in their analysis accounted for a third of the difference. Male ownership of the home also had a large effect; the gender gap is only a third the size in homes that are not owned solely by males."

But why would girls in the West have spacial reasoning skills less impressive than than those of the Western boys? They have access to education and are allowed to own their own homes and inherit property.

One possible explanation for the gap can be found in the t-shirt recently discontinued by J.C. Penny because of a totally unpredictable backlash from consumers:

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Aha! The answer is clear: Western girls can't reason spatially as well as Western boys because they're simply too pretty. If their brothers would just stop doing their homework for them, or they became even slightly less pretty, they'd develop new mental abilities. 

Do not despair, though. I firmly believe the gender gap will be eradicated not by helping girls develop news skills, but by taking away the ones the boys already have. Another commenter on the "The Mary Sue" website led me to the following page, which details the exciting bibs now available for both boy and girl babies. While it's true that the "high chair hottie" bib for the discriminating girl baby might seem to stress the importance of her looks, the "flirt", "hunk", and "single" bibs for boys do much the same thing for him. Soon both girls AND boys will be too pretty to do homework, and true equality between the genders will be achieved. 
Yonit
8/31/2011 16:24:56

Does this mean I have to put away my "I'm Too Pretty to Do Math"t-shirt? B/c, really, I can't do math and that tee is the only silver lining.

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9/1/2011 10:21:36

I hear the ghost of Harrison Bergeron!

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Catastrophizer
9/8/2011 16:24:18

Yonit - of course you should put away that shirt (in your daughter's hope chest, obviously), because you're clearly pretty and everyone already KNOWS pretty girls can't do math, so the t-shirt is redundant.

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Catastrophizer
9/8/2011 16:29:06

Mirik - because of you, I now know who and what Harrison Bergeron is, and I'm both grateful and depressed.

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9/6/2013 01:58:59

Great site, i've been thinking about getting a free blog from weebly, do you recommend it?

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Males are likely to receive more education in the patrilineal society, and the authors found that introducing education as a factor in their analysis accounted for a third of the difference.

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