His nature, her nurture-or what good are conceptual critiques for tackling practical concerns about the development of gendered individuals

This 23-minute youtube video is a practice run of a talk with the following abstract:

How difficult is it to change the typical distributions of a trait, such as aggression, substance abuse, suicide attempts, as they differ between males and females? This can be construed as a matter of fixity versus flexibility in the development of traits in individuals over their life course or of the relative degrees of hereditary versus environmental influences on the variation between versus within groups. This paper contrasts the conceptual critiques of research of the two construals with a view to clarifying how they address practical concerns about the development of gendered individuals, as raised especially by feminist scholars. Drawing on my book, Nature-Nurture? No (2014), I argue that inattention to heterogeneity has limited critique as well as research under both construals.

The three take home messages are that: conceptual critique (of the forms I describe) clears space for focusing on the development of gendered individuals; this counters a persistent essentialism about gender; and these first two messages have implications well beyond issues raised by feminist scholars.

See http://bit.ly/ishpssb15 for text of talk and references


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