6 Comments
May 24·edited May 24

> women tended to apply to more competitive departments with lower rates of admission, even among qualified applicants (such as in the English department), whereas men tended to apply to less competitive departments with higher rates of admission (such as in the engineering department).

Something I don't like about this is that the measure of competitiveness is garbage. I submit that your odds of being admitted into the engineering department are not primarily determined by the existing admission rate - they are primarily determined by whether you have the requisite engineering training.

Because everyone knows this, people without that training don't apply to the department at all, and the admission rate looks high. But the level of competitiveness is higher than this would indicate, it's just that the department is so competitive that many people don't bother to compete.

This matters, in this particular example, because the observation "men apply to wimpy departments with soft standards, like engineering, whereas women apply to ruthless departments with strict standards, like English" suggests that the women are making an unforced error and should try applying to softer departments. But it appears that their odds of being accepted to the soft we-take-all-comers departments are even worse than their odds of being accepted to the Darwinian free-for-alls, and they are in fact applying to the departments that offer the highest chances of admitting them.

A similarly flawed set of reasoning is why universities started to encourage unqualified students to apply, so that they could be rejected. This juices the measured selectivity of the university, getting it a higher ranking. But selectivity is measured as the percentage of applicants who are admitted. If you change the applicant pool, this will change even as your admission standards hold constant. This does not reflect a change in selectivity as the word is normally understood.

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It seems that the method of measuring a trait is also important.

For example, let's look at two studies from the same researcher in the same country (Czech Republic), with the same topic.

You look at the relationship between sexual submission/dominance and fertility and there is no increase in overall fertility(although it may have an effect on the gender of the child}:

"Out of the age cohort 35-44 years it was revealed that 1) sexually dominant men had more biological male children 2) both the sexually dominant men and sexually submissive women perceived themselves as being more attractive." (1)

Now change the method a bit and instead of asking about power hierarchy in sex, ask about power hierarchy in romance between couples and you will find a positive relationship between fertility and hierarchy regardless of whether it is matriarchal or patriarchal.

"the higher reproductive success of hierarchically disparate pairs holds, regardless of which sex, male or female, is the dominant one."(2)

So while sexual dominance/submission has no fertility benefit, romantic dominance/submission are still useful for fertility and maintain the sexual form(BDSM).

1- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317245618_Sexual_Arousal_by_Dominance_and_Submission_Represents_Mating_Strategy

2-

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271536689_Why_do_some_women_prefer_submissive_men_Hierarchically_disparate_couples_reach_higher_reproductive_success_in_European_urban_humans

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You should have brought up measurement invariance here...

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Fordi which trait? These are mostly single items.

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"The causal explanation is something like this: within developed countries, smarter people and those with more self-control are better able to control their energy budget (energy in, energy out) and as a result stay slightly skinnier. But smarter, harder working people create massive wealth for their country which results in more money for food, and a greater variety, which in turn makes it harder to keep the energy budget (overeating), and thus obesity. There are other factors,.."

there certainly are; if someone really has higher IQ & greater self-control then more food money or variety shouldn't make them eat more individually. And fat people often eat too much cheap junk food already, so more kinds of more expensive food shouldn't make them fatter than they already are - but whatever the reasons, America does have an obesity problem

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As regards obesity the US has the highly relevant different racial cohorts and societal instant gratification, factors that surely would be the most important

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