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Gender studies are unscientific?

(Michael Hrenka) #1

It seems that documentaries can sometimes have a quite disruptive impact.

The Nordic Council of Ministers (a regional inter-governmental co-operation consisting of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland) has decided to close down the NIKK Nordic Gender Institute. The NIKK had been the flagship of “Gender Theory”, providing the “scientific” basis for social and educational policies that, from the 1970s onward, had transformed the Nordic countries to become the most “gender sensitive” societies in the world.

The decision was made after the Norwegian State Television had broadcasted a television documentary called “Hjernevask” (the Norwegian word for “brainwash”) in which comedian Harald Eia exposed the hopelessly unscientific character of the NIKK.

I find this kind of impact that some forms of media can have quite impressive. It’s actually frighteningly powerful, if you think about it. Don’t be on the wrong end of the media!


not the biggest fan of feminists and their gender studies myself, but i think its questionable to base a decision like this on a documentary from a comedian.

and brainwashing is not a scientific term as far as i now aswell.

edit: to express myself clearer: i think the real reason behind cutting gender studies is propably the lack of use for the industry.

i think complex matters require diffrent kind of views, even if these views come to diffrent conclusion. So cutting down things like this is propably more an attack on science that doesnt bring an immidiate profit than it is defending science.

that said, i feel a bit of schadenfreude, even if it is a bit irrational :slight_smile:


from wikipedia:

Certain journalists have speculated about the decision to restructure NIKK, and its relation to the public debate that followed the seven-part television documentary series “Hjernevask” (‘Brainwash’), by the comedian and documentarian Harald Eia, which aired in spring 2010 on the Norwegian broadcasting service NRK. However, the Norwegian Research Council has denied that the programme had any influence on its decision not to renew the Norwegian research programme on gender in 2011. The Research Council of Norway has no influence on the Nordic Council of Ministers, therefore these speculations seem to have nothing to do with NIKK.

The gender researcher Marit Aure speculates, however, that the discussions on gender research, following the programme, might have influenced the decision indirectly, by presenting gender research in Norway as a more established field than actually was the case. Anders Hanneborg, involved in the Norwegian Research Council’s committee that evaluated the Norwegian gender research programme’s renewal application, explained that the programme was not renewed in order to decentralize and strengthen gender research in Norway. He also denied directly that the television programme “Hjernevask” was any part of their discussions on the issue. The Norwegian research programme on gender had received funding in 2008 for a period of four years, which expired in 2011. The Norwegian research programme, funded by the Norwegian Research Council, was not related to NIKK, which was funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The Norwegian Parliament, responding to a direct question from Tord Lien of the rightist Progress Party, addressed these television programmes. The core of his criticism concerned the scientific neglect of the biological to the social component. The Minister of Research and Higher Education, Tora Aasland, from the Socialist Leftist Party, dismissed these criticisms, adding that multidisciplinary gender research in Norway has been evaluated positively, not by television programmes, but through external scientific evaluations of Norwegian research on the field The Norwegian network for Gender Studies states correlations between “Hjernevask” and increased discussion on the gender studies in its Annual report 2010.

(M. Weingärtner) #4

Of course gender studies are unscientific. “They” have the answers for their questions right away. That shows that the argumention is more ideological than scientific.

Why? Because he has no expertise? He interviews people who have, what he is doesn’t matter at all.

No it’s not. Yes differnet views and approaches are neccesary for complex topics. But you can see in the documentary that the ones who are pro gender studies are the ones who say for example that there is no place for biology in their theory (34:10) or laugh about the studies others make (14:03) without an explanation whats so ridiculous.


however, wikipedia which i quoted says that the “facts” on redpill are just rumors.

how are you so sure the documentary isnt made up as some sort of propaganda itself?

edit: usually just cranks blame a whole faculty as unscientific. thats why we should be careful with claims like this, especially if we are non-specialist concerning gender studies.

(M. Weingärtner) #6

I don’t care what red pill says or if the documentary really had influence on a government decision. I’m concerend about the question if gender studies really have a negativ impact on scientific community.

The documentary lets people of “both sides” speak and asks questions. To what conclusion you get after seeing this is your own thing.
I would suggest, looking at german gender studies, what they publish and lecture.


sorry i dont have time to read german gender studies :slight_smile:
as i said, im not a big fan myself

but its not the job of a sociologyguy, and genderstudy is about sociology (gender is a term which is NOT related to the biological sex, but to some social cultural role), to care much about biology. that would be an interdiciplinary project, which needs to be called “gender and sex”.

instead about eliminating a faculty, one should pump more money in the scientific community altogether imo.

thats my 50 cents


this might be funny:


What I know about gender studies all implies it to be bullshit. It’s especially popular in Sweden and many people (outside of Sweden, of course) believe it has ruined the country. :smiley:

Besides, I first came into contact with that pseudo-science because I’m very interested in languages and many “gender studies” people are bothered by the fact that languages use gender markings like English with “he-she-it” and standard Esperanto or assign genders to nouns what French, German and Latin do.