Ashley Herzog asks: “How long before feminists try to censor this?”

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Ashley Herzog is a staff writer at   The (University of Ohio) Post who authored a 3/13/2008 article headlined “The Other Side: Despite feminist denial, sexes are wired differently,” in which she asserts thst “feminists” will “try to censor” a new study about language abilities. And Mark Liberman at the excellent Language Log points out in some detail that there is no reason feminists would do so. He writes:

… in the interests of protecting truth from politics, let’s take a look at the paper under discussion in this case. It’s Douglas D. Burman, Tali Bitan and James R. Booth, “Sex differences in neural processing of language among children“, Neuropsychologia, available online 4 January 2008.

In order to help Ms. Herzog to defeat any antiscientific individuals, feminist or otherwise, who might want to prevent access to this research, I’ve made a .pdf available here without subscription hindrance. But in fact, after reading the paper, I’m at a loss to see why even the most ardent feminazi in Rush Limbaugh’s anxiety closet would want to suppress it.

So Ashley, I think you are asking the wrong question. Mark Liberman concludes his post by saying: “But let me appeal to Ms. Herzog, and to journalists at all career stages, to start reading the original sources, not just the press releases, and to apply to arguments from all sources the same informed skepticism that you’ve learned to apply to politicians that you dislike.” I second that, and ask that as an aspiring journalist you stop making false, nasty generalizations about “feminists.”

–Ann Bartow

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