Thursday, December 02, 2004

Liberals vs Conservatives

Round One: Can a newspaper's politics affect the way in which it reports and explains sex differences? A recent study says it does:

Two Yale University researchers – Victoria Brescoll and Marianne LaFrance – analyzed articles on sex differences that appeared in 29 large-circulation U.S. newspapers published between January 1994 and February 2001. After going through all that, they found that the political leanings of newspaper publishers and managers color reporting on sex differences. While conservative newspapers tend to use biology to explain those differences, more liberal newspapers explaining them in terms of socio-cultural effects. The study, published in Psychological Science (Vol. 15, No. 8, August 2004), raises serious questions about how well science journalism serves newspaper readers.
For some reason this doesn't surprise me. Round Two: Alabama Republican sate legislator Gerald Allen has proposed a new law that would ban all novels with gay characters from public libraries. the law
would prohibit the use of public funds for "the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle." Allen said he filed the bill to protect children from the "homosexual agenda." "Our culture, how we know it today, is under attack from every angle," Allen said in a press conference Tuesday. Allen said that if his bill passes, novels with gay protagonists and college textbooks that suggest homosexuality is natural would have to be removed from library shelves and destroyed.
I'm sure Mr. Allen will read every single book that might have homosexual content too. It's very nice of him to appoint himself über-daddy of Alabama. It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it. (story link via Maude)