The CBS program 60 Minutes reported tonight, to everyone’s astonishment and dismay, on a recent, and heretofore completely unsuspected, scientific discovery.
The context was specific — differences in the effect of the sleeping pill Ambien on men and women — but it appears, shockingly, that the scope of the problem might be far more general, with truly horrifying implications.
I won’t sugar-coat it for you, readers; we are all grown-ups here, and I’m just going to give it to you straight: these profoundly disturbing new findings suggest that men and women might actually be quite different.
In a clip from this evening’s show, reporter Lesley Stahl interviews UC Irvine neuroscientist Larry Cahill. Ms. Stahl explains that Dr. Cahill “used to share his field’s assumption that males and females, outside the reproductive system, were fundamentally the same.”
One can almost feel the ground shifting beneath their feet as the interview continues. Asked by Ms. Stahl if this problem of sex-based differences might be bigger than just Ambien, Dr. Cahill confirmed her darkest fears:
“Once you see this difference — and that difference — and that difference — and that difference — and that difference — and that difference — and you see this thing’s everywhere, you go ‘wait a minute!’ So the assumption we’re making, that it really doesn’t matter — sex — is not a valid assumption!”
Later, in a panel discussion, Ms. Stahl was asked: “what surprised you most of all the things that you found out?”
She replied: “I guess the big thing is how pervasive the differences between men and women are.”
Yes, it’s surprising, all right — unless, of course, you have any acquaintance whatsoever with literature, history, folklore, human nature, human societies, actual men and women, the real world, the theory of evolution, or simple common sense.
As bad as this is, folks, it gets even worse. Our pal Mangan has more.