Demokk's forum posts

#1 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@gamefreak9: There is still a gap, regardless of how much you want to play with statistics. Also, you seem to be forgetting that the world doesn't revolve around US, and most girls don't even have the opportunity to study in other countries.

That study lost me when it tries to justify the income gap with "mothers should take care of the children", with even no research on the subject. What happened to lesbians, asexual women, single/divorced/widowed women, childless women, and so on? You can't just generalize. Failing to recognize the uniqueness of each individual within a society is the biggest failure of modern "democracy".

By the way, saying that everything revolves around free will and then contradicting by talking about genes and tendencies is a giant red flag of the double standard that I was talking about. To think that we are free of any influence and that everybody makes choices in a vacuum is extremely naive. We wouldn't even dress, talk, move, act, think, and socialize this way or study in particular fields if we weren't born in the west to begin with. Even seemingly neutral things like language affect how each individual thinks, there are concepts that aren't even present in some languages. It is just baffling to think that individuals somehow exist in and make choices vacuum.

#2 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@gamefreak9 said:

Where are you seeing active discrimination against women? If anything the only hypothesis I can draw from this article is exactly that men are being discriminated against its worth looking into why they have so many of the computer science degrees but so little of the computer science jobs, are the remainder unemployed?

Throughout my entire career, studies, and life in the western culture. Just because you don't want to admit that psychology and culture studies are valid doesn't mean it isn't happening. It is quite easy to tell from a privileged position that it isn't happening, after all, you are not the one being discriminated. Denial is so effective as a defense mechanism against responsibility indeed.

If anything, the recent movements initiated by many individuals, organizations, and even the government point to it. Not to mention that the gender income gap supports this as well, I'd love to hear how the genes also somehow justify that women should be paid less.

Here is another study in relation to gender bias in science.

#3 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@gamefreak9 said:

I love how you use the word "research" and then send me links to articles of journalists opinions pieces. It looks like it makes a good living to talk about why there should be more women in tech but not so good to think about the issues with a little bit more rigor. Before answering the question of how do we get more women in tech, you must properly answer the other question. Given that women have the choice to join techy fields and then of their own free will, don't(as far as any real evidence is concerned), should we have a top-down movement to force them into it?

if you actually read the articles, you'll see the obvious links to sources and research. And they choose not to join because of people that keep telling them that they are not welcome and that keep telling them that "empirical work" says that women shouldn't be interested in those fields or that they won't be as "successful". Of course "empirical work" would say so, if culture has always been biased against them in the STEM fields. That is like saying that "empirical work" shows that black are more prone to be more incarcerated, when there is an obvious bias towards them in comparison with white people that get prosecuted less.

Women can't succeed in a field if society actively discourages them to try their hand at it in the first place.

#4 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@gamefreak9 said:

On the computer science articles I have a similar sentiments as the first. I can come up with plethora of other theories that fit the facts just as well if not better. Given the realities of programming, people become obsolete faster than ever before its not enough anymore to just study the degree, being a good programmer is now a lifestyle of constantly checking the latest algorithms, just ask anybody working on Unity how much new stuff comes out every year. In addition, the way languages have become of higher and higher levels there are now some pretty serious non-linearities in programming, where a single person can be more productive than an army of programmers, a programmer who spends twice as much time in learning than another is much more than twice as productive. My cousin who is in web design can make a website more complex than most newsites in less than 20 minutes. So no its not surprising that given the profession is more demanding now and women on average put in less hours than men(table 21, this is full-time workers, if you want the part time workers that's table 20) that they would choose not go into it as much.

That is a poor excuse, honestly. People learn at different rates, time means nothing if you consider the attitudes and aptitudes of the individuals. Not to mention that degrees are pretty much meaningless, anybody who is worth their salt knows that learning happens as much, if not more outside of "full-time work" as inside it. Constantly checking algorithms or however you frame it isn't as hard as you think. Every career is a lifestyle, there are new developments in literally every field every day.

As it turns out, I work on Unity (at a mid-size studio) and program everyday, and I happen to work with female programmers too. Not a single one of them shows any of your projected biases, but they are still outnumbered by men 1:10 in the studio. I also happen to know a couple female PhD students that were lucky enough to have support from their peers and not steered away from the STEM fields by culture, and still none of your biases show.

I suggest you read a bit more research on why women are steered away from STEM fields, instead of just using evolution as an excuse with no actual proof of "the women are bad at science/math gene".

#5 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@gamefreak9 said:

Well yeah if you keep telling women they are not welcome then that's bad, but that's not really what's happening. Nobody is telling women not to play games, its true that the online community is mean but you first become a gamer and then you deal with them, not the other way around(most people who play games for the first time don't start with voice chat games that have lots of trolls). The first games ever made were asexual(pong, space invaders, etc), and it so happened that most of the players were men so the industry used that knowledge to make them the user base. Because the first games were asexual we know(probably) that its not because women were discouraged that they don't play as many but because they just don't like games as much as guys do.

Actually, it is much more complex than just that. It has to do with many more fields such as marketing, computer science and the gender biases in those fields. I'll link a couple of articles that explain the history much better than what I could:

No girls allowed

Why so few women are studying computer science

Research reveals how "Computer Geeks" replaced "Computer Girls"

@gamefreak9 said:

To me the line is fairly clear, violence. As far as rewarding in society, generally you get paid according to how much (relative) value you add to the world, genes may affect your efficiency at this value but it is your will that is the main determinant...I think the off-topic ness is getting out hand...

Sorry, but "how much value you add to the world"? Are you implying that actors, PewDiePie (and most youtube stars), CEOs of monopolies, politicians, athletes, models, religious leaders, mainstream musicians, oil workers and such add more value to the world than scientists, engineers, agricultural workers, social workers, doctors, charities, etc? Who defines this arbitrary value? Let me guess, is it money?

In regards to @sanj's point, he nailed it. Education doesn't stop once you get out of school nor starts in the classroom. Whether people like to learn or not, we recognize and absorb patterns, we imitate the newest trends. We love to be part of the group, wherever that group may be going.

#6 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@gamefreak9 said:

Of course this doesn't mean the environment didn't affect some women to like games a whole bunch. It just means that for women who weren't put in an environment(whatever that may be) that encourages gaming, they are less likely to get into it.

Bingo, so what happens if those women are unlucky enough to be born in an environment that keeps telling them that they are not welcome? Same thing could be applied to any of the diversity issues. What happens if an Asian person is unfortunate enough to be born in a culture/environment that tells them that they are inferior over and over? What happens if a boy is born in a culture that tells them to go and kill people overseas for glory and patriotism over and over?

By double standard I meant that America's culture just loves to claim about how meritocratic they are, and how free they are. American dream and yadda, yadda; yet they also claim that the questionable things about their culture happen because of genetic predisposition. If somebody is smarter than someone else supposedly because of genes, where is the merit in that? If someone abused their children because of genes, then what purpose is there in stopping it? There are going to be more people with the "abuse your children" gene anyway, right?

#7 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@gamefreak9: Thanks for sharing that. I do need to read more on the subject, but that still doesn't rule the effect that the environment has on us (whether we pass it on or not), nor it confirms/denies anything in the nature vs nurture debate. It is hubristic to think that just because new findings can be adapted to old models, means that the theory is the defining truth and that these scientists were some kind of gods that knew it all. That would be falling into the same kind of fallacy that extremely religious people fall into, trying to match and twist the new findings to whatever the old book said.

Genetics still doesn't address the double standard that western society has towards responsibility. Meritocracy, freedom, free will, etc get thrown up a lot, yet when ethics come into play it is all about blaming genes and evolution. "It is human nature, sorry, can't do anything about it".

@imsh_pl said:

@demokk: Quite easily in fact, just find a culture that displays specific values, interests and behaviors that they have not been exposed to in their entire lives. And that those characteristics are not reflected in the media they produce.

What do you mean by 'a culture'. Culture, like society, is merely a blanket term for 'a group of individuals'. So do you mean 'find me a group of people that have beliefs which they didn't obtain by having been subject to them'? Because I can think of quite a few individuals who fit that description.

How many of them would it take to falsify the theory? Because I have a hunch that if I showed you a few you would say 'nope, these are individuals not cultures'.

A group large enough that can produce their own media and then feed it to the new members of that group. A blogger and his/her followers is more than enough, but there has to be media that is created and transmitted within that group, or else we are not talking about media at all.

Obviously, there are individuals who are going to be the exception for several reasons (probably you and me both) one of them being sub-groups, and that is what I am trying to get at. Not every culture around the world revolves around the same Americanized media that glorifies militarization, violence, sexual objectification, macho-culture, reality shows, white people, extroversion, hedonism, and so on.

#8 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@gamefreak9: Ah, yes, that famous tunnel-vision gene-centered theory of evolution. I present to you epigenetics. Turns out that genes can be turned on or off by the environment, just because you can point at an active gene in someone doesn't mean that it will stay that way forever or vice versa. Not to mention that there are so many variables that affect a person throughout his/her life, it isn't just 0's or 1's in the DNA. It is just so ironic that humans (or should I say, the west?) take pride in concepts such as freedom or free will and then claim that genes are to blame for everything.

All in all this is just going to turn out into a nature vs nurture debate, which no one has the answer to yet. But I'd rather have people take responsibility for their actions than use genes as a cop out, when anybody who knows anything about science knows that it is just humanity trying to make sense of the world, in the end we can't label anything as the truth or not.

@imsh_pl said:

@demokk: Just one question: how is the media influence theory falsifiable?

Quite easily in fact, just find a culture that displays specific values, interests and behaviors that they have not been exposed to in their entire lives. And that those characteristics are not reflected in the media they produce.

People in the US forget that the US is just one culture of the world (regardless of American imperialism). There are so many different cultures in other places that it is just plain dumb to assume that the way the US media portrays anything is somehow genetic or meant to be. That is why so many people make fun of America's extreme conservatism and "liberalism" that may as well be considered as conservatism too in other societies.

#9 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@gamefreak9 said:

@conmulligan said:

@gamefreak9 said:

Do you have any evidence to backup this theory? You realize you just made the claim that video games make people act a certain way right?

I think what @demokk is getting at is that media can have an impact on how we view the world, which is very different from claiming "video games make people act a certain way".

I don't quite see what you mean. If it can have an impact on how we view the world but if it doesn't affect our actions... then this is surely...neutral? But again, this isn't a fact, its equally likely that they don't affect how we view the world or our actions. If we have correlation evidence that people who play games have biases against some groups then we STILL cannot make the claim that they cause this because its possible that people with biases are drawn to video games.

Speculation is fun but we should not forget that its just that, FUN. As soon as we think we have truth then we are losing track of reality.

"At the core of social construction is the idea that there is no such thing as objective reality (Pearce, 1995). Instead, scholars who advocate for this foundation stress that all knowledge is historically and culturally specific (Allen, 2005). Media, as a powerful social system, plays an important role in creating a person’s sense of reality (Gergen, 1999). Even those persons who closely monitor their media consumption are not immune to media effects."

"As a socialization agent, the mass mediated images that appear on television, via the news, soap operas, situation comedies, dramas, talk shows, sporting events, and so forth, can have a tremendous influence on how people view themselves and others."

Media and Culture: The "Reality" of Media Effects

"Although the mass media send messages created specifically for public consumption, they also convey messages that are not properly defined as propaganda or persuasion. Some argue that these messages influence behavior, especially the behavior of young people. [10] Violent, sexual, and compulsive behaviors have been linked to media consumption and thus raise important questions about the effects of media on culture."

"The media sends messages that reinforce cultural values. These values are perhaps most visible in celebrities and the roles that they adopt. Actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal and Scarlett Johansson have come to represent aspects of masculinity and femininity that have been adopted into mainstream culture in the last 10 years. In recent years, baseball player Derek Jeter appeared in television, film, magazines, and advertising campaigns as a model of athleticism and willpower. Singers such as Bono of U2 have represented a sense of freedom and rebellion against mainstream culture."

Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication

"Rarely are minorities depicted as complex characters with the full range of human emotions, motivations, and behaviors. Meanwhile, the stereotyping of women, gays and lesbians, and individuals with disabilities in mass media has also been a source of concern."

"Considering the profound influence mass media like television have on cultural perceptions and attitudes, it is important for the creators of media content to grapple with ethical issues."

Ethical Issues in Mass Media

More resources:

Cultural Selection: Mass Media

The Representation Project: Resources

Sure, different people react differently to media and absorb it in different ways, but if most of the media (specially the most marketed and mainstream) alludes to the same stereotypes, values, and behaviors; it is not hard to see why and how such biases may develop over time. People love to feel like they belong to a group, and the most obvious way of belonging to a group is by imitation/assimilation of the group's core values and interests.

By the way, I am referring to all media, not just video games. No type of media is special in that regard.

#10 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

@eder said:

What matters I think in the end is how we treat people in THE REAL WORLD.

The thing is that media is a reflection of society and culture, and it directly feeds the society-media cycle.

Diversity, in my opinion, is important because it shows people (whether young or old) that humans come in all shapes, forms, colors, genders, beliefs and cultures. It indirectly tells the audience that everyone is as capable, that everybody is equal regardless of their superficial differences.

I lived most of my life in a country where most people there are not white, male, nor English speakers, yet there is an obvious bias in favor of white straight male people who speak English. Why? One of the reasons is that most of the media that country consumes comes from the US, where representation is hugely biased towards that stereotype. Most people there don't even speak English, so they can't go and look for "alternative" media, because most media is not even available in the local language. The media that gets localized is obviously the most marketed and mainstream movies, games, music, etc from the US.

Anyone that possesses basic knowledge of psychology and sociology knows that media is not independent from the culture that it is created in and its society. It doesn't matter how "mentally healthy" each person is, we all get shaped and molded to match the dominant culture that we are raised by.