A group of scholars has been getting bogus studies published in peer-reviewed journals to make the point that many in academia no longer value reason when it comes to gender issues.
Helen Pluckrose, a researcher and author; James Lindsay, who has a doctorate in math and is also an author, and philosophy professor Peter Boghossian noticed that “Something has gone wrong in the university – especially in certain fields within the humanities.” The trio set out to prove just how easy it would be to publish various studies of a dubious nature in respected journals.
For one year, the three submitted academic papers to journals covering “cultural studies,” “identity studies” – such as gender studies – and “critical theory.” They submitted 20 papers to relevant journals. So far, seven have been accepted (four of which have already been published online), seven more are under review, and six were rejected. The scholars also say they received four offers to peer-review other papers because of their own studies.
The papers that were published are absurd, the most infamous of which was about how dog parks promote “rape culture” in Portland, Oregon. This paper was so outlandish it caught the attention of Tori Airaksinen, who found the “author” of the piece had lied about her credentials. Airaksinen and others' questioning of the study caused Pluckrose, Lindsay, and Boghossian “to conclude the project early.”
Another study published by the trio suggested we shouldn’t praise those who build muscle and not those who build fat. According to the scholars, they wanted “to see if journals will accept arguments which are ludicrous and positively dangerous to health if they support cultural constructivist arguments around body positivity and fatphobia.” They were right.
The third published article suggested men should anally self-penetrate using sex toys to “decrease transphobia and increase feminist values.” The final published paper suggested men frequented “breastaurants” like Hooters “because they are nostalgic for patriarchal dominance and enjoy being able to order attractive women around.”
The accepted but not yet published studies included a paper explaining that the critique of social justice is unethical, one that was nothing more than “bitter, divorced feminist” ramblings created using a “teenage angst poetry generator,” and one that rewrote part of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” with “fashionable buzzwords.”
The scholars recommend that “all major universities to begin a thorough review of these areas of study (gender studies, critical race theory, postcolonial theory, and other ‘theory’-based fields in the humanities and reaching into the social sciences, especially including sociology and anthropology), in order to separate knowledge-producing disciplines and scholars from those generating constructivist sophistry.”