Some odd remarks on social constructivism about gender

Alice Dreger writes:

 People who think gender identities, gender roles, and sexual orientations are all socially constructed are the most naive biological determinists I’ve ever seen. They think all human brains are completely without structure when it comes to these things; we all have empty slates in our skulls at birth. No, we don’t! Really!

She also remarks:

There’s some pretty good evidence that across almost every (if not every) culture, there is some consistency in gender role expectations. Boys across cultures are expected to—and do—play with toys meant to represent weapons. Girls across cultures are expected to—and do—play with toys that represent cooking and parenting. This doesn’t mean all children meet these expectations (we know they don’t), it just means all cultures seem to share some basic gender expectations.

I’d be surprised if social constructivists all endorse Lockean tabula rasa theories of mind (at least when it comes to behaviors we interpret as gendered). And even if they did, you’d be hard pressed demonstrate the falsity of this by appealing to cross-cultural analogies between gender preferences for toys. So I’ll admit to finding this piece puzzling.

Athene Donald on Women in Science

with an excellent modest proposal:

So let me offer a new recommendation to add to that made by the MPs. I propose that every MBA course in the country should have an unconscious bias element included, and taking some relevant training should be an expectation of anyone involved in recruitment of any kind. I would also like to see it included as a topic in the school curriculum, a place to start a dialogue among children so that they can identify their own propensities to gender-stereotyping.