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02/07/2006 Archived Entry: "Gender Bias at Psychology Today?"

An interesting item from a reader of McBlog on what seems to be clear and egregious gender bias on the part of "Psychology Today". I haven't checked the claim out myself but here's the info should you wish to...

The reader states, On their web site one of their interactive tools is a Classic IQ test which they specifically say has been "...designed and built by highly qualified Psychiatrists with unrivalled experience." At the end of this test they say they are doing research of some kind and ask several questions, one of which is your sex. I thought it strange that they would ask the sex of the test taker, and thought it even stranger that they would ask this before they calculate your score. Out of curiosity I back clicked and change my sex (for the sake of their research I asked that my results not be used in their study). Amazingly my results changed! It seems that if I said I was male I was penalized 6 points! That, or if I said I was female, I was rewarded 6 points! Who should be more insulted...men or women? I don't know, but we should all be insulted nonetheless and deeply concerned about any kind of hidden agenda in the mental health profession.

I was under the impression that their publication was of some stature as far as presenting psychological research and scientific study data to the non-professional. Admittedly the goals of IQ research are dubious at the best of times, but to engineer a test for "research" purposes which penalizes or rewards a person based solely on their sex is a serious slap in the face of scientific inquiry as well as any acceptable ethics. It seems outrageous that in this day and age a respected publication would so brazenly and blatantly attempt to fudge their research in order to...(get the results they want?). Does this not contradict their very own mission statement? They speak of the professional and scientific expertise of their staff and how their goal is to make clear issues "...clouded by the problems of confusion and stigma." They do this through sexual discrimination and fudged science?

I think the publishers should have to publicly answer questions about their goals and agendas, as well as to the validity of the purported "research" they publish.

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