Gender Studies Hoaxers Kick an Academic Hornet’s Nest

Skeptic magazine reveals an Alan Sokal-style hoax on the journal Cogent Social Sciences–an attempt to mock both what the authors perceive to be the excesses of feminist academia and open-access or pay-to-publish journals. So far, they have at least succeeded in getting a lot of attention, pro and con.

“The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct: A Sokal-Style Hoax on Gender Studies”
by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsey
May 19, 2017

The androcentric scientific and meta-scientific evidence that the penis is the male reproductive organ is considered overwhelming and largely uncontroversial.

That\”™s how we began. We used this preposterous sentence to open a \”paper\” consisting of 3,000 words of utter nonsense posing as academic scholarship. Then a peer-reviewed academic journal in the social sciences accepted and published it.
This paper should never have been published. Titled, \”The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,\” our paper \”argues\” that \”The penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct. We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a gender-performative, highly fluid social construct.\” As if to prove philosopher David Hume\”™s claim that there is a deep gap between what is and what ought to be, our should-never-have-been-published paper was published in the open-access (meaning that articles are freely accessible and not behind a paywall), peer-reviewed journal Cogent Social Sciences. (In case the PDF is removed, we\”™ve archived it.)

Assuming the pen names \”Jamie Lindsay\” and \”Peter Boyle,\” and writing for the fictitious \”Southeast Independent Social Research Group,\” we wrote an absurd paper loosely composed in the style of post-structuralist discursive gender theory. The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn\”™t be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions. We made no attempt to find out what \”post-structuralist discursive gender theory\” actually means. We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal. Read more.

Scientific Objectivity Tested by Fake TV News Story

From Miso: “Now THAT’S a well done hoax!”

Hoax, Lies and Videotape
by RefractiveIndex
July 6, 2012

The fifth in our series on this year”™s group projects by Sci Com students – this week, it”™s the turn of Stephen McGann, Emma Houghton-Brown and Haralambos Dayantis.

Do scientists see the world as objectively as they like to think?

[Watch this hoax video & then read on]

Arguments have raged for years between those who regard science as an entirely objective discipline, and certain social scholars that believe science is subject to the same cognitive biases as every other human enterprise. At times, these debates have become less than polite. Continue reading “Scientific Objectivity Tested by Fake TV News Story”