Remember: behind any vehement hatred is often a secret and very unpalatable envy of the hated person or persons. It is only through such hate that it can be released from the unconscious in some form.
One criticism I have of this book is that it is unclear which elements are based on scientific evidence. Regardless, you should not be agreeing with every point by an author. If a book makes you think. If a book motivates you to refine arguments. If a book makes you consider alternative explanations for extreme behavior then it is a success. With this metric, The Laws of Human Nature will stand the test of time. I strongly encourage you to buy the hardcover so it is easy to re-read passages.
3. Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini
What we seemingly know from scientific research is only as valuable as the methods used. If the only perspective adopted is that of men, if there is an assumption that only studying men is sufficient, then certain areas of inquiry will be half-baked. This book is a scathing expose into how women have been rendered invisible through most of the history of science.
Consider that the oldest scientific institution, The Royal Society of London, did not elect a woman to full membership until 1945. Consider that of the 10 prescription drugs deemed unfit for public consumption by the United States Food and Drug Administration, women had more adverse effects than men for 8 of them. One reason they made it to market was that the scientists only studied the effects on men. One reason the Food and Drug Administration failed is that these all-male clinical trials were deemed perfectly suitable for allowing prescriptions to women.
One part of this book is about the invisibility of women. Another part of this book is the over-reliance on stereotypes to understand women. Consider the large bodies of research, still discussed in textbooks today, suggesting that female brains are hard-wired such that empathy is easier and more frequently experienced whereas male brains are hard-wired for analytical and mechanical reasoning.
Read this book for a summary of the shoddy scientific data that these stereotypes are based on. Here is one of my many underlined segments that details the pressing need for this book:
A phenomenon known as the “Nordic Paradox” shows that equality under the law doesn’t always guarantee women will be treated better. Iceland has among the highest levels of female participation in the labor market anywhere in the world, with heavily subsidized child care and equal parental leave for mothers and fathers. In Norway, since 2006, the law has required that at least 40 percent of listed company board members are women.
Yet a report in May 2016 published in Social Science and Medicine reveals that Nordic countries have a disproportionately high rate of intimate partner violence against women. One theory to explain the paradox is that Nordic countries may be experiencing a backlash effect as traditional ideas of manhood and womanhood are challenged…This is why science matters for every one of us. The job ahead for researchers is to keep cleaning the window until we see ourselves as we truly are…
Whether you disagree or agree with each argument, read this review if only to have more sophisticated, data-driven conversations about when demographics matter and when they don’t.
Regardless of your political preferences, you would have to contort facts to arrive at the conclusion that the justice and corrections system in the United States is acceptable. From the terrifying stories in this book, you will remember that if someone is found guilty by a court of law by no means is this sufficient evidence they engaged in wrongdoing.