SIO45: James Lindsay, Co-Author of the ‘Conceptual Penis’ Hoax Paper

Last week you heard Eli Bosnick’s side of why the ‘Conceptual Penis’ hoax paper was disingenuous and unskeptical, and today I speak with one of the paper’s authors, James Lindsay. James has been a previous guest on the show; he’s been someone I have always admired for his intellectual rigor and willingness to back up what he believes and to have the tough conversations. For that much I really, really respect him coming on. But I can’t hide my opinion on this hoax. I think it was garbage and it was latched onto unskeptically by people who fancy themselves critical thinkers. I challenge James on the paper and we get to hear his side of it.

Today’s episode is actually 2 in 1, because after the conversation I reminded James to send me the links corroborating his arguments. When I received them, I was appalled that each description of the scholarly articles he sent was a lazy and ideologically motivated strawman. As such, I emailed him a heads up that I would be going in depth into his sources and describing exactly how he (or maybe Real Peer Review, if that was his source) is either intentionally or just ignorantly misunderstanding these abstracts. I’m incredibly disappointed at this dishonest or careless behavior. If you are going to waltz into a field that ISN’T your expertise and claim that the bulk of it is bunk, it is incumbent upon you to do the research and know what you’re talking about. For the sake of transparency, I will paste word for word the sources email James sent me:

“Hi Thomas,

In all the fuss, I can’t remember what I was supposed to send you, but I’ll give it a try.
Periods are a social construct:
“Doing Gender” (number one cited gender studies paper in the number one journal — referred to first sentence of abstract):
Donated blood is a social construction:
Scientific method is sexist:
Alligators teach hegemonic masculinity:

Pilates is racist:
Curing erectile dysfunction reinforces hegemonic masculinity: (we cited this paper in ours)
Fat men’s penises might not exist, social construction:
Male lactation can exist through social construction:
Pregnancy shouldn’t be associated with femininity:
Wikipedia shouldn’t demand sources because sexism:
STEM syllabi are sexist because focus on facts:
Feminists see themselves as activists to infect other fields of study with ideological biases, compare themselves favorably to viruses like HIV and ebola:
Feminist glaciers:
Meanwhile, almost 15000 kids a year are graduating from such programs:
Also, T&F supports Cogent: “

Those are all the papers. In the later half of the episode I discuss the research I did on all of them and how atrocious James’s descriptions were.

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