More Teaching Material

Tyler Cowen writes:
I have a simple hypothesis about the cross-sectional econometrics [of people's opinions about gay marriage]. If you take the heterosexual couples who engage in the practice which is sometimes "associated" with male gay marriage, I predict those couples will favor legal gay marriage to an astonishingly high degree. Their marriage is already "affiliated" with that practice, and so the notion of legally married gay men (and the practices which go along with that) does not constitute an extra and unwanted affiliation for their marriage ideal.

Now, if you are a rational heterosexual Bayesian and neither engage in that associated practice nor favor legal gay marriage, and then you learn about these cross-sectional econometrics, what should you infer about the correctness of your point of view?
What a rich two paragraphs. Contains discussion material for at least three disciplines:

Philosophy: As commenter chris point out, the correct answer to that last question is: "Nothing, because favoring or not favoring gay marriage is not a factual proposition and does not have a truth value, therefore Bayesian reasoning cannot apply to it." Or is it?

Psychology: Tyler's phrasing is a bit awkward, but at any rate, cognitive dissonance theory suggests that the repeated practice of anal sex causes probabilistically increases the support of gay marriage and, maybe to a lesser extent, vice versa.

Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences: How strongly does an observed positive correlation between the practice of anal sex and support for gay marriage support the above hypotheses? Why?

The comments section contains the most charming offer of anal sex I have ever come across. I doubt Tyler Cowen could fit that into his tight schedule, though.

(More teaching material here and here)

1 comment:

Ross said...

The activity in question is not just associated with gay marriage, but with gay relationships full stop.