This story in the Washington Post this morning reports on the findings that the quality of life for girls and boys is about equal according to the researchers at Duke University. What is not surprising is how quickly the study drew adamant criticism from both sides of the "this gender has it worst" crowd.
It is this exact kind of debate that manipulates change to suit a few and not the many. Both sides stand to lose mindshare ground for their 'cause' if the study is accepted as is. Nothing puts out the fire of injustice faster than learning there is none. Both sides have invested passion, time and money in bringing about change that suits their grievance. Both sides have commissioned research to prove their point. Neither side can conceptualize that their mission might be flawed.
I believe it is quite natural that individually we are always looking for and jumping at the chance to fight for something. That tendency is part of what is beautiful about the human spirit.
Two neighboring farmers have been feuding with each other for years over the quality of their corn. In court, with agricultural inspectors, and granaries, each believed their corn would grow better and sell higher but for the presence of the neighbors corn. It seems each had commissioned a soil test, and both tests "proved" that the their neighbors strain of corn was leaching all of the nutrients from the ground and was probably effecting any crops nearby. Armed with their studies they were able to secure extra funding, equipment, and other favorable allowances to offset their “losses”.
Believing it would be a good field project, a professor at the local university sent his students out to do their own research. When the study was complete the university announced that the cross-pollination of the two strains of corn had produced a single "super-strain" and that the crops where quite equal in quality and the soil on neither property was in jeopardy.
“Balderdash,” cried the first farmer. “Look at all of the evidence and effort I’ve put into proving my story. Your study must be flawed!”
“Harrumph!”, muttered the second farmer. “He (the first farmer) knows his information is wrong, and since his son studied in your science department you’re probably doing him a favor to try and discredit both of our soil tests. Your tests are all lies.”
With regard to the human spirit; it is equally possible for our pride of ownership (of our view) to blind us from truth and reason. An emotional and material investment cannot change wrong to right.