More on “Women’s Studies”

In an e-mail yesterday, Bionic Mosquito (BM) commented supportively on today’s article about university sources of gender nuttiness.

The article says “Weaker academics in the traditional areas may be attracted to these new areas if it means gaining publication numbers.”

BM adds

“Weaker students are also attracted. In addition to the desire from funding from government and donors, the administrators welcome the growth (via student loans) of students who could never get into a rigorous program, hence never get into university. It could also be considered a way to meet various affirmative action laws and regulations (both in the faculty and student populations).”

The article says

“Standards of publication are more fuzzy and looser in these new journals.”

BM adds

“Jordan Peterson cites a statistic, which I am sure I will get wrong. He says something to the effect that 95% (or in that range) of the work published in these nonsensical journals does not get cited even once by any other academician anywhere.”

Several easily found and brief videos of Prof. Peterson provide support. See here and here. The former rakes women’s studies over the coals. The latter says that 80% of papers in the humanities are not cited even a single time. It may well be that he talks about even higher non-citation rates elsewhere. I did not hunt around; the point remains the same. Most of the so-called research has no meaningful academic impact. Its purpose lies elsewhere.

My most downloaded finance article has 10,514 downloads on SSRN. Downloads aren’t citations. A citation occurs when another article references a paper. For example, my paper on seasonality has 175 citations within the journal articles placed on EconPapers. “SSRN´s eLibrary provides 881,518 research papers from 417,957 researchers across 30 disciplines.” I regularly place in SSRN’s top 10% for downloads.

There are many interesting questions that may be rigorously explored in areas of race, sex, ethnicity, nationalism, etc. The problem is, as Prof. Peterson says, that fields such as women’s studies have substituted ideological axe-grinding for genuine research.

Even worse, this propaganda has influenced what’s being taught to children in schools and colleges.

All these problems stem from the presence of government in education. Ideological “research” wouldn’t disappear if government withdrew from education, but a different arrangement would probably arise in a free market. There would occur an equilibrium with ideology tending to occur in some colleges and rigorous learning in others. The ideological schools would probably have fewer customers and lower market value. Ideological departments within rigorous schools might occur but be held in check by the rest of the university. By contrast, today’s colleges and universities tend to be subservient to their ideological components. This would not happen if the external support of government funding and laws were ended.


9:51 am on August 15, 2019