Google was wrong to fire James Damore – the brains of men and women are different

This week, a Google employee reignited a huge debate on whether there are sex differences in the brain – simply by sending an email. James Damore, the staff member in question, posted a memo to his colleagues in which he suggested that the company’s diversity policies ignored crucial variations between men and women, writing: Distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we dont (sic) see equal representation of women in tech and leadership’.

This memo, a manifesto of sorts, was brave, lateral and thought-provoking, intricately laying out the problems of workplace policies and ideologies at Google. In firing him the company has proven one of the memo’s points: that Google’s executives exhibit groupthink authoritarianism.

Damore has been dismissed as a right-wing agitator. Owen Jones, for instance, who clearly knows absolutely nothing about psychology, wrote: ‘he’ll probably be a star guest on alt-right shows and the rightwing lecture circuit’, before suggesting that his assumptions on sex differences are wrong.

Jones has highlighted a fact that many scientists know all too well: in quoting or contemplating academic literature, one is likely to be deemed ‘right-wing’, even when the topic is politically neutral. I know this as a psychology graduate; as soon as I started reciting my knowledge I was branded ‘right-wing’. I am conservative, but my politics is informed by science and not the other way round. Jones (and many other left-wingers) aren’t willing to engage with research that doesn’t confirm what they already believe.

Jones attacked the memo for suggesting that there are inherent differences between the sexes, scoffing at Damore’s assertion that females are more ‘neurotic’ than males. Sadly for Owen, the data indicates that this is true; women are far more likely than men to suffer from emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression, which go hand in hand with this trait.

The trouble left-wingers have is they often believe differences are inherently bad, and that sexual variation can only mean something insulting for women; we’re thick compared to men, perhaps. Conversely, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that our brains confer considerable advantages. It is certainly not sunshine and lollipops being a bloke: men are more susceptible to several conditions, including  autism, attention deficit disorder, conduct disorder, specific language impairment and dyslexia compared. Even psychopathy has been shown to be more prevalent in men. In recent years, some have suggested dismissed these figures, arguing that conditions only have gender gaps because of sexist diagnostic tools, but Tourette’s Syndrome is one clear affliction that is almost impossible to miss, and it’s three to five times more prevalent in males.

People aren’t ‘blank slates’, purely shaped by their environment. The truth is that outside factors interact with internal factors to create a human, meaning that nature and nurture are equally important. Neither die-hard believers in socialisation or biological determination are right.

Reading through Damore’s memo, it is clear that he realises this and is familiar with a wealth of scientific evidence. He has been criticised for not citing studies in the manifesto, but anyone who has combed through psychological research can see that he knows his stuff.

That’s why it’s such a great shame that for being literate, he has been accused of being ‘alt-right’. When Jones accused Damore of this, he not only displayed his own ignorance of the subject, but inadvertently complimented his Twitter enemies. If this Google ex-employee is alt-right then the alt-right are far more scientifically astute than we realise.


  • Alastair Houghton

    FWIW, he did cite things — unfortunately, Gizmodo stripped all the links. You can see the original memo here.

  • Richard

    “Jones (and many other left-wingers) aren’t willing to engage with research that doesn’t confirm what they already believe.”

    They are the new Inquisition, burning at the stake those with whom they disagree.

  • Rob Roy

    Owen Jones reminds me of myself when I was sixteen years old!

    • Paul

      I’m guessing Rob Roy of today thinks 16 year old Rob Roy was a bit of an idiot.

      • Rob Roy

        I prefer immature! 🙂

  • Bob Dein

    If men and women were the same no one would be gay.

    • brishlumpian

      Everyone would be gay

  • A Briton

    Quite. Google “MBTI types gender” without the quotes then click on images then click the second image, the horizontal bar chart. See how all the T types are > 50% male, and all the F types are > 50% female. Guess which type is more compatible with coding? Yup, T-types. This isn’t to say that women who are T types can’t code : they can, and I’ve known many. This isn’t to say those women who are T-types are worse coders than men. It is only to say that fewer women are T-types than is the case with men. I think that’s what Damore was saying and I think it’s shameful that Google has fired him for saying it.

  • brishlumpian

    ThankYou CCG and The Spectator… The media have been on a gender-denying kick since the Seventies… It’s nice to see a media outlet breaking ranks and presenting the sexually-affirmative viewpoint… Keep up the good work
    ..
    I hope James Damore sues for wrongful dismissal , and gets awarded millions in punitive damages… That’ll show ’em

    • MikePage

      Google can afford billions.

      What it’ll really cost them is when we see and smell their dirty prejudice in public. That’s what they’ll try to avoid at all costs.

  • MikePage

    Alt-right is just an epithet the left applies to popular thinking it doesn’t understand. It’s classic leftie name-calling, and just as brain-dead as it was a century ago.

    • Paul

      Sadly, still quite effective.

  • Grumbledog

    Women and lefties have a massive insecurity complex. Fact.

    • MichealPhilippeLambert

      Now, is that scientific fact?

      I hear there’s no real evidence for it, but it *is* scientific fact.

      • Grumbledog

        Thanks for proving my point.

        • MichealPhilippeLambert

          I see you’re not familiar with Brass Eye. When a statement is followed by ‘Fact’, it usually means it is not a fact at all.

          • Grumbledog

            I see you’re not familiar with reality. When a statement is categorized as Fact that usually means you’re a deluded nutter. Fact.

  • Trailblazer10

    “People aren’t ‘blank slates’, purely shaped by their environment.”

    Heresy.

  • MichealPhilippeLambert

    ‘women are far more likely than men to suffer from
    emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression, which go hand in
    hand with this trait.’

    A different interpretation could be that women have traditionally been more likely to seek help than men, hence the difference.

    • Paul

      Higher male suicide rates could be another factor of your alternate interpretation. Namely, that men are more likely to kill themselves than women because women are more likely to ask for than men, and of those who do ask for help women are more likely to receive it than men.

  • WFC

    You might have mentioned that he is a biology (post) grad.

  • WFC

    Owen Jones, for instance, who clearly knows absolutely nothing about psychology, wrote: ‘he’ll probably be a star guest on alt-right shows and the rightwing lecture circuit’, before suggesting that his assumptions on sex differences are wrong.

    He clearly knows absolutely nothing about logic, either.

    Google: we celebrate diversity.
    Damore: men and women aren’t exactly the same.
    Google: you’re fired.