Conover’s position is fatally weakened by his attempt to use a very specific example of problematic scholarship to generalize far beyond with regard to the term ‘alpha.’ This can be seen in his original ‘Adam Ruins Everything’ clip.
On Peterson (briefly):
Jordan Peterson is an expert on the Big Five Personality Traits and has taught relevant course material in his psychology courses for years. This, coupled with years of experience as a clinical psychologist, makes him a relevant authority on male/female psychological differences.
Side note: Peterson’s argument about lobsters and hierarchies is that hierarchies exist in a species we diverged from, evolutionarily speaking, hundreds of millions of years ago. Cognitive advances in successive generations from those prehistoric creatures who diverged from lobsters all the way to the humans of the present time are built upon already existing material — hence the reptilian, mammalian, and simian parts of the brain. Yes, at a very superficial level, there are elements of gender that are socially constructed but these are predicated on cognitive developments going back hundreds of millions of years. The relatively small, almost gossamer thin layer of reason rests on an enormous number of traits which have evolved over time to allow for the greatest fitness of members of the species.
for more information on these topics, see the following sources:
-‘The Selfish Gene’ by Richard Dawkins
-‘The Descent of Man’ and ‘On the Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin
-‘The Blank Slate’ by Steven Pinker
-the various works of Camille Paglia and Christina Hoff Sommers
On Rogan, Conover, and biases:
I take it for granted that everyone has their biases and get very suspicious when a person or (especially) an institution makes claims of objectivity. I would further argue that an engaging discussion between two people interested in ideas, who are also honest about their particular biases, offer a higher resolution picture than some researcher or institution claiming to have an objective perspective, free of biases. This is perhaps what the ancients (most notably Plato) understood and why they presented their ideas as compelling dialogues. Neither Rogan or Conover are tenured professionals who spend their most of their waking hours going over the relevant academic literature. They both do, however, interact with a wide variety of people and ideas. Rogan has an interest in ideas and presses Conover when the latter makes particular claims.
On the Joe Rogan quote:
I quoted Rogan because I want the reader to consider the particulars of his argument. Touching on issues related to trans athletes as proof that gender is not wholly a social contract is not something which can be easily brushed aside. The entire argument of gender as a social construct is seriously undermined by the existence of chromosomes and hormones. There is a comparatively limited part of gender which is socially constructed but this, as I have shown, is predicated on biological and psychological realities which run far deeper.
Being an academic does not make one immune to biases, rather it makes one more adept at tackling the constraints related to peer-reviewed research. Academic theorizing, as Nassim Nicholas Taleb has stated, is a self-referential publishing game in which complexity is often favored over accuracy. Both nineteenth century ‘scientific’ racism and twenty-first century radical social constructionism are both intellectual developments predicated on justifying biases in academic theorizing. If you wish to cite specific scholars to back up your positions, I am happy to read and consider their arguments and the data they cite as evidence but will not grant them special authority because of credentials or that they happen to hold a particular job.
For more on the problems with academia and gender as a social construct— see ‘Grievance Studies Affair.’
On debunking a whole body of academic discourse:
The arguments Joe Rogan makes with regard to trans athletes point to biological realities which undermine the purely social constructionist position, and they do so fatally. The entire fields of evolutionary biology and psychology are also refutations of pure social constructionism.
Finally, if you are looking for someone with academic credentials to critique gender as a social construct, listen to the arguments of Dr. Debra Soh.