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Pollitt on Allen

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"Pollitt on Allen"

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Katha Pollitt does a great response essay to Charlotte Allen’s “women are dumb” op-ed. I even learned a thing or two about traffic safety:

Allen claims that the misogynist canard is true: thanks to their superior visuospatial abilities, men (although maybe not gay men?) are better drivers, with 5.1 accidents per million miles compared to women’s 5.7. “The only good news,” she adds, is that because they take fewer risks, women’s accidents are only a third as likely to be fatal. That’s a very interesting definition of ability behind the wheel: the better drivers are the ones who take more risks and are three times as likely to end up dead.

Men like risky behavior leading to more accident fatalities jibes with my general understanding, but I wonder why women get into more aggregate accidents. You’d think that the same skills and instincts that help you avoid a fatal crash would also help you avoid a minor one.

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