Thursday, September 28, 2017

Academic says people who are against legalising gay marriage are 'not intelligent enough to take part in meaningful debate' (?)

But he says so on the basis of a survey question that did NOT mention gay marriage! A fuller report of the research is here.  It is in general carefully done but I am surprised that the results are reported as a trend.  That would normally be used for a time series. The more usual presentation would be in the form of a correlation coefficient. When correlations between beliefs and IQ are examined on other occasions, the correlation is found to be very weak.  That may have been the case on this occasion but has been covered up by the unusual analysis.

Concern must also be expressed that attitude was measured by just one very general question.  Psychologists normally use multi-item scales precisely because answers to a single question can be very misleading. And in that connection one must note that the question did NOT refer to marriage. It was just a general rights question.

That is of particular concern when we note that the answers to the question were from two years ago, long before the marriage debate became as well-defined as it is now. The same question might well be differently understood now.

The author has clearly overgeneralized from his finding. Insofar as the finding means anything, I see it as just another iteration of the general finding that high IQ people have a weak tendency to be more Leftist. They think they know it all and so do Leftists. It also means that more intelligent kids are better at picking up and absorbing the lessons drummed into them by our Left-dominated educational system.

An academic has suggested opponents of gay marriage are less intelligent.

Dr Francisco Perales, a senior research fellow with the University of Queensland's Institute for Social Science Research, argues those opposed to redefining marriage struggled with processing complex ideas.

Citing comprehensive demographic data, he said those planning to vote 'No' in the same-sex marriage postal vote were unlikely to be persuaded by the facts.

'This may shed some light on why those who stand against equal rights may not be persuaded by evidence-based arguments in the ongoing same-sex marriage debate,' he said in an opinion piece for the ABC on Tuesday.

'This applies, for instance, to the scientifically unsupported claim that children are worse off in same-sex households.'

The Brisbane-based academic, who specialises in 'gender and sexual identity', said opponents of changing the Marriage Act lacked the cognitive ability to process complex ideas, discern facts from speculation and critically engage with new or diverse viewpoints.

'Specifically, there is a strong and statistically significant association between higher cognitive ability and a greater likelihood to support equal rights between same- and different-sex couples,' Dr Perales said.

He added older people and those from non-English speaking backgrounds were more likely to oppose gay marriage.

'Some population groups — older people and those from non-English-speaking backgrounds, for example — may be more opposed to equal rights and also perform worse in cognitive ability tests,' he said.

'For the former group, this may be due to cognitive decline, and for the latter it may be due to English not being their first language.'

He argued the 'No' case were relying on arguments unrelated to same-sex marriage, such as religious freedom or gender theory in schools, to persuade socially conservative voters.

'These results may thus shed some light over why some on the 'No' side may be failing to offer or accept evidence-based arguments, or why they keep relying on philosophically, historically or empirically flawed ones,' Dr Perales said.

With former Liberal prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, along with socially conservative politicians like Bob Katter, leading the 'No' case, Dr Perales didn't suggest all opponents of gay marriage were less intellectual.

'The findings do not mean that all who intend to vote 'no' in the marriage ballot have a low level of cognitive ability,' he said. 'Nor do they mean that all those who intend to vote 'yes' have a high level.'

However, he concluded opponents of gay marriage were more likely to be less intelligent, citing data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia annual surveys of  17,000 people.

'People who stand against equal rights for same-sex couples are less likely to have cognitive resources that are important to participating in meaningful debate,' he said.

His intervention into the gay marriage conversation comes as voters return ballots from the Australian Bureau of Statistics as part of the $122 million voluntary postal vote on redefining the Marriage Act.

Opinion polls, including Newspoll, show the 'Yes' having majority public support.


Batshit crazy: Two female Australian University lecturers BAN maths students from using the word 'marriage' as it might cause offence

Lecturers at a leading university have been telling students not to use the word 'marriage', as it might cause offence.

Associate professor Catherine Greenhill and Dr Diana Combe from the University of New South Wales were referring to Hall's marriage theorem, which dates back to 1935.

According to Sean Lynch, a 21-year-old honours student, his lecturer told students to leave 'marriage' out of the name of the theorem in an assignment.

'The reason why was because the canonical example has homophobic implications, at least in [Catherine Greenhill's] eyes,' Mr Lynch told Sky News.

Another student has come forward to confirm similar demands were made by Dr Combe in the past.

His thesis - which contained an example of male female matchmaking similar to Hall's - was returned and marked as 'offensive', The Daily Telegraph reported.

Mr Lynch, who founded UNSW student group Free Thinkers, said he was shocked when students were told the word marriage was offensive in a lecture.

'I've heard much about these issues in the humanities and to see it come into this discipline, which I pursued because of its objectivity, is amazing,' he said.

English mathematician Philip Hall proved the theory in 1935, and it uses the example of monogamous heterosexual couples in matchmaking with variable sets.

Senior lecturer and UNSW academic advisor Dr Thomas Britz called the actions of the staff members involved 'too forceful and inappropriate'.

Dr Britz said he would speak to the staff involved, but called on students to be respectful of their peers.

Mr Lynch claims gay marriage was not mentioned during the lectures in question, but believes the divisive issue is behind the lecturers' actions.


'In other faiths we call it paedophilia': Peta Credlin slams 'feminist warriors' for failing to stand up for Muslim girls forced into arranged marriages

Media commentator Peta Credlin has slammed feminists for failing to speak up about a Muslim man in his mid-thirties marrying a 14-year-old girl.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott's chief-of-staff is outraged at the political left's silence on child brides, less than a week after a refugee was sentenced to one year in jail for taking part in the Melbourne mosque wedding last year.

'In other faiths we call it paedophilia but not when it comes to Islam,'  she told Sky News on Tuesday night.

'Their failure to speak up for these girls is because the left's silence on the crimes of Islam trumps any voice for the victim.'

Ms Credlin's impassioned critique of left-wing feminists comes six days after Rohingya refugee Mohammad Shakir, 35, was formally jailed for one year for marrying the 14-year-old girl at the Noble Park mosque, in south-east Melbourne, on September 29, 2016.

'We shouldn't even call it child brides. These young girls are being raped by much older men under the cover of a religious ceremony against Australian law and against Australian values,' she said.

Shakir had pleaded guilty to going through with the ceremony and tearfully told the County Court of Victoria he thought he was 'rescuing' the child bride.

The criminal, who will be returned to immigration detention after his sentence, was the first man to appear before an Australian court prosecuted with marrying a child, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of five years.

Ms Credlin said it appeared the feminists, the political left and Muslim groups were more obsessed with 'so-called Islamophobia' than speaking up for child brides.

'They don't like it and they won't admit it,' she said.

'Quiet too are the many Islamic organisations that are quick to attack so-called Islamophobia but are silent non the rights of young, Muslim girls.'

Former Muslim imam Ibrahim Omerdic was spared jail last month after being found guilty of unlawfully solemnising the marriage.  He was sentenced to two months' prison, but immediately placed on a two-year recognisance release order, meaning he won't serve time in jail.

Omerdic was an imam of the Bosnian Islamic Society and Noble Park Mosque but was later sacked and had his celebrant licence revoked after his arrest last year.


No campaign’s unlikely secret weapon: A young lawyer with a human rights background

IN THE past few weeks, a new star has emerged to add a touch of glamour to the No campaign’s battle to prevent the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

Karina Okotel is a 37-year-old Australian lawyer who has volunteered for charities in Thailand and Africa and made a documentary about refugees and child soldiers. She lives with her Ugandan husband and three children in Melbourne and her parents were Sri Lankan immigrants. She’s not a person you’d immediately expect to be fronting a campaign to stop gay and lesbian Australians from having the right to marry.

But Ms Okotel is not only those things. She has been a member of the Liberal party since 2010 and vice president since June. She is a devout Christian, meeting husband David while working on farms for Baptist World Aid. She is in fact more conservative than many in her party, with Malcolm Turnbull, Liberal president Nick Greiner and her local Liberal MP Tim Wilson all in favour of same-sex marriage.

Ms Okotel decided to come out of maternity leave — her youngest daughter is just 10 weeks old — to throw her weight behind the Coalition for Marriage. And her star has been rising ever since.

“Members felt they were being ignored,” she told “We had passed motions of traditional marriage, especially in Victoria.”

On September 1, she wrote an emotive opinion piece for The Australian about “our freedoms” — of speech and religion. She debated the issue on ABC Radio national with Liberal gay rights supporter Christine Forster, who confronted her on how changes to civil marriage law — on divorce, for example — previously took place without affecting religious schools.

But it was after Ms Okotel gave a dramatic speech opposing same-sex marriage at the National Press Club two weeks ago that she really started gaining attention, with Fairfax Media dubbing her “the ‘bleeding heart’ lawyer who opposes same-sex marriage” and Crikey noting that, “Unlike Lyle Shelton, she has come seemingly from nowhere to become one of the faces of the No campaign”.

And unlike the white, male Australian Christian Lobby chief, she may have a bigger impact in hammering home the “OK to vote no” slogan across the community.

The mother of three used her Press Club speech to read out shocking examples of online abuse towards No supporters.

When she speaks to, she is eager to share stories of racist and sexist abuse she has endured, as well as listing the examples we know. “I’ve received a lot of support and encouragement but now I’ve got trolls,” she says. “There are a lot of derogatory comments, the c-word, telling me to go home, a lot of sexual comments ... It’s quite strange.

“I was campaigning even out on the streets, holding signs and someone said, ‘Yes to marriage equality, no to immigrants.’”

Ms Okotel was with two fellow campaigners of Chinese and African descent. “We thought that was very strange,” she repeats.

She sprinkles her conversation with references to the importance of “caring” and “compassion” in her life. “I hope I am a person who is compassionate, I try to be someone who is caring and that’s really important to me,” she says. “[The No campaign is] not a campaign that’s uncaring or unkind, it is caring about the impact of future generations, religious freedoms, kids and freedom.”

The young lawyer, who has worked at a soup kitchen and pro-bono health centre in Victoria, is perfect for the benign image the No campaign wants to project, although her arguments are nothing new.

She focuses closely on freedom of speech, potential effects on education and the effects on children of same-sex parents who will never know a biological parent — despite the fact that gay couples can already have children.

“What I understand from the Left’s view is that marriage is all about love,” she says. “That’s a red herring. It was never just about that. “In Sri Lanka, you see arranged marriages, they work. Marriage has always been about family and a stable environment for kids.”

Her goal is simple — to be calm and measured while painting ‘Yes’ advocates as rabid and aggressive. It’s a tactic that has been proving increasingly successful for the Coalition for Marriage following weak support in the polls for its viewpoint.

Ms Okotel appears to be just the character the No campaign needs, with the determination to match.

Last year, she wrote an article describing herself as a lawyer who had worked in family violence calling for more regulation of advertising, because “all advertisements visible to children in public should demonstrate respect for women and not sexual objectification.”

The Victoria Legal Aid employee is firmly behind the Government’s hard line immigration policies — speaking passionately about deaths at the hands of people smugglers.

She has dire predictions for what will happen if the ‘Yes’ campaign succeeds, but if it happens, she won’t be going anywhere. After a running as a Victorian Senate candidate last year, she may be ready to aim high once more.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

Muslims are not the primary target of the Nation Wreckers. They are but foot-soldiers.