X-Message-Number: 16608
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 13:45:02 EDT
Subject: Where are the Numbers?

In a message dated 6/20/01 Jessica Lemler writes:

Hi Jessica,

>    I do have several problems, though, with Mr. Darwin s posting, and
>  several issues I would like to call attention to.  In too many areas of his
>  post, he alludes to  statistics  and  numbers,  yet he never cites the
>  sources which have allegedly provided him with these figures.  
This is a good point and one I'll try to address. It will take some digging 
to get hard sources, but it should be possible and where it isn't I'll 
acknowledge it as an unsupported assertion. I'll provide general information 
now, but will do web searches for specific references and post them if I find 

>As a
>  heterosexual female, I found myself personally offended by his statement:
>   Heterosexuals make lots of babies.  If you are heterosexual you will know
>  that babies and the wives that go with them consume almost all available
>  resources.   Yes, I do agree that heterosexuals make babies (obviously
>  homosexuals do not make babies).  I would like to know from what source,
>  other than simply  statistics tell us,  Mr. Darwin has pulled this
>  statement.  And to what resources are we referring?  If we are talking
>  about food, most men I know eat far more than their wives.  If we re
>  talking about paper or web space, this single female intends to use
>  considerably less space in this post than Mr. Darwin did in his. 

Please don't be offended and no statistics are, I hope, necessary here. I was 
and am speaking from the perspective of basic biology. Single people of 
either sex who do not reproduce don't experience the resource loading of  
people who do. Children are incredibly resource intensive in any society I've 
observed. I meant no disrespect towards women. I might have pointed out that 
children in non-technological and many nonwestern societies begin to repay 
the debt by working. In the "undeveloped world" children begin contributing 
work at very early ages. However, this work has to be heavily overseen by 
adults and the point I was trying to make is that childbearing occupies the 
attentions of BOTH sexes extensively. Unmarried or gay males or females don't 
have this resource reallocation. If my bias seemed towards men it was for 
several reasons: a) they were the primary subject at hand, b) men have the 
choice (and apparently the inclination) to abandon women and children they 
have fathered with greater ease than women do (just look to the clogged court 
system for child support enforcement for the numbers and evidence needed to 
support this statement), c) in cryonics historically married men with 
children have been strongly discouraged by their wives from involvement 
either at all, or to restrict their involvement. I have no hard numbers here, 
but years of experience and I think there are others out there who can 
support me on this. I think this is changing and will continue to change as 
it becomes possible to make a living doing cryonics. In the past this was not 
the case. Further, this kind of discouragement is not confined to cryonics 
but is general to any activity that is unremunerative and uses time and 
>       I also wonder where his statistics on women in the military came from.
>   He crassly states his opinion, which is: neither do I support a coed
>  military with men and women on aircraft carriers and in trenches.  This
>  isn t working from the numbers (pregnancies, rapes, sexual harassment) I
>  can see.   All very well and good to have an opinion, and of course I am
>  entitled to disagree, but here again, I am left to wonder where these
>   numbers  are coming from?  

Here I need hard numbers and will try to get them. I am an avid reader of 
newspapers and magazines. Numbers I recall from recent news stories are that 
incidents of reported sexual harassment are approximately 10 times greater 
than those reported for the civilian sector and the incidence of pregnancies 
on aircraft carriers for female military personnel were about 1 in 16; which 
is surprising given the availability of birth control. I'll try to get hard 
numbers and sources. I was surprised by these data myself (the pregnancy 
rate, not the sexual harassment rate). News stories can be notoriously 
unreliable, but these were cases where the military was acknowledging there 
was a problem and was making statements to the effect that were trying to 
improve the situation. 

>       Here s another good one that gave me a laugh.   FactWomen want money
>  and stability (statistically) over looks and a quick roll in the hay.  And
>  why not, THEY get stuck with the kids and childbirth and childrearing are
>  not easy for single women even today.   Once again, Mr. Darwin, please show
>  me the source(s) of statistics.  

I'll try to find studies documenting this. I believe a number of quality 
studies have been conducted over the last decade evaluating female preference 
for male ooks versus ranking and financial stability. I will note that I see 
very few young males paired with older females compared to the reverse. There 
is nothing derogatory meant or implied in this observation. It makes sense 
and frankly is the choice I would make if I had a child to care for.

>       I found much of the post to be loaded with propaganda for the gay man
>  and what the gay man has done for cryonicswhich is all well and good, mind
>  you, long as these accomplishments are accurate.  I do not consider myself
>  any sort of womens  rights activist by any means, and those of you who know
>  me realize this to be true, yet I did find parts of Mr. Darwin s article
>  rather bothersome.  I think if you read it closely, you will find that he
>  has made statements of  FACT  that lack statistical back-up with legitimate
>  sources.  Mr. Darwin, I challenge you to present these  sources  which you
>  have called upon to make such bold statements.  

I am on weaker ground here in terms of being able to give Ms. Lemmler a hard, 
published study. But I will go back and look at the survey data on cryonics 
compiled by Steve Bridge and Max More.  A harder problem will be to quantify 
gay male as opposed to male contributions. I'll think about this, but will 
probably have to concede this point as an unsupported opinion.  

>       That is all, as this FEMALE does not wish to further exhaust the
>  natural resources of Cryonet.

As is the nature of email I see I managed to offend or ruffle feathers where 
that was not my intent. At the risk of doing this MORE I would note that 
cryonics in the early days was (and maybe still is) a primarily male endeavor 
in terms of raw numbers. I know the surveys done for Cryonics magazine will 
bear this out. I note that this same pattern is often the case in many 
"fringe" areas which are unremunerative or socially unacceptable (personal 
observation no stats available :-)). I'm not sure of the reason for this and 
don't mean the observation to be sexist. I bring it up because that fact will 
skew the numbers of gays towards male. FYI, I think the prior surveys done of 
cryonicists did ask questions on sexual preference and as I recall they were 
well above the baseline for the US population. Again, I'll have to check.

Thanks for calling me on these assertions. I rather expected it; I hope I can 
back them up ;-).

Mike Darwin

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