Any time you're using the construction "science says..." as a way of being debate-endingly authoritative, you're pretty much an idiot. Because there's no "word of science," it's not one thing. There's just a community of scientists. A lot of them disagree, some of them do crappy research, and a ton of them do research on something very limited that gets turned into a huge generality in the popular press. A study titled "Daily cycles of mating frequency and melatonin levels in female mice" almost inevitably turns into "WOMEN ARE HORNIER AT NIGHT, SCIENCE SAYS."
Which is why, even though I love Cracked dearly and have nothing but respect for their handsome and brilliant writing staff, I'm really annoyed by this:
6 Absurd Gender Stereotypes (That Science Says Are True)
So what does Science really say?
Women Can't Drive and Park For Shit
Actual research: "In one [test], volunteers had to swim through an underwater maze to find a hidden platform, while the second involved exploring radial arms projecting from a central junction to receive 'rewards'."
Men Are Freaking Slobs
Actual research: "Female subjects whose odour sensitivity was tested many times, were able to detect the cherry-almond smell of benzaldehyde and a few other odours at progressively much lower concentrations. Male subjects taking part in similar tests never improved their ability to identify odours with experience."
Women Are Wimps
Actual research: "Scientists tested analgesic drugs on mice unable to produce the GIRK2 protein. [...] male mutants had lower pain thresholds than normal male mice. Female mutants exhibited a tolerance comparable to that of their normal counterparts, however, suggesting that GIRK2 is responsible for sex differences in pain sensitivity."
Women Love to Talk (and Talk)
Actual research:"The volume of the superior temporal cortex, expressed as a proportion of total cerebral volume, was significantly larger in females compared with males (17.8% increase; P = .04). This was accounted for by 1 section of the superior temporal cortex, the planum temporale, which was 29.8% larger in females (P = .04). In addition, the cortical volume fraction of the Broca area in females was 20.4% larger than in males (P = .05)."
Women See Mauve, Men See Purple
Actual research: "The current study presents nucleotide sequence analyses and tests of neutrality for a 5.5-kb region of the X-linked long-wave “red” opsin gene (OPN1LW) in 236 individuals from ethnically diverse human populations. [...] Our results suggest that subtle changes in L-cone opsin wavelength absorption may have been adaptive during human evolution."
(Also, see xkcd's amateur but actually-relevant take on the subject.)
Women Are Lightweights
Actual research: The renowned scholars at www.bloodalcohol.info. No derivable link to published research.
Science doesn't say this shit. People get preconceptions from eighth-graders and sitcoms, selectively look for research that says something sort of relevant to the general topic, then feel free to say ridiculous shit and back it up with "it's not an opinion, it's a FACT because SCIENCE SAYS."
Let me put it this way: if you had absolutely no preconceptions about male and female driving, and you read the study about people swimming through underwater mazes, would you spontaneously cry out "Why, this must mean women can't drive!"?
If your logic doesn't work forwards... you're a sexist idiot and you also eat poop. I know that might sound harsh, but it's not me saying that, it's SCIENCE.*
*Pervocracy, H. (2010). Coprophagy, verbal reasoning, and appreciation of Gloria Steinem in the domestic guinea pig. The Massachusetts National American Northeast International Journal of Science, 531-8008.