The Intersection

Sex In The Blogosphere

i-7d6be5d4db4000809a7c4371562e4936-21151DC~Wonder-Woman-Posters.jpgI tried to keep mum. I really did. Honest! But sometimes I just can’t help myself. I have a question for readers… What’s up with this blogosphere being so gosh darn male dominated? I mean, sure we’ve got some incredibly talented boys here at Science Blogs. Razib’s insightful, Bora’s fun, PZ’s amazing at stirring things up, Carl’s got incredible style, and don’t even get me started on my very favorite scibling (and co-blogger)… still it was recently brought to my attention that we ladies sure don’t represent in the science blogging world. And I just can’t help but postulate why that would be…

Matt commented:
‘Ninety five percent of the comments at the blogs on this are from men and the major players are all male.’

I don’t have the statistics, and granted I’m still learning the nuances of the blogosphere having only arrived here recently, although, if this trend is true, why? Certainly there are some among my gender who are witty, fun, intelligent, and interesting. Of course, we girls tend to appear on the ‘cute’ and ‘hot’ lists, which – as writers – is a bit anticlimactic.

Clearly, The Intersection isn’t about gender roles and I’m certainly not a vocal feminist. I assure you, I’m not trying to incite a war of the sexes (and sure do adore my brilliant male counterparts), but I’ve been turning this question over dozens of times since Monday. I’ve puttered and pondered, I’ve hypothesized, I’ve surmised, and ultimately determined I could let it go quietly as one of life’s mysteries. The Stonehenge of cyberland.

That is, until I read yesterday’s article in The Scientist. And while I couldn’t be any prouder of my five fellow sciblings featured, there it was again, plain as day… not a single lady in the mix. Which brings me back to the original question – why aren’t women making the lists of ‘Top Science Blogs?’

Perhaps you can help me understand the disparity. Is it that fewer women blog? Or is it possible we’re all subject to subconscious cues that direct our attention to the fellas? Hey, it may not be that far fetched given female writers throughout history have penned successful novels under male pseudonyms with the same suspicion. Which makes me wonder whether Harry Potter would have become a phenomenon if J.K. Rowling published under ‘Joanne’? Surely we react differently under the pretense that information is coming from a male versus a female, but why? I can wax poetic with theories, so now I’m hoping readers will help shed some light on what’s going on. After all, what do I know? I’m just a girl ;)

Comments

  1. #1 Dave Munger
    September 19, 2007

    At least for CogDaily, the 95 percent observation is wrong. If our Casual Friday studies are any indication, the male/female ratio of our readers is about 60/40. Best I can tell, our commenters run in about the same ratio.

  2. #2 Emily
    September 19, 2007

    Sheril,
    A good (and important) point. Chris and Matt noted this as well when they were at my office for a talk a while back. Personally, although I find blogging fun, I tend to get more out of person to person contact – I’m better able to read nonverbal cues when I can actually see the person I am speaking to (even talking on the phone gives you the opportunity to listen for a change in the number of hmms and uh-huhs and growls as an indicator of whether you’ve lost or incited your listener). In addition, the faster back and forth of conversation – although it means that there is a higher likelihood of being interrupted before being able to get out a full sentence – is more stimulating and allows me to better work out my own position and how it relates to those held by others and how it has been influenced by media, friends, and other information sources.

  3. #3 Tara C. Smith
    September 19, 2007

    Dave,

    From our recent survey at least, those who answered the gender question were 80% male and 20% female. Might not necessarily be representative of all readers (were males more likely to fill out the survey than female readers, for example?), but it certainly was a big difference.

  4. #4 Dave Munger
    September 19, 2007

    Tara,

    For us, it seems to depend on the survey. We’ve had as high as 70/30, and for our recent survey on desserts, the ratio was 50/50.

    Since your survey was about “scienceblogging,” then 80/20 might be a pretty good number for science blog readers.

  5. #5 Umlud
    September 19, 2007

    Well, you can always decide to write under a pseudonym (or trade up with Chris Mooney and write under his name (!)) and do a post hoc analysis of how many comments people made on your pseudonymous blog entries vs. his pseudonymous entries, and compare them against how responses came with previous entries on the site that you each wrote under your own names.

    Or you can assume that the subject area (science) is still (or at least to the point where a majority of today’s scientists and science bloggers are male) a largely self-selecting (in favor of men) group due to life choices that children make through high school. If this is the case, then the problem is more systematic than what you appear to be hypothesizing.

    I am currently in a interdisciplinary program between environmental/ecological sciences, a myriad of more social arenas (policy, law, business, education, psychology), and a few more “technical” areas (engineering, public health). I mention this because the majority of M.S. students in these programs are women (I would estimate a 60/40 split). I suppose that I could do an informal poll of the people in the School, viz blogging (of course, I think that the majority of people feel that they are “too busy” to blog).

    The underlying question that you pose, though, is interesting. (I am – how can I not be – reminded of the blog entry I saw somewhere on SciBlogs about men being funnier than women, but I doubt that this is the only reason for more male science bloggers.)

  6. #6 Colin
    September 19, 2007

    In my experience, Science Blogs actually seems more gender balanced then the rest of the blogosphere.

    I think the gender balance depends on what part of the blogosphere you’re dealing with. Gamer blogs very highly male dominated. Geek blogs are also male dominated though not as aggressively so as the gamer blogs. News and politics tends to lean towards male as well. Music and Art blogs are a mixed bunch. Craft blogs and fashion blogs are very female dominated. I don’t follow sports or Hollywood, but I bet sports blogs are more male dominated and celebrity gossip blogs are more female dominated. Also, we shouldn’t forget the GLBT crowd here: Obviously blogs about gay culture = gay bloggers, but you’ll also probably find a high percentage of gay fashion bloggers (sometimes the stereotypes are reflective of reality)

    Of course, there are also a lot of non-professional everyday life blogs and journals out there. It’s hard to keep track of those, but I think you’d find a lot of woman authors in this category.

    To write in your spare time for free to the world on a topic one needs to have a certain amount of obsessive interest. This requirement probably distorts the real world gender ratio for any topic — there are woman who like sports but more men are fanatically interested in sports.

    Also, there is probably at least some difference in how males and females tend to use the blogging medium. Blogging can be used as a cooperative knowledge sharing tool, a medium for socializing, and a competitive shouting post (in belligerent or snarky flavors). It would be an interesting topic to research how these stylistic differences correlate (or don’t correlate) to gender.

  7. #7 Matthew C. Nisbet
    September 19, 2007

    For science blogs generally, there are a couple dimensions by which the gender ratio of readers is likely to shift in relatively small ways, though generally always remaining majority male:

    1) The gender of the blogger.

    2) The topical area of the blog.

    3) The issue that is featured in the blog post.

    4) Whether you are considering readers or you are analyzing the sub-set who decide to actually comment at the blog.

  8. #8 Chris
    September 19, 2007

    I find this interesting as well, and I’m not exactly sure what to make of it. There are some scientific fields that are heavily male (sometimes 7 or 8 to 1), but these fields (physics, chemistry, engineering, math) are generally underrepresented in the blogosphere, and therefore unlikely to be a major influence on the gender disparity. Surprisingly, in fact, life sciences dominate the science blogosphere, and those are the sciences with the highest degree of gender parity outside of the blogosphere. So it seems to be something about blogging, or science blogging. It’d be an interesting issue to explore empirically.

  9. #9 Megan
    September 19, 2007

    Interesting point. Being that I am privvy to the world of third-wave feminism, I’d say you can’t claim you aren’t, considering this post.

    “Clearly, The Intersection isn’t about gender roles andI’m certainly not a vocal feminist. I assure you, I’m not trying to incite a war of the sexes (and sure do adore my brilliant male counterparts), but I’ve been turning this question over dozens of times since Monday.”

    These are the kinds of questions modern feminists are addressing in the blogosphere (check out http://www.feministing.com).

    This problem Sheril addresses is tied to a greater problem of the long-battled ol’ patriarchy. Many systems are essentially set up for white, male, wealthy men to flourish. It’s biased against the poor, the non-white, and the non-male alike.

    For women scientists, glass ceiling is still alive and diamond hard (the problem of getting tenure as a woman scientist and desiring to have a family), albeit disguised in some circles.

    This is not a problem exclusive to the science blogger world, but rather, all male-dominated fields.

    As Sheril well knows, a good example is the male-saturated music industry. Our female heroes are still listed with a caveat of being ‘girl rockers’ rather than musicians. Let’s not forget the cultural blessing of female pop stars, a great image put forth by the media, marginalizing women by her ability to be viewed as a sex object.

    The reason there aren’t a lot of female science bloggers is rooted in the same reasons for a lack of women in so many fields. Remaining outside of the debate (removing yourself from opportunities to enact change) and refusing to identify as a person concerned with these issues (aka a vocal feminist/humanist) isn’t going to help get women where they deserve to be.

    Remaining ‘friendly’ and in ‘adoration’ of male counterparts doesn’t change the fact women are being passed over for these dime-a-dozen-talents. Let’s get up and arms and call a spade a spade, with the courage to piss off some who propel the status quo. And (preferred deity) knows, we could use an articulate, smart cookie like Sheril to do the job.

  10. #10 Studly McChauvenist
    September 19, 2007

    Well have you ever considered that the reason there aren’t as many successful women bloggers is that they simply aren’t as good!

  11. #11 Aholof Hercloseoff
    September 19, 2007

    You do know that womens brains are smaller than mens right?!

  12. #12 razib
    September 19, 2007

    well, i’ve been blogging since 2002. i’ve done surveys of my readers since 2003. it has been pretty fixed at an 85-15% male female ratio in readership, and the erosion of readers doesn’t seem to show major disparities in sex. i think the comments are 85-15 as well (this is for my gnxp.com blog, SB gnxp is probably more evenly sex balanced, but that’s impressionistic from the comments [where sex isn't exactly clear some of the time so this might be due to the gender neutral handles who might be mostly males]).

    as for women and top science bloggers

    1) we need to know what proportion of science blogs are run by females

    2) we need to know if there is a difference in the distribution of male vs. female science blogs in readership (e.g., are female science blogs shifted over toward lower readership? or are there simply fewer blogs in a distribution that is about the same?).

    3) we need to see if there are trends that track the sciences in their proportions.

    4) we need to correct for the proportion of american vs. non-american blogs when considering sex ratios.

    5) ‘the scientist’ is not really a representative snapshopt of ‘a-list’ blogs IMO, seems like it was pretty impressionistic and not based on any metrics.

    6) what is ‘a-list’ varies by the metrics you use. not everyone goes by traffic (i don’t).

    7) nature top 50 is probably more representative of most people’s perceptions:
    http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060703/multimedia/50_science_blogs.html

    though there are glaring omissions (the methodology was to throw out blogs people knew and rank order them via technorati).

    8) of course it isn’t just sex. take a lot at the top science blogs run by non-whites. or, take a look at the proportion of scienceblogs.com that are run by non-whites. what’s going on here? the proportion seems even lower than women. a) you have to take the baseline proportion of non-whites as your comparison [which i think in most fields is lower than women] b) you have to look at the pool of bloggers. from blogging for 5 years i think most of the reason there are few non-whites is that there is a selection filter at the level of blogging itself, not what the readers or elite blogging networks choose.

  13. #13 razib
    September 19, 2007

    and thanks for the compliment sheril. back at you transformed by an exponential function ;-) and great title!

  14. #14 Patty O' Flynn
    September 19, 2007

    Best female powered blog about sexuality. Great personality and fun to read.

    http://www.beccabrewer.com

  15. #15 Suzanne
    September 19, 2007

    I realize this is not what anyone wants to hear, but, I don’t think there’s any mystery as to why female science bloggers are less popular: it’s the same reason females have less political power and are less socially dominant in general. Women are socially discouraged from aggressive, domineering, argumentative behavior. We’re encouraged to be empathic, nurturing, understanding, and good listeners. And maybe, if you buy evolutionary psychology, it’s possible that to some extent we might be naturally wired that way as well. Of course, all of this applies only at a statistical level and the variance within sexes is enormous and far outweighs any mean difference between sexes.

    The point is, people read science blogs in order to be intellectually provoked and stimulated. The people who do that best are aggressive, egotistical jerks who are highly motivated to show off their brilliant intellects to the world as part of their never-ending quest for social dominance. And males are – on average – more likely to be that kind of person. Most female bloggers seem, in general, to make an effort to be nice, fair, and acknowledge other viewpoints. Which is never going to be as popular as writing that’s aggressive, inflammatory and one-eyed.

  16. #16 razib
    September 19, 2007

    Of course, all of this applies only at a statistical level and the variance within sexes is enormous and far outweighs any mean difference between sexes.

    but someone who proactively blogs and put their opinions out there are probably not drawn from the central tendency, but the tails, and differences in means have a disproportionate effect on the ratio at the tails as a function of the deviation from the mean. in other words, a small between group variance in the whole set can translate into a big difference between the two subsets which are drawn to blogging.

    The people who do that best are aggressive, egotistical jerks who are highly motivated to show off their brilliant intellects to the world as part of their never-ending quest for social dominance.

    i think the first bolded part is more important than the second. the most brilliant intellects are often doing science, not blogging. someone could just check to see correcting for the first characteristics the sex difference disappears.

  17. #17 agnostic
    September 19, 2007

    I reviewed a meta-analysis of sex differences in personality, as part of the “women in science” debate:
    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2006/07/women-in-science-part-3595726061058.php

    Now, tenured faculty also need really high IQs in elite sci/math departments, but blogging doesn’t require that much, I don’t think. If you’re at least 1.3 SD above the pop mean, you’re fine (vs. more like 4 for top math faculty).

    So for blogging, it’s mostly a result of personality differences, which as Razib pointed out are tail-effects. Still, the diff in means for Agreeableness is 0.57 SD, with females more Agreeable than males across all sub-factors of this trait. That’s not chump change! And as has been pointed out, it’s aggressiveness and ability to spout off that makes you a top blogger, for whatever that’s worth.

    So, why are females more Agreeable? All personality traits are moderately heritable when you look at individual differences, so it’s sensible to think that between-group differences also has a heritable component, for the same reason you’d think that’s true for male-female gap in height. The genetic component for personality is surely much lower than for height, but you get the idea.

    The environmental component doesn’t include things like what “society expects” you to be (society isn’t a sentient being, hence can’t expect you to do anything). Little boys who had their penises injured during circumcision, then amputated, and then raised and treated like girls — they behave like little boys (rough-housing, insisting on peeing standing up, declaring that they’re boys, etc.).

    Where you’d look for environmental factors is chance occurrences in adolescence, since that’s when personality traits are most up-in-the-air. Maybe females are more likely to pursue some activity, and it’s more likely that by chance something happens in the course of that activity that makes a person more extraverted. Then females will end up more extraverted than males, due to seeking out different types of environments, on average. Something like that.

  18. #18 purple and yellow floral pattern pillow
    September 19, 2007

    Where you’d look for environmental factors is chance occurrences in adolescence, since that’s when personality traits are most up-in-the-air.

    Isn’t this from Judith Rich Harris’ work? If I recall correctly you blogged about her most recent book? One could theorize that male and female cliques constrain the range of choices adolescence (or after), no? For example, all of my girlfriends like to shop at Inhabit Living instead of IKEA, and simply as function of conformity I like to go along. I don’t see many guys there (OK, at least straight ones!), so perhaps they are at IKEA (or more likely having someone else do the shopping for them!).

  19. #19 agnostic
    September 19, 2007

    Y’know, another thing that applies more to bloggers than scientists — females prefer and are better are more intimate social relations, while males prefer and are better in large groups. Football coaches, drill sergeants, CEOs, etc. — they need to be able to deal with a huge group of followers. The same is true of bloggers (look how many groupies PZ has).

    So if you’re a blogger with a small, intimate readership vs. one with a large mostly anonymous readership, that will affect your rank in the “top blogs” list. So these other diffs could be at work too.

    (You see that in the diff between “girl’s night out” — which might consist of at most 5 girls — and “guy’s night out” to watch sports, where there could easily be 10 guys. I don’t have a cite for this, but it should be easy to find in the social psych lit.)

  20. #20 agnostic
    September 19, 2007

    Isn’t this from Judith Rich Harris’ work?

    Sorta, but not quite the same. BTW, you could probably already tell, but my throw pillows and duvet cover are from Inhabit rather than IKEA. ;) Just doing my best to provoke some “are you sure he’s not gay” conversation!

  21. #21 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    September 19, 2007

    I really appreciate the interesting dialog that is occurring in comments despite a few provocative remarks which I expect were meant to shake things up.

    Leave it to Megan aka my band’s vocalist aka an up and coming soil scientist – to point out sexual disparity across professions. And for the most part, she’s right. Although it’s also worth pondering why my own field – marine science – is becoming increasingly dominated by young women. A walk around the NOAA offices in Silver Spring, MD and you’ll be convinced. It’s an observation many in the field are puzzled over. In Maine, my graduate cohort had eight women and one male. As for Duke, the ratio is even greater. And this trend has been repeatedly noted by my friends at institutions around the country. The question is why.

    Most suspect that since marine science is generally not a lucrative profession and men are more focused on supporting their families, women are more apt to follow a field they love. But I don’t buy that argument hook, line, and sinker because what about the other disciplines? It’s not as if men in cellular biology are making more than those in the marine sciences. Of course, I admit I do have the data on this but, seems to me something fishy’s going on…

  22. #22 Fred Bortz
    September 19, 2007

    The field I find most interesting relating to this topic is Astronomy, which has had a long history of including women in small numbers.

    In recent years (sorry I don’t know the source), the balance in graduate schools has slightly favored women. That certainly was not the 1980s experience of Heidi Hammel, whom I interviewed extensively and shadowed to write a young readers’ biography for a series of books called “Women’s Adventures in Science” (Joseph Henry Press imprint of the National Academies Press, 2005, click my name for details).

    Heidi is certainly the kind of scientist who inspires young people to follow her lead. I asked her if she thought she had anything to do with the changing gender balance. Her reply was noncommittal. It was possible, but she didn’t think so. In fact, she has run into a number of younger astronomers of both genders who heard her speak and were inspired to pursue astronomy.

    If there are any young astronomers reading this, male or female, I’d be interested in your thoughts about the changing balance in your science.

  23. #23 Harry Abernathy
    September 19, 2007

    I think you have to compound the male-to-female ratio in any particularly scientific field with the male-to-female ratio in the computer science and IT fields. What I mean by that is besides there being fewer women in science, I would bet that a smaller percentage of women than men are excited about computers and the nuts and bolts of maintaining a website or blog. I do believe this is changing with the younger generation, as sites like Facebook and Myspace are pervasive in youth culture. But with older professionals, I believe males are more obsessed with gadgets and the internet.

    Many comments correctly hit upon the gender differences in communication style. Successful, or at least high traffic, bloggers are usually less concerned about dialogue than they say (just see how often popular bloggers actually respond to comments). They are instead more into chest-thumping and speechifying, which are more masculine traits.

  24. #24 razib
    September 19, 2007

    not to harp, but i think we do need to specify explicit what criteria we’re using to delineate underrepresentation. for example, i’m willing to be that women are underrepresented in the top 20 science blogs in traffic in relation to the top 1,000. so i’m focusing on traffic here. how does a blog get so much traffic? there are many ways, but i think the most prominent and trafficed science blogs that i can think of are pz’s, cosmic variance and panda’s thumb. how did they get big? i think a large part of it is due to links from the blogsophere as a whole. blogs which grow endogenously without outside links in are going to always be small fry, there just aren’t enough people who are interested in pure science to mass a huge readership. rather, you have to intersect with other interests and dynamics (e.g., creationism & its relation to the religious right) or “mix it up” (e.g., cosmic variance’s ruminations on gender in science).

  25. #25 Neuro-conservative
    September 19, 2007

    Megan — How is there a glass ceiling in the blogosphere? Doesn’t the relative openness/accessibility of the format permit a natural experiment allowing humans to sort themselves out according to their interests?

  26. #26 Alan Kellogg
    September 19, 2007

    The answer is really very simple, it’s all about showing off our rhetorical penis. Women talk to communicate, men talk to impress.

  27. #27 tardigrade
    September 19, 2007

    Hmmm… Good question. Would love to blog. Have no problem with technology as long as it is working (damn, how do you get italics in the comments???), nor do I have any hang-ups communicating with people I don’t know or can’t see.

    However, I just used up the sum total of my spare time today reading this thread and writing this comment. Gotta finish the dishes in the sink, get my daughter’s things ready for school tomorrow, order a sisal runner for the hallway, watch Jon Stewart, and go to bed.

    Maybe I just lent credence to Matthew Nisbet’s point after all…

    Oh, also:

    “Little boys who had their penises injured during circumcision, then amputated, and then raised and treated like girls…”

    What!!!? That is horrifying!

  28. #28 Kent Kauffman
    September 19, 2007

    What’s the actual percentage of women bloggers compared compared to men? I haven’t seen any hard data, but it seems like a good 80/20 for the science based blogs I tend to read. That’s four times as many women, and a much larger and longer tail to cut off the most popular blogs.

    And, a personal anecdote: my wife and I spend about the same amount of time on the internet. My time is spent reading the news, other blogs, and blogging myself. My wife’s time is generally spent on craigslist, various animal shelter websites, and a truly huge amount of email. She’s spends her time trying to find homes for lots of animals, and I just try to assimilate as much info as possible, and spout off about whatever crosses my mind. Just different personalities and objectives.

  29. #29 David Harmon
    September 19, 2007

    At least some of the disparity almost certainly comes from “social state” — that is, a group composed mostly of men is most likely to continue to remain dominated by men. In contrast, I gather that primatology has picked up a quite large female contingent, specifically because when the field was forming, Louis (?) Leakey recruited mostly women as fieldworkers.

  30. #30 Azkyroth
    September 20, 2007

    I haven’t read through all the comments here, but it’s worth noting that:

    Y’know, another thing that applies more to bloggers than scientists — females prefer and are better are more intimate social relations, while males prefer and are better in large groups. Football coaches, drill sergeants, CEOs, etc. — they need to be able to deal with a huge group of followers. The same is true of bloggers (look how many groupies PZ has).

    So if you’re a blogger with a small, intimate readership vs. one with a large mostly anonymous readership, that will affect your rank in the “top blogs” list. So these other diffs could be at work too.

    (You see that in the diff between “girl’s night out” — which might consist of at most 5 girls — and “guy’s night out” to watch sports, where there could easily be 10 guys. I don’t have a cite for this, but it should be easy to find in the social psych lit.)

    Odd. I actually am extremely uncomfortable in groups of more than a few people (3-4, 5 at most), especially when they aren’t all people I’m intimately acquainted with. I think you’re overgeneralizing.

    Another point: at least as far as the readership goes, I’m sure it doesn’t help that in many corners of society spending much time online is STILL viewed as a “[nerdy] guy thing.”

  31. #31 razib
    September 20, 2007

    I actually am extremely uncomfortable in groups of more than a few people (3-4, 5 at most), especially when they aren’t all people I’m intimately acquainted with. I think you’re overgeneralizing.

    that’s a bit rich don’t you think? you use yourself as a contradictory exemplar with N=1 and then accuse the other person of overgeneralizing? that being said, assman could probably dig up a social psychological study or two as he noted above.

  32. #32 agnostic
    September 20, 2007

    David — you’re just saying that the sex distributions we see are stable equilibria, but you don’t address whether they are sensitive to the initial conditions.

    For example, suppose you conscripted all guys and no girls to study child language acquisition. Would it stay dominated by them forevermore? No way: women are more interested than men in babies and language, and they’ll dominate it soon enough. The observed distribution of mostly females could not have turned out radically different.

    Pinker mentions that datum when discussing women in science. I can attest to that as well: during an undergrad summer project in the child language lab, I was the only male of a team of 8 or 9. I had two seminars on child lang. acq.: one was looking at mathematical modelling, and consisted of 4 guys only. The other was reading less gadget-y journal articles: me and a male professor, and probably 14 females (the other prof, students, etc.).

    We conclude that there’s something about female interests that, on average, bias them more towards babies and language than males are. And again, the diff is likely heritable.

    I say let women do what they prefer, and the distributions will be what they’ll be.

  33. #33 Jeb, FCD
    September 20, 2007

    Sheril,

    When are you and Chris going to become co-habitators as well as co-bloggers?

  34. #34 agnostic
    September 20, 2007

    Re: preference for intimate vs. large groups, here’s a free PDF that’s an overview:
    http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~baumeistertice/baumeistersommer1997.pdf

    Do a Google search for “baumeister sommer social” and click on the Google Books result (*Close Relationships*). The review says this is the consensus view. It mentions, e.g., that men are more likely than women to help strangers, “strangers” usually being members of a large group the guy belongs to (student body, say).

    That’s also true of Ache foragers in Paraguay: men pursue food items that can be widely shared throughout the group (game animals and honey), while females pursue smaller items that can’t be divvied up that way, focusing only on feeding their close relatives. What that is is another discussion, but this shows that the pattern extends from industrial to hunter-gatherer societies.

  35. #35 razib
    September 20, 2007

    When are you and Chris going to become co-habitators as well as co-bloggers?

    doesn’t chris’ girlfriend get a vote jeb? ;-)

  36. #36 Kristjan Wager
    September 20, 2007

    One aspect one cannot overlook is the behaviour shown towards male and female bloggers. Online harassment of female bloggers (and even commenters) is a very real problem, and would explain some of the gender difference.

  37. #37 Cal Harth
    September 21, 2007

    Sheril,
    The bias is real and unfortunate. Women and men process information differently. Niether way is more correct, just different. I have really enjoyed your contributions to the Intersection blog. Your opinions are welcome.
    Cal

  38. #38 tardigrade
    September 21, 2007

    Ditto the above comment – your posts are a pleasure to read.

  39. #39 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    September 21, 2007

    I appreciate the kind words. I expect the tone of my posts are reflective of the fun I’m having writing. Thanks for reading!

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