Still No Crockus

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A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the mysterious crockus, the part of the brain Dan Hodgins is “educating” our educators about as being responsible for girls being more detail oriented than boys.   A few weeks and a lot of blogosphere attention later, it’s still nowhere to be found.

But Hodgins is still out there spewing his sex difference nonsense to our nation’s teachers under the guise of professional development.   As usual, Mark Liberman at Language Log breaks down Hodgins’ most recent falsehoods.   This time, Hodgins is talking about girls having a larger corpus callosum (a brain part that actually does exist!) than boys and thus being more empathetic than them.   The problem is, as is usual with the sex difference crowd, Hodgins is relying on faulty interpretations of science that shows very little, if any, sex differences.   And those that do exist are hard to separate from socialized expectations for boys and girls.

It’s certainly no surprise that there are people out there preaching that boys and girls are essentially, naturally, and biologically different.   They come from a long line of those who want to set traditional and patriarchal sex roles in stone.   What the real problem is is that our nation’s educators are continually inviting these people to talk to them and teach them how to teach our children.

– David S. Cohen

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0 Responses to Still No Crockus

  1. Nancy Levit says:

    David makes good points. Mark Liberman had such a good framing of the scientific flaw underlying this kind of sex differences reasoning: “turning small differences in group distributions into categorical statements about group properties.” Nancy

  2. Occasional Expositor says:

    The Guardian has some very interesting extracts this week from Deborah Cameron’s new book The Myth of Mars and Venus about the claim of differences between men’s and women’s language. Part One is here

  3. Bruce Godfrey says:

    It is my understanding that the “crockus” is not mere crank, but prank. Its author was not engaged in fanciful speculation, but explicit buncombe. Perhaps you know this and your writing is too subtle for my crude eye.

  4. That’s the first I’ve heard about the crockus being a prank. From all reports of it at Language Log (follow the link in this post to my old post and then follow those links to Language Log), it sure seemed that Hodgins was presenting it as serious fact to teach teachers how to treat boys and girls differently.

  5. ECEProf says:

    I’m the person who reported the crockus matter to Language Log and it does not appear to me to be a prank. Hodgins is riding on the coat tails of the supposed “boy crisis”, for which he scapegoats feminist teachers. He asserts that there is neuroscientific evidence to support his claims and he prescribes gender-specific curriculum and pedagogy. He uses a comedic entertainment style (akin to descriptions of the presentations of Gurian) and, in under five minutes, he is able to convince audiences comprised of the (primarily feminist) teachers of our youngest children that they are culpable for the alleged failure of boys. Hodgins has not published a single text on the topic, and he has yet to produce a reference list of scholarly articles supporting his neuroscience claims. He retired from his community college position in 2006 and appears to be making his livelihood now by exploiting the specialized niche of Early Childhood (general and special) Education with his gender-biased traveling show.