Opinion

Cancel culture in psychology and medicine

The left’s abuse of IQ and gender 

What has become the classic case of cancel culture in psychology is undoubtedly the subject of intelligence or intelligence quotient (IQ) – the relative measure of a person’s intellectual performance. An IQ of 100 points corresponds to an average intelligence. As is usual with normal distributions, a good two thirds of an age group reach a value between 85 and 115, i.e. lie within one standard deviation. So far so good.

At universities in the Western World there are only relatively few protagonists of a scientific preoccupation with intelligence and IQ that goes beyond imparting basic knowledge to students. But even these few are openly or latently threatened with exclusion. Because in all disciplines there is a terrible injustice: not all people are equally intelligent – and even under the most just and egalitarian conditions they never will be! Biology allows an increase in IQ through improved education and living conditions – but also a downward trend through a shortage economy and decline in education. But basically: 50 to 80 percent of the differences in intelligence between people are explained by genetic factors, although that does not automatically mean immutability.

Intelligence researchers are an endangered species

Anyone who wants to avoid the status of a pariah within this discipline is well advised to produce research results on intelligence and IQ that are as uncritical as possible, for example: That IQ has less to do with heredity than has been repeatedly demonstrated; that  White populations are being improved even more through education than previously thought; that girls are not worse in terms of math skills, but are merely victims of cumulative demotivation. It is also very desirable to find out that men are less gifted.

Significant differences in the global distribution of intelligence are well documented by various studies; for example, a difference of 39 IQ points between Singapore with 108 and Niger with 69. Comparable results from other studies on similar samples throughout the world are already available, so these results are not really surprising.

If the results of these studies had been different, they would certainly have been highly praised by current critics. Only because certain results do not fit into a pre-formed world view, methodological weaknesses are sought almost frantically.

Medical journal gives up scientific mandate

Actually, in a field that is so strongly influenced by natural science as medicine, there should hardly be any room for ideological spinning. It is often a matter of life and death – and everything in between. But now gender ideology, with its core concern of gender that is not decisively biologically determined, but rather socially constructed and ultimately freely selectable, has actually got a foot in the door of medicine, and that at the main entrance and with worldwide effect.  

At the end of last year, it wasn’t just any medicine postil, but what is probably the world’s most respected medical journal, the New England Journal of Medicine, an article with the programmatic title: “Failed Assignment – Rethinking Sex Designations on Birth Certificates”. The three authors advocate entering the biological gender in the US birth certificate elsewhere and thus only as a kind of non-binding and easily changeable statement. This is essentially justified with two unsubstantiated claims: The previous entry of the gender in the birth certificate has no clinical or medical benefit and could also be harmful to certain newborns.

A more detailed discussion of the content of this nonsensical requirement is not to be carried out here. Only two aspects should be pointed out: On the one hand, the biologically normal should, if correctly defined, be subordinate to a negligibly small group that deviates from the norm, whose special concerns – for example in intersexuality – at a later point in time can experience legal and medical issues. On the other hand, the clear assignment of gender is necessary in order to be able to do justice to the sometimes serious medical differences – starting with the determination of developmental delays in infancy.

An outlook

But it seems to me to be at least as important to point out the political dynamics that will likely result from this gender initiative. If the Culture War, which has been raging on various fronts in the Western World for some time now, has taught us anything, it is surely that the Wokesters and their supporters are not concerned with helping to solve important scientific questions.

Rather, they fight, supported by student mobs and auxiliary troops in administrations, authorities and left-wing parties for interpretative sovereignty, positions, power and the destabilization of established social systems. Wokesters are not interested in issues such as equality or the specific fate of the few actually affected by a disorder of gender identity, or at best only marginally. Critical voices, be it from politics or medicine, are not only ignored, but canceled by depriving them of any stage and harassing them.   

So will it actually come to the point in a few years’ time that the midwife, who happily exclaims immediately after the birth: “As you wished for – a girl”, will have to reckon with consequences under labor law? Maybe. But more realistic is a prospect that is already a rudimentary reality in the USA – and possibly soon in the arch-left Australian state of Victoria – and by Abigail Shrier, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal, is described in her recently published book as follows: Doctors give in to the swelling desire of confused, mostly female teenagers who believe they are in the wrong body and now demand appropriate hormonal or even surgical interventions. If this is rejected, there will be trouble with the Woksters and will be ostracized or even have their license to practice medicine revoked.

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