Data-driven feelings

Great article from FiveThirtyEight:

Current research suggests that prevention should focus on those perceptions and behaviors that did strongly predict assault. Although they’re often referred to in the literature as “personality variables,” they aren’t immutable characteristics any more than personality itself is immutable. “There’s a small number of sociopaths, but there’s a lot of it that’s cultural,” Testa said. In other words: Are these men supported by peers who also voice negative attitudes about women? Is it considered socially acceptable to look for the drunkest girl at a party and try to take her home? Are there social consequences for young men who ignore consent?

The bad news about this conclusion is that these cultural attitudes are at least as widespread and as hard to change as teenage binge drinking. But change isn’t impossible. That strong social-cultural element is why the big focus in sexual violence prevention right now is bystander intervention — finding ways to encourage people who are neither victim nor victimizer to change cultural norms and stop situations that are turning dangerous. There’s a lot of evidence that this can be effective, Parrott said. In one study, researchers randomly assigned college men to participate in a program that combined bystander intervention training with other kinds of education about consent and sexual violence. Six months later, after administering follow-up surveys, researchers found the odds of committing sexual assault were 73 percent lower for men who had completed the training.

In recent years, people on the left have branded their politics as ‘moral’ instead of being driven by data. I’m sure, to some degree, that this polls better with more people. However, it’s also given rise to anti-intellectuals like Ben Shapiro who make comments like, “The facts don’t care about your feelings!” even while he is ignoring the facts.

People on the left have facts on their side. Isn’t it possible to craft narratives that both demonstrate this fact while also connecting with people on an emotional level?