Misognyny has no scientific basis of any kind:

the evidence is of of philogyny — and misandry

 Moxon SP (2018) New Male Studies 7(2), 26-42.

https://newmalestudies.com/OJS/index.php/nms/article/view/282/345

 Steve Moxon, independent researcher re the biological roots of human sociality.

stevemoxon3@talktalk.net

A Creative Commons copyright applies

 

Abstract

No published science paper demonstrates misogyny exists. Data on both implicit and explicit gender attitudes shows males substantially favouring females – philogyny – or, at worst, gender neutrality. This is hidden by elision with the wider notion of sexism; but there’s no evidence for hostile sexism, and hypothesised benevolent sexism is fatally flawed in operational definition. The mode whereby sexism supposedly causes harm — stereotyping (stereotype threat) — has been debunked; likewise inter-sexual dominance, removing any theoretical basis. Possible male harm by control is belied in women being found the controlling party. Misogyny / sexism in being defined circularly is unfalsifiable, therefore non-scientific conceptualisation: ideology itself actually hostile sexism (misandry, which is shown to be real but unseen).

 

Exhaustive literature search produces no science paper demonstrating the existence of misogyny (however labelled). A generic profound antipathy or hatred towards women by men, as misogyny nowadays is understood (both in popular currency and in academia), is a recent ideological conceptualisation. The former (and still current) common understanding was that some individuals — of both sexes – hold in contempt the opposite sex in general because of serial romantic failure.

GENDER ATTITUDES RESEARCH SHOWS NOT MISOGYNY BUT PHILOGYNY

Misogyny formally defined is a (putative) male-to-female hostile or highly negative attitude. ‘Gender attitudes’, both male-to-female and female-to-male, most recently have been reviewed and freshly examined by Dunham, Baron & Banaji (2016), in a culmination of their own work in various collaborations. Looking at not just explicit but, more unusually, also implicit (automatic) measures (response latency), and – for the first time in the literature – across all age groups, Dunham et al found for boys/men “no negative association with female whatsoever” (p5). Furthermore, from adolescence onwards, the same-sex positivity shown by boys on implicit measures decreases so much that males by comparison shift so strongly to a more positive attitude towards females that, overall, their respective consideration for the sexes completely reverses. The authors consider this change dramatic, albeit that the male same-sex positivity was only modest at the outset. With explicit gender attitudes, there is also a shift: towards neutrality. The contrast with girls/women in all respects is striking: “robustly pro-female” — strongly positive towards females and strongly negative towards males – and all the more so with age. Furthermore, the zero correlation between implicit and explicit measures reveals that they tap into different and independent psychological constructs, as might be expected given the contrasting cognitive facilities available for implicit versus explicit responses. So in respect of responses whether automatic/ default or considered, the findings indicate misogyny is a fiction, whereas misandry is real.

CONGRUENT EARLIER WORK

These findings are in respect of individuals (subjects given an individual male and/or female as the target). This builds on earlier research with groups (subjects given all-male and/or all-female groups as the target) likewise showing that, on explicit measures, by adulthood males as well as females have more positive attitudes towards females than towards males (Eagly & Mladinic, 1989; Eagly, Mladinic & Otto, 1991). Eagly’s work was prompted by studies hitherto using only indirect measures of gender attitudes: evaluations of what were thought to be either male or female stereotypes, which then were merely assumed to entirely govern impressions of others according to sex. The conceptual and methodological flaws evident in this approach led Eagly instead to use direct measures – a number of kinds, with a common metric across the sexes. Their conclusions were that (regarding same-sex target groups) both sexes were more positive towards women than towards men; in particular in attitude, but also in how responses were manifestations of beliefs (or stereotypes) about the sexes, and even in their emotional content (albeit here not a statistically significant difference). Notably, despite looking especially for covert negative sentiments towards women, none were found. Furthermore, in analysis to uncover hidden ambivalence, this too was not marked in either cognitive or affective (emotional) reactions.

FURTHER REPLICATION OF FINDINGS

Subsequent to Eagly et al, their findings and conclusions have been confirmed by Haddock & Zanna (1994) and then by Aidman & Carroll (2003), who uncovered a strong automatic preference for female attributes in female undergraduates, and no significant bias in males. Similar results were obtained in work on target groups by Skowronski & Lawrence (2001), and (this time using implicit measures) by Carpenter (2001), albeit that the favourability towards women was much stronger in the case of women. When Skowronski & Lawrence also turned from explicit to implicit measures, their data showed non-significantly pro-female or at worst neutral attitude in the latency responses. No pro-male attitude was uncovered until the authors switched to a different implicit measure, of error responses, and then only a slightly pro-male attitude was found. Mixed results – pro-male as well as pro-female – were not obtained without adding the extreme condition of turning the male and female targets into soldiers, thereby introducing a strong demand characteristic confounding results. Note there was no basis to interpret in terms of a negative attitude to females.

FEMALE (BUT NO MALE) HOMOPHILY

Work squarely on what is conceived of as automatic in-group bias (homophily), as indicated in immediate-response experiments, revealed that this was strong for women, whereas men had no preference at all for their own over the opposite sex (Nosek & Banaji, 2002; Richeson & Ambady, 2001). The female same-sex preference was quantified by Rudman & Goodwin (2004) as fivefold; interestingly by a purer measure of implicit attitude, in that the measure they employed entailed methods eliminating any confound with gender stereotypes. They further found a similar sex differential in respect of explicit measures. In explanation of their results, Rudman & Goodwin conclude of women that “they alone possess a cognitive mechanism that promotes own group preference” (p506). So men have no cognitive mechanism to preferentially consider other males as co-members of their group. Most importantly, the neutral data means, conversely, that men have no cognitive mechanism to exclude or to diminish females in considering them as fellow group members. On the contrary, a man – unlike a woman – sees everyone, men and women alike, as being fellow members of any symbolic grouping (such as the whole workplace or company, university year-group or department) to which he himself belongs (Maddux & Brewer, 2005). Similar was found by David-Barrett at al (2015), in their paper entitled ‘Women Favour Dyadic Relationships, but Men Prefer Clubs’. Maddux & Brewer also find that by contrast a woman has her own idiosyncratic individual grouping pattern cutting across symbolic organisational boundaries. This is well-known from decades of studies of social structure and dynamics: a personal network built on an exclusionary principle; a small number of close bonds, to the exclusion of everyone else. Typically there is a core twosome or threesome from which one or more chains of association extend out to individuals at some remove from the symbolic groupings with which males so readily identify. This profound sex dichotomy is also found by Szell & Thurner ( 2013) and Lindenlaub & Prummer (2013). That key is an exclusionary attitude by females (but not by males) has been confirmed by Benenson et al (2013) and Goodwin (2002). [Note, the general understanding that men form all-male clubs stems not from male psychology of in-grouping but from that of dominance (or prestige) hierarchy, which is all-male (Van den Berg, Lamballais & Kushner, 2015). The research outlined here on in-grouping shows that males must readily either extend their within-hierarchy homophily to change it to an all-inclusive attitude when a wider grouping becomes salient, or that different psychology pertains in parallel with respect, on the one hand, to hierarchy, and, on the other, to grouping.].

TRYING AND FAILING TO FIND MISOGYNY IN SPECIAL CONDITIONS

With the failure to demonstrate misogyny and the literature clearly indicating at worst neutral and usually very positive attitude of males to females, there have been attempts to find or manufacture special conditions prompting it. Having replicated Rudman & Goodwin’s findings in a Japanese sample (2009), Ishii & Numazakihad (2015) investigated males under supposed threat (to their sense of self worth) when gender was made salient, on their hypothesis that this would produce a negative association with women. However, they found no evidence for this; only an absence of positive association. More specifically, Kasumovic & Kuznekoff (2015) posit women entering the workplace hierarchy are a threat to lower status men. However, Brown & Cotton (2015) show that the authors used inappropriate statistical analysis, without which their data does not reach significance. The authors also falsely assume dominance is inter-sexual (see below), ignoring explanation other than male hostility.

SEXISM IN ITS SUPPOSEDLY HOSTILE FORM

With the consistent failure to find any evidence of misogyny in terms of a profoundly hostile attitude, or even of a pro-male rather than a pro-female attitude, research has shifted to employing a wider concept conflatable with and thereby (mis-)represented as misogyny: sexism. [Originally defined as a negative attitude towards women (Allport, 1954), just as in gender attitudes research, the concept was later diluted to (any sort of) prejudice or discrimination (Cameron, 1977), and, latterly, any attitude by virtue of the target’s biological sex (Lameiras and Rodriguez, 2003), rendering the notion meaningless.] As sexism can be inadvertent, non-malicious and even benign, then its conflation with misogyny allows an unacknowledged broadening of definition thereby to misrepresent as misogyny other phenomena. In turn, sexism can be qualified as negative (rather than neutral or positive) to assume the mantle of misogyny by the back door, as it were; in effect side-stepping the literature on gender attitudes. In essence, gender attitudes have come to be seen as superficial, underlying which is sexism; ignoring that the question of what is covert rather than overt was addressed in the research on implicit gender attitudes.

The major problem with the notion of negative – dubbed hostile (Glicke & Fiske, 1996) – sexism is the deeply flawed operational definitions employed in studies. The most recent sexism inventory, by Tougas et al (2015), is criticised by Tostain (2016), citing three examples: *It is difficult for a woman to work as a boss. *Men are incomplete without women. *Women, compared with men, tend to display a greater moral sense. The first, Tostain points out, is an expression of support for women, against what they might face in the workplace; the second, an acknowledgement of the importance of partnership between the sexes (an objective fact), and the gratitude towards if not aggrandisement of women as partners. It also acknowledges difference between the sexes (also an objective fact). Tostain picks up on this also with respect to the third example, which is an item simply because it’s considered as essentialising women. It’s overtly pro-female, anti-male real sexism – as is also the second item, yet this, along with the first, nonetheless is deemed hostile sexism (towards women). The third, Tougas sees as sexism but the benevolent form (see below).

The standard measure of sexism, an explicit one, is that by Glick & Fiste (1996). Here are their items indicating hostile sexism (note that some are reverse-worded and would be scored accordingly, so to avoid confusion they are here worded correctly, as it were):  *Women exaggerate problems at work. *Women are too easily offended. *Most women interpret innocent remarks as sexist. *When women lose fairly, they claim discrimination. *Women seek special favours under the guise of equality. *Feminists are making unreasonable demands. *Feminists are seeking more power than men. *Women seek power by gaining control over men. *Many women tease men sexually. *Once a man commits, she puts him on a tight leash. *Women fail to appreciate all men do for them. This is self-evidently anything but a list of attitudes clearly denoting hostility, even inadvertently. All the items are open to various interpretation. Given the hegemony of feminism even in extreme form, then most, if not all, are not inaccurate generalisations; reasonable opinion based on common experience, that a majority of people of both sexes would share. Some of the statements are legitimate criticism of ideological feminism, with which most would agree, and for reasons of being supportive of women, not through any antipathy. Not endorsing extreme feminism or those articulating the ideology is not negativity towards women.

SEXISM DUBBED BENEVOLENT BUT NOT THUS CONSIDERED

The notion of ‘benevolent sexism’ was hypothesised by Glick & Fiske (1996, 1997), and the same criticism as of their hostile sexism items applies here but magnified and self-evident. Here are the scale items (again removing ‘reverse-wording’): *A good woman should be set on a pedestal. *Women should be cherished and protected by men. *Men should sacrifice to provide for women. *In a disaster, women should be rescued first. *Women have a superior moral sensibility. *Women have a quality of purity few men possess. *Women have a more refined sense of culture, taste. *Every man ought to have a woman he adores. *Men are incomplete without women. *Despite accomplishment, men are incomplete without women. *People usually are not happy without heterosexual romance. Glick & Fiske (1997) see benevolent alongside hostile sexism in a general category of ambivalent sexism.

THE EMPTY CONCEPT OF STEREOTYPE THREAT

Ambivalent sexism supposedly harms women by evoking a sex stereotype, assumed to be taken by women to be what is or what is not expected of them; causing self-inhibition from behaving according to a non-traditional role, avoiding anticipated punishment. Akin to the concept of internalised misogyny (a non-parsimonious, implausible, non-evidenced notion), this supposed mechanism of harm is dubbed stereotype threat. Coined by Steele & Aronson (1995), initially regarding African-American race issues; in respect of sex, very serious problems with this construct are apparent, not least when explicit measures are used. Not merely is there no negative impact of presenting a stereotype, but a positive outcome is produced (Kray, Thompson & Galinsky, 2001). Findings likewise entirely contrary to prediction have also been found by Fryer, Levitt & List (2008) and Geraldes, Riedl & Strobel (2011). All literature on this topic was reviewed by Stoet & Geary (2012), who find no evidence for the phenomenon, not least through multiple major methodological flaws — notably the absence of a control group and inappropriate data adjustments. This applies to almost all of the supposedly successful replications of an effect in regard of women and maths; which in any case were only half of the 20 attempts in total. Jussim et al (2016) took further issue with data adjustment, concluding that even if stereotype threat were a factor, it’s so tiny as to be irrelevant. [Note that the prior review by Kit, Tuokko & Mateer (2008) was not an objective examination but a look at how research was progressing, on the unquestioned assumption that stereotype threat is a real phenomenon.] In the wake of Stoet & Geary’s review, further attempts at replication using large samples all failed: Wei (2012), Ganley et al (2013), Stafford (2016) and Finnigan & Corker (2016). Many such failed attempts over the past 20 years have remained unpublished through publication bias (Flore & Witcherts, 2015) – non-replication being far less interesting to journals. A more recent (2016) review by Tostain is comprehensively damning. His conclusion is that the impact of stereotyping is one among multiple factors, and anyway in itself very small: “stereotypes do not necessarily have the power that is often attributed to them. Firstly, the perception and the judgements of individuals are not necessarily altered by gender stereotypes. And in addition, measures of gender stereotyping are not necessarily neutral, and can direct one towards a vision that artificially accentuates the presence and weight of stereotypes. Finally, the predictive value (in terms of links with discriminatory behaviours) of tests for the evaluation of stereotypes, particularly gender stereotypes, remains subject to debate”. Tostain outlines the fundamental problem of “misunderstanding the fact that individuals can make reference to stereotypes according to different levels of judgement and different perspectives”, when everything is geared “implicitly to adopt a univocal causal schema … born of a vision of masculine domination”; the upshot being that “individuals are constantly faced with heterogeneous dynamics, some of which can be opposed to these stereotypes”. It’s not merely that a negative impact of stereotype threat is in doubt, but stereotypes have positive impact in the very same terms. Yet, as Stoet & Geary warn, the absence of control groups prevents even the possibility of detecting any positive impact. The notion of stereotype threat is imaginary. As with misogyny, belief in a non-real phenomenon requires its invention (through a tendentious interpretation of scenarios far from real life) to retrospectively justify the belief.

CIRCULAR REASONING

Fundamental problems are evident in definitions. Whereas hostile sexism is defined by Glick & Fiske (1997) as “dominative paternalism, derogatory beliefs, and heterosexual hostility”, the ’benevolent’ variant is “protective paternalism, idealization of women, and desire for intimate relations”. Given this definition of the benevolent form, all inter-sexual interaction is deemed sexist: an entirely circular reasoning. Sexism in this new ambivalent wider conceptualisation is deemed the cause of patriarchy and traditional gender roles; but anything and everything about these roles and patriarchy is deemed sexism. With sexism and its impact claimed to be one and the same, then sexism is its own aetiology: a non-explanation that cannot be a scientific hypothesis. The perfect circularity leaves nothing to test. It’s an exercise in unfalsifiability, and what cannot, even in principle, be disproven, is by definition not scientific. The notion in academia of sexism has replaced or been elided with that of misogyny to mean the same thing: ubiquitous male hostility to females. Whereas the supposed phenomenon of misogyny can be shown to be entirely lacking in evidence and, therefore, categorically false; sexism has been developed as a construct always to escape this eventuality through becoming stretched to encompass any data, instead of data being used to test an hypothesis. Sexism thereby has been rendered an ideological or quasi-religious belief.

MISOGYNY IS NOT CONTROL: THE FEMALE IS THE CONTROLLING PARTNER

A further possible form of harm done to women by men that conceivably might be considered misogyny, is controlling behaviour in couples, but again research reveals the inverse of expectation. It is not men but women who typically try to prevent their partner from straying. Vogel et al (2007) find that the woman partner has complete charge of the relationship, and that “wives behaviorally exhibited more domineering attempts and were more dominant (ie, more likely to have their partner give in) than husbands during discussions of either spouse’s topic” (p173). In line with this, Coleman & Straus (1986) long ago found that the woman is the controlling partner in 90% of couples. According to Graham-Kevan & Archer (2009), women utilise male modes of control as much as or more than do men. This surely produces a large asymmetry in favour of female perpetration, in that women greatly predominate in female modes (males shunning such modes to avoid loss of status). Bates, Graham-Kevan & Archer (2014) found that “women were more likely than men to be categorized as showing high control” (p10). This is the former popular understanding. The one theme rivalling sex in old English comic seaside postcards. It fits new understanding that human pair bonding evolved in the female interest (Moxon, 2013).

MISANDRY: THE REAL SEXISM IS UNSEEN

With misogyny a figment of ideological imagination, it is charging misogyny that is itself the hatred towards the other sex it purports to call out. Hostile sexism manifest as misandry is the real phenomenon in need of study. That it has always existed is indicated by the data generated in the failed quest to establish the reality of misogyny – notably what has been revealed about the stark sex dichotomy in human in-grouping (see above), whereby women group according to an exclusionary principle, and much more so against men. That this actual sexism is not seen for what it is, shows up in research into bias in respect of sexism. Evidently, sexism by females is unseen: and not just anti-male (Rudman & Fetteroff, 2014; Goh, Rad & Hall, 2017), but also anti-female (Baron, Burgess & Kao, 1991); this being the perception of both males and other females. Hence the surprise at the Demos findings in 2016 that the bulk of on-line misogynistic abuse, on Twitter, was not by men but women. Goh et al replicated in dyadic behaviour what Rudman and Fetterolf had found regarding groups: women being biased to (mis-)perceive hostile sexism from men when it isn’t there; conversely, not seeing men’s benevolent sexism when it is (albeit regarding this last, Goh et al’s findings were not statistically significant). By contrast, men under-estimated women’s hostile sexism and over-estimated their benevolent sexism. Nevertheless, female hostile sexism is found to be at the same level as that attributed to men (Cárdenas et al, 2010; León-Ramírez & Ferrando Piera, 2013); the latter finding female benevolent sexism to be far less (though the same level, according to Cárdenas et al). Women’s sexism, unlike men’s, tended to be hostile rather than benevolent. Misandry is acknowledged in a large study by principal researcher Peter Glick (et al, 2004) as “hostile as well as benevolent attitudes toward men“.

THE MISCONCEIVED NOTION OF INTER-SEXUAL DOMINANCE

The notion of sexism is predicated on the concept of inter-sexual dominance, but in all species dominance is a male intra-sexual phenomenon. [For reviews, see Moxon (2016, 2009).] Not only do males not incorporate females into their dominance hierarchy, but females do not have the neural circuitry to process the winner and/or loser effects necessary to form actual dominance hierarchy even among themselves (Van den Berg, Lamballais & Kushner, 2015). Females no more have the facility to be sub-dominant (subordinate) to males than males would attempt to be dominant over them. Much evidence from biology shows that gender inequality is a chimera through profound failure to comprehend the basis of sociality: that males and females always have separate and very different sociality — for a very recent review, see Moxon (2016) — and that the ways in which they do interact are highly complementary. In the workplace or civic spaces that in a traditional society would be the arena of male intra-sexual competition, a hierarchy will not be psychologically salient to girls/women. Attempting to fit in in other ways, facilitated by the absence of same-sex preference in male in-grouping, still women are bound to experience difficulty in mapping female sociality onto the social structure of the workplace. Albeit amorphous, necessarily the work organisation is modelled on male sociality through business competition and efficiency imperatives. These difficulties, in not being understood, are mistakenly attributed to obstacles placed by males through some putative male-to-female hostility.

HARASSMENT IS NOT A RESIDUAL CATEGORY OF MISOGYNY

The above findings of female mis-perception heavily undermine studies of sexual / gender harassment: another category of behaviour that might be thought to embody misogyny. With women liable to both invent male hostility and to be blind to male benevolence, then studies of harassment would have to control for these confounds. They don’t, and with no reason to suppose other than that these confounds apply in all male-female interaction, it is hard to envisage a viable experimental design. This compounds problems with already acknowledged eye-of-the-beholder effects: the perception of who is and who isn’t an harasser, and what is and what is not harassment, when varying female and male attractiveness (youth/beauty and status) of putative victims and perpetrators. It is not merely that, for reasons of basic evolutionary biology logic, both sexes are highly likely to over-perceive each other’s sexual interest: males, so as not to miss a reproductive opportunity; females, so as to avoid less than perfect reproductive opportunities. Females may also give out implicit proceptive signals in a courtship dialogue to assess the male before, in the end, rejecting him. The topic is similar to that of rape in being subject to ideologically-driven denial that motivation is sexual, in favour of unfounded assertions that instead it concerns ‘power’ (in ignorance that dominance is not inter-sexual). There is a failure here to comprehend the nature of courtship: males displaying mate value in terms of their intra-sexual dominance in a call-and-response dialogue with a female, who then can better examine the male’s potential as a suitable mate. The male display here is an advertisement of dominance vis-a-vis his fellow males, not with respect to the courted female. Non-reciprocated wooing can be seen as harassment, but to portray it as other than positive sexual interest is unwarranted denigration of male sexuality. The notion that a high-status male expresses ‘power’ in his sexual overtures ignores that such a male realistically anticipates a favourable response to sexual entreaty. Using work-place position as a basis of making sexual advances is often misrepresented as the use of sexuality to impose ‘power’, when it is the other way round. It is mistaken to impute male motivation based on the female target feeling that her ability to make a mate choice is being constrained, as in the case of the male being merely such as a very junior manager. For a high status male, the female target’s attitude is liable to completely change (Colarelli & Haaland, 2002; O’Connell, 2009). It is easy to see how status and ‘power’ can be confused, to then assert socio-cultural explanation. A comprehensive rebuttal of the notion that sexual harassment is about ‘power’ rather than sex is provided by Browne (2002), who also outlines the mis-perception as harassment of women being hazed in hitherto all-male or predominantly male work-places. An informal means of establishing membership of the work-group, hazing (initiation rites; ragging) is male intra-sexual behaviour not understood by women, who feel threatened by it, even when males are extending hazing to encompass women for the very reason of trying to be especially inclusive.

For a variety of inter-related reasons, the harassment literature is very confused. Browne’s is the most wide-ranging, comprehensive, non-ideological overview available. Mostly there is an overwhelmingly feminist, social constructivist, advocacy stance inimical to science, failing to identify and adding to confounds. The problems are laid bare even in sympathetic overview by Pina, Gannon & Saunders (2009); that the profusion of poorly evidenced modelling (socio-cultural, organizational, sex-role spillover, socio-cognitive, and four-factor) is concerningly perplexing. Complex difficulties are also outlined by Vanselow (2009). Little would be gained here by review. The coup de grace is that what constitutes harassment is now whatever it is deemed to be — even by a third-party — making it as perfectly circular in definition as is sexism. In any case, the notion of harassment as embodying or being underpinned by negativity towards females is so lacking in theoretical basis that evidence with strong external validity would be needed for it to be taken as other than ideology. Any attempt to establish harassment as a category of behaviour that might be the last refuge of a basis of misogyny is very unlikely to be successful.

DENIAL OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE SEXES

An influential academic line is that men and women seeing each other in biological terms is what perpetuates gender inequality. This is captured in the afore-mentioned definition of sexism by Lameiras and Rodriguez (2003) as an attitude towards others by virtue of their biological sex; and in the conceptualisation by Glick et al (2004) that sexist “attitudes toward men reflect and support gender inequality by characterizing men as being designed for dominance”. It is held that the only sexism towards men is seeing their behaviour as biologically motivated — this now being deemed false understanding; and just asserting a new cultural view will supersede biology, as if it were mere historical aberration — that male-female is socially constructed, and as such replaceable by a new reality. And just as sexism is circularly rendered anything and everything concerning male-female interaction, gender inequality, taken to be synonymous with all interaction between men and women, is by this unsupported assertion regarded as irredeemable. The solution, on this view, is to persistently assert the non-existence of the sexes, thereby to bring this about by self-fulfilling prophecy (from the bogus notion that changing language changes reality). In eliminating the male, there would remain no sex to distinguish as female, leaving simply people. There is a deep political basis of this flight of fancy, concerning salving cognitive dissonance in the Marxist mindset, re which I have published. It is the tap root of the insistence on current notions of misogyny, but contemporary mythology is beyond the scope of the present text.

CONCLUSION

Not only is there low evidence for misogyny in gender attitudes research, but there is clear evidence against, in support of its antithesis (philogyny and misandry). Attempts to water down and obfuscate in notions of sexism have failed to save the concept, and the supposed harm in stereotype threat proves to be a chimera. All conceptualisation ends in circular definition, leaving no phenomenon to investigate. This is no surprise, given no theoretical basis of misogyny other than non-/anti-scientific ideology. The need to conceive of misogyny has been political. The construct is itself anti-male ideology supported by natural anti-male prejudice (misandry), for which, by contrast, there is theoretical basis.

Misandry is no mystery. That females are the limiting factor in reproduction would be expected to elicit deep suspicion towards males (prompting the policing of males, especially in regard to sex) and very special consideration towards females (prompting the protection of females, especially from sexual access by males). This fits with what is found in the failed attempts to find misogyny; only philogyny being evident. This prompts anticipating potential harm to females, even when it’s highly unlikely. Just as this harm to women is a figment, so too is a putative agent capable of causing it. With males considered the agentic sex, they are supposed agents of harm to females, and by natural extension intent to cause harm is mistakenly imputed to men. Any sex-typically male activity conceived of as potentially harmful is thus presumed. Hence misandry is misrepresented as its obverse: misogyny. The notion of misogyny likely is the most tenacious (false) myth in the human imagination.

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