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The Utopian Left and Its ‘War on Science’

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Increasingly desperate Democrats, facing the prospect of a conservative tidal wave in November, depend on a few hackneyed lines of attack in their last ditch efforts to demonize resurgent Republicans. The libs love to characterize their rivals as woman-hating theocrats, greedy exploiters and, most outrageously, as ignorant extremists who reject the wage “war on science” on behalf of partisan superstition.

This last characterization counts as especially obnoxious since it’s the liberals far more than right-wingers who insistently ignore the scientific evidence on some of the cutting edge issues they care about most. They accuse Republicans of anti-science bias for maintaining open minds about challenges to climate change and Darwinian orthodoxy. But questions on the ultimate impact of global warming, or presence- or absence- of intelligent design in the universe, count as speculative or predictive – not quickly settled by empirical evidence. The left, on the other-hand, eagerly embraces laughably unscientific views on gender and sexuality, despite an abundance of well-researched and readily available research to contradict their convictions.

Consider, for example, the politically correct contention that differences in professional and personal priorities between men and women stem directly from unjust, restrictive cultural norms. According to this worldview, if women have been under-represented as truck-drivers and CEO’s, and over-represented as nurses and pre-school teachers, then that reflects some profound failure in our social arrangements. Left-leaning activists refuse to rest until women are just as likely as men to serve as front-line combat Marines, and men are just as likely as women to prioritize family time over the pursuit of corporate promotions.

Obviously, these beliefs represent a total rejection not only of our ordinary experience of relationships and reality, but a denial of a crushing weight of scientific evidence. For more than twenty years, best-selling books like BRAIN SEX and MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS have presented conclusive research that males and females differ not only in musculature but in the congenital hard-wiring of their minds. The refusal to force males and females to compete against one another in Olympic athletic events indicates that on issues that matter most to society (like sports) we still recognize the force of unbridgeable gender distinctions. But in most other undertakings the refusal to acknowledge and accommodate those differences constitutes a foolish, flat-earth insistence on ignoring science.

Meanwhile, the same sophisticates who won’t accept the innate, immutable differences between male and female insist on magnifying the far more malleable and unimportant distinctions between gay and straight. The cognoscenti won’t tolerate the slightest doubt that homosexuality is an inborn characteristic with no more element of choice than eye-color or shoe size. This contention contradicts the multitude of studies in every corner of the globe that show only a minority of those individuals who experience same-sex encounters before age 21 grow up to identify themselves as adult homosexuals; nearly two-thirds who repot such adolescent experimentation identify themselves as “exclusively heterosexual.” In fact, all recent figures suggest that self-described “bisexuals” in the United States are more numerous than either gays or lesbians, and with inclinations for partners of both genders these bisexuals certainly enjoy some element of choice in the way they arrange their intimate associations.

Illogically enough, at the same time the left denies any chance for choice or change regarding the way we express our lust or longing, the academic and entertainment elites enthusiastically affirm the idea that we are utterly free to select our gender. Never mind the incontrovertible scientific fact that no one has ever found a clear-cut, physiological factor that mandates homosexual orientation, while every cell of our bodies, not to mention our factory-installed plumbing, comes clearly stamped with DNA as either male or female. The liberal romance with trendy trans-sexuality also leads to the denial of abundant evidence that expensive and inevitably mutilating “gender reassignment surgery” produces no medically provable benefits.

Britain’s left-wing (but respected) Guardian newspaper commissioned a study as long ago as 2004 in response to numerous individuals who had contacted the publication expressing regret over “changing their sex.” In researching the matter, the University of Birmingham reviewed more than “100 international medical studies of post-operative transsexuals” and “found no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective.”

Their additional survey of data from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service found an attempted suicide rate of “up to 18% noted in some medical studies of gender reassignment.” The Guardian also cited research from the United States and Holland showing that up to one fifth of patients expressed “regret for changing sex.” None of these reports have served in any way to slow the mad rush of a stubbornly unscientific establishment to provide lavish public and institutional funding for these disfiguring surgeries of deeply dubious utility.

Which ideological orientation, then, demonstrates a more cavalier dismissal of empirical, scientific principles: the utopian, reshape-the-universe left or the pragmatic, religion-respecting right?

Yes, conservatives may frequently question materialist suppositions on ultimately unknowable questions about the development of intelligent life and the origins of the cosmos, or the future of climate change on planet earth. But on more intimate, immediate issues concerning our most private and fundamental realities, it’s the left and not the right that recklessly ignores the evidence of science and common sense.

This column originally appeared at TruthRevolt.org on March 20, 2014.

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    Michael Medved
  • Michael Medved specializes in talking about pop culture and politics on a daily basis. Michael’s columns on politics and media appear regularly in the Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast and USA Today, where he is a member of the Board of Contributors.

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