Saturday assorted links

1. Educational markets in everything.

2. Is sex binary?

3. Profile of Agnes Gund (NYT).  This article, ostensibly about Gund, is the best profile of the NYT I have seen in ages.

4. Mormons welcome Muslims.

5. Good guys in superhero films are more violent than the villains.


#2 Yes and no.
#4 9-11 Always remember.

Apropos of nothing, "ALWAYS REMEMBER" has the anagram: "Embalmers Weary", while your name, TR, has the anagram: "Hegira Bio Riot". True.

"Thiago" comes from Hebrew "aqeb", which means " heel".

Or "to follow, to be behind" (Ya'akov, Jacob, James, Iago, Diego, Thiago)

Yep, it is another possibility.

Victory is at hand! Stop the Soros paid caravan! Stop the cancer that is Feminism! Deport the illegals! Protect Western Civilization! Onward Christian Soldiers! Deus Vult!


#2- sex is not just XX/XY: very true, especially in Pattaya, Thailand!

Bonus trivia: you can in theory have a human hermaphrodite, that can reproduce with themselves (third person, very apt and not PC in the case of a true hermaphrodite) but, like Aphrodite, such a person has never been seen in recorded history (not counting the Virgin Birth which falls under the rubric of myth).

#5: are the metric normalized for screen time? Because this could just be a result of the protagonist being on screen nearly the entire film, while the bad guys are often not.

4. Raising the status of Mormons! I will drink (a non-alcoholic beverage) to that!

It's not longer binary with the transgender movement; gender was one of the last binary concepts we had. Sex and gender are considered a continuum, anyway.

If viewed as a continuum, why isn't the answer a number between 1 and 10, or a point on a grid for sex and gender? With computers, a grid would be the proper input if sex and gender were each continuums: tap the point in the box that represents you.

Of course, hormones drive body development in multiple dimensions, which drive how others see a person in terms of sex and gender.

So, two boxes where you input your thinking on one, and the application supervisor inputs their thinking. Of course, a camera and microphone and AI would be better at objectively determining the latter after training.

"If viewed as a continuum, why isn't the answer a number between 1 and 10, or a point on a grid for sex and gender? With computers, a grid would be the proper input if sex and gender were each continuums: tap the point in the box that represents you."

It soon will be, Mulp. Also, these things are subjective in nature except if you have a definitive penis or vagina, but even that doesn't stop you from flowing along the continuum these days. You can be whatever you want now.

Where do these new right-wing incels fit on the sex continuum considering they can't get laid?

what's cool about the transgender movement is that it increases your likelihood of getting laid because you just don't discriminate!

+1. There's definitely a continuum. All the plastics and chemicals that corporations dump in our water screw with our hormones and make men less manly and women less feminine. Having a cell phone radiating at our body parts also can't be helping.

Yeah, but at least you're getting laid.

2. Criticizes another article for never "answering the question", but then fails to answerr the question: what defines the person's thinking about sex/gender, and is it binary.

DNA and genitalia, etc, are things that can be examined visually, but no one has found a way to look at the brain to determine sex/gender, whether alive or dead.

It you argue the brain is a blank slate, then when were you told how to think about sex/gender, and who told you what to think? Was it your priest while examining your genitalia? He's the bible authority so he is the best person to instruct on sex/gender, according to those who quote the Bible.

Does the presence of SrY in brain cells affect how they interconnect? No evidence of that. On the other hand hormones, chemicals, clearly have effects, though it's hard to visually determine how or if they changed how the brain interconnected.

With attempts to teach kids how to think about sex/gender failing repeatedly, and no one explaining the way parents or others teach thinking about sex/gender to kids which can be studied in billions of cases with ease passively as subjects are born every second with many recorded almost constantly as they grow up.

The only way to know how a person thinks is to ask the person how they think, being careful to not influence the person in their answers.

But the Trump administration does not want to ask what anyone thinks, only dictate what they must think.

Sex is not that hard to define.

How have your gonads developed and what are the ranges of various chemicals in your blood?

Shockingly, we see two giant clusters of patients with values tightly correlated for not just obvious sex hormones but also things like alpa-1-antitrypsin, transgelin-2, and coagulation factor V. Somehow having female differentiation of your gonads (even for things like streak gonads) shows up in the blood work.

If you are inside the male range for say 80% of these sorts dimorphic distributions, your sex is male. If you are inside the female range, you are female. These correlations are tight enough that I have never treated a patient who has fallen outside of them. More importantly I can treat you with appropriate doses if I know you fall into one bin xor the other and can do so without having to directly measure the concentration of various chemicals.

And when I have treated gender dysphoric and intersex patients I have have precisely zero difficulty ascertaining their sex and treating them properly. Somehow even when their professed gender does not lie on my binary, the binary still keeps them alive and they have been happy for it.

5. Deadpool 2. First five minutes.

Of course sex is binary.

How many sexes are there in humans? 2
How many fingers do humans have? 10
How many bones in the human body (adult)? 206
How many lobes of the lungs? 5

Sure we have intersex individuals who may produce male, female or undifferentiated gonads. Just like we have syndactyl and polydactyl people who throw off the finger count. Four percent of us have an extra lobe of the lung. The number of ways you can get extra or fewer bones is far too numerous to list in full but somehow humans can have extra bones basically everywhere (e.g. accessory ribs, vertabrea, naviculars) for many different reasons (e.g. failure of fusion).

We are quite comfortable discussing finger counts with five being normal, going so far as numbering syndactyl patients off normal. The fact that disease and variation can also affect gonadal development should surprise no one.

Outside of mathematics, very few things are true strict binaries with exactly two bins and no overlaps. Metals and non-metals ... where some elements are metalloid. Resisters and conductors ... well we have semi-conductors. Nonetheless for every such "broken binary" it is still useful to think in terms of the binary and treat exceptions within the binary framework.

So it is with medicine. If you lose a lobe I will assume you are losing ~20% of lung function. Sure some people are only losing ~16% and there may be some wonky surgery if you an extra lobe, but it does me know good to throw up my hands and say I have no idea - the patient might be unique.

So it is gonads. If you have certain levels of AMH I need to know if I use the male reference table (you are fine) or if I need to use the female one (you may have a granulosa cell tumor). If you are one of the patients so rare that neither table applies I still want to be thinking of the binary framework because it helps me predict how you will respond to drugs I care about (e.g. how much androgen binding protein is circulating in your body and does that influence the steady state concentration of whatever I give you).

Sure I could just order tests assuming that sex is not binary and determine the exact ranges of everything I need to properly dose you. Or I could use the fact that sex is binary to not burn a few hundred or thousand dollars per patient and assume that I will be able to spot those who need the expensive tests and everyone else is binary enough to just use the tables.

Your doctor does not list two sexes because she's an idiot, she does it because it works.

Having an extra set of gonads, or no set of gonads is in no way the same as having an extra set of fingers or an extra lung. Different ballgame, different ballpark. You also failed to address the obvious question: ok, how do you then classify these people?

Typically, I classify them as male or female as appropriate based on the evidence from early embryological development when they had gonads. That has impacts on their health so it makes sense to use that as a classification.

Bilateral anorchiaic patients, for instance, tend to respond to medications as prepubescent biological males. Their serum markers track reasonably closely with prepubescent males as well. Not wanting to harm them, I use the classification that is most useful for predicting medication response. This happens to be male.

Ovatestes or other conditions that have both types of gonadal tissues typically respond to medications as females. They may require blood work, imaging, or other workup to establish which bin they fall into and how they deviate from typical members thereof, but generally they respond as females.

Last I checked, the medical literature has precisely zero case reports of a human individual with functional ovarian and testicular gonadal function. Medically you are the sex which predominates.

Why do we have no individuals who fall outside of this schema? Well first the embryological differentiation starts obnoxiously early (likely week 5 of 6 of gestation). Sexual differentiation is also typically done by around week ~12. Gross errors at this point typically result in spontaneous abortion.

But what about intersex individuals? Well you can have all manner of developmental abnormalities that effect only certain structures. Male development requires a positive control cascade so failures in that typically result in default female development.

Ultimately I come back to the clinical relevancy standard. If saying "male" lets me correctly predict that outcome A will result from some stimulus while "female" predicts B, then it is good enough to go by. If patient has neither, I have never, and per the literature, will never see an outcome C outside of obvious, uncontroversial disease states (e.g. streak gonadal cancers).

There is a positive relationship between "more violence" and "winning fights", also "winnng fights" and "being considered the hero". For example, all of human history.

+1. The hero of the Odyssey literally murdered a bunch of innocent people for the crime of believing him dead and hitting on his believed to be widowed wife.

I don’t think Homer’s heroes were heroes in the sense we think of them. More “great men” than someone a regular person might want to be like in a moral sense. Very few of them are morally upright consistently, at least from our perspective.

Hector? Maybe he stands out from everyone else precisely because he looks like a hero.

Of course, the author of all of the interesting parts of the Iliad and Odyssey was a woman -- she wouldn't have been interested in heroes except as one sort of person that she imagines herself (in the role of Andromache) being married to. (She identifies herself with Thetis and Hera in relation to Zeus, as Helen in relation to Paris and Hector, as Andromache in relation to Hector, and as Athena, Circe, Calypso, and Penelope in relation to Odysseus.)

The suitors "crime" was more about being a bunch of disrespectful assholes who set up residence in Odysseus home and lived off his estate. Hospitality laws were kind of a big thing to the Achaeans.

Indeed. Odysseus doesn't kill the respectful one, who had defended Penelope from the unwanted attentions of others, IIRC.

Medon and the Minstrel Phemius. The former makes clear that the suitor's crime is not the pursuit of Penelope, per se, but their boorish behaviour and wastrel imposition on Oddyseus' home:

"Here I am, my dear sir," said he, "stay your hand therefore, and tell your father, or he will kill me in his rage against the suitors for having wasted his substance and been so foolishly disrespectful to yourself."

2. Tyler is really tapping my inner conservative today. There are two biological sexes, but I'm open to the idea that brains are messy, and outliers will come up with a variety of genders, variations on the biological theme.

Sexes: 2
Genders: N+1

I believe the discussion clutters up various (politically sensitive) categories, which can be clarified as follows:
The are 3 dimensions being discussed: physical sex, mental/identity gender, sexual preference. The 1st 2 are overwhelmingly binary, e.g., Caitlin Jenner is a male (sex) who identifies as female (gender). The 3rd has many kinds (hetero, homo, bi, asexual) and presumably refers to what sex one prefers (not gender).
Viewing things this way makes it clear (to me at least) that claims of 46 genders or a rainbow of sexes or whatever is just sloppy categorical thinking. It should also be pointed out that only the 1st one can be identified from a physical examination (currently), which is another reason why the political debate becomes heated.

"Biology enables, culture forbids."
~Yuval Noah Harari

A number of people here are in denial about biology and biological truth.

Look at Kristoff's piece titled "It's time to talk about the N.R.A." He continues the vicious, reactionary cycle of the NYT. You think of progressive and you think of anti-reactionary, long-run, but the NYT during election time. He writes an article on gun control without stating that Suicide is the main cause of violent death. Mental health is the main cause of mass shootings. He makes valid points about the growth of gun ownership but does not concede that it is a part of gang culture. He does not use the word gang. He does not use the words mental health.

The tragic part is when democrats win some seats due to young people seeking to keep the status quo, the NYT writer's are going to feel vindicated. Success. They have literally no accountability.

People often misunderstand how to use reason to come to the best truth. It's not to trash other peoples arguments, and certainly not look for errors in the arguments to exploit solely to "win". That ends growth on the topic. The right way is to read into the argument; to understand where it is coming from, where it is intending to go, and correcting any errors of the opposing viewpoint. Most importantly one should seek to synthesize any good points into one's own argument, even if one's view is in opposition.

At the end of the day, there is no doubt that liberty means n+1 sexes. Conversely, liberty does not mean that the government cannot regulate behavior. It has been doing so since the Whisky Rebellion. That applies to guns as well as public bathrooms.

We need government to regulate behavior. Look at the police. I called the LA Police Department and asked for information about Richard Jefferson Sr. First it was the help-line, then the homicide department. She said they only give that kind of information to the family. I could talk to the cororner (.) What is this 1964? It was a public event. The public has a right to know. The police are a powder-keg today. Talk all you want about immigration but there is something rotten with the police. They rape. They are racist. Yes, they are shot too. THey die in silence. Every day. The public needs to know. They are not held accountable by the media, who are even more rotten they are.

The most basic thing people need to understand is gang motives. Just like suicide. We need to understand motive. Shakespeare 101. Suck a dick.

That was kind of a haiku.

Get this guy a virgin doctor.

At the end of the day, or night really, it's about having sex to achieve orgasm, with which the opportunity increases due to modern technology and acceptance of gender fluidity. It's the reason why we get out of bed in the morning, subconscious or not.

OK, Sigmund, if you really want to *go deep*, then wouldn't you consider that *achieving orgasm* is strictly utilitarian for the biological imperative of impregnation?? Your theory doesn't hold. There are currently no viable methods of multi-celled organismic reproduction that don't require binary sex, AKA "fertilization" of the egg by the sperm. The actual science is quite a departure from the physical act of sex to achieve orgasm, yet can't help linking the two. Who's masturbating NOW?

the only interesting thing about 2 is that scientists will cave on something basic as soon as they have a political incentive to do so.

seems bad.

5. Thanos kills half the beings in the sentient universe, but he does so in one act. And yet, in the analysis presented, it's almost as if Thanos did nothing wrong--or just one thing.

Hey, according to Malthusian Leftists, Thanos is the hero.

"Although a transgender person is no less likely to be female or male than someone who is not transgender..."
I almost stopped reading at that point because female to male transgenders are much more likely than male to female. (I think I've got that the right way round) That is: "a transgender person is much more likely to be female (biologically) than someone who is not transgender". But I went on and read it and while I believe he misses several issues, it was thought provoking. Random thoughts: no known occurrence of both male and female gonads? Really? Wow, that seems ... unlikely. I could swear I have read about some men having (nonfunctional) ovaries (as well as testis), but maybe not. Clearly it is possible that a child be born without any gonads. How would this child be classified if everyone is either male or female? Almost as clearly, grafts could be performed which would require us to speak about "natural" vs "artificial" development. It would also seem to me possible that using (hypothetical) exceptionally intrusive means that a embryo could be manipulated to have one female gonad and one male gonad (keeping in mind that the gametes (female) and spermatogonial stem cells (male) develop during (in the mother's) early pregnancy.

Most commonly disorders of sexual development (DSD) are minimal and have no difficulty in ascribing which of the two bimodal peaks a person belongs in. For instance getting to the high numbers for DSD requires including things like Klinefelter (XXY) and Turner (X0) syndromes which have limited affect on actual primary sexual differentiation (Klinefelter gives male differentiation with a few odd things like female rate of lupus; Turner gives females with some lymphatic and hormonal abnormalities).

Most all DSD patients have well differentiated gonads of one set or the other.

But what about the minority without clear differentiation? Most often you are looking at conditions like a streak gonad. This is a very early failure of gonadal development and typically the tissue has much more ovarian function than testicular function. Examples here include Swyer Syndrome (XY) and Perrault Syndrome (XX).

Are there even more rare syndromes with actually different tissues? Kindof. The thing is that in order to get testes you need to have certain positive triggers present. Normally when enough of these triggers are present to make functional testes, they are also present enough to stop ovarian differentiation.

Children born without gonads, as far as I have read from the literature, come in two types. Those who have complete failure of gonadal development, in which case their sexual differentiation is female. Without testicular production of certain factors you end up with female function. All of the extra-gonadal biomarkers will be in (or near) the female prepubertal level. Barring something crazy, they will develop genitalia of females. Then there are those who had gonads, but they failed and were lost during development. These individuals then show biomarkers that reflect their previously extant gonads. Male gonads result in the loss of Mullerian structures while female gonads result in continuation down the default female pathway.

So what is the closest thing out there? Well the literature reports a genetic chimeric case (XY:XX of ~ 89:11). The patient's testicular function was found to be sertoli only on the right (i.e. non-functional testicular tissue) and to be functional ovarian tissue on the left with a small uterus contained inside the scrotum. Blood work showed clustering of markers in female levels.

As far as grafts, it is highly unlikely that grafts would allow for dual functioning gonads. The hormonal requirements for spermatogenesis are very different than those required for folliculogenesis. Having male hormone levels and other blood markers would drastically impair (and I would assume completely) ovarian function. Having female hormone levels would drastically impair testicular function.

The truth is there is not a continuum there in any real biological sense. So many things are so tightly bimodal that deviations are either not sufficient to get more than a handful of variables out of the dominant sex clustering or they are so strong that you flip to to the other sex clustering. There are some exceedingly strong feedback loops keeping things this way.

Are there people with gonadal disease? Absolutely. Can your doctor (with imaging, blood tests, and biopsies) determine which gonadal sex is dominant and hence how you will respond to medication? Yes. Does gonadal sex match genitalia? Not necessarily, though that is rare. There is not a single described syndrome in the literature that does not establish a clear gonadal sex where you cannot predict biomarkers that are not directly impacted by the syndrome.


Thanks for taking the time to make these detailed comments, which reflect the reality of both science and clinical experience.

Gonadal disease isn't the issue. Things like this are.

Medically, it would be malpractice to use female dosing for such a patient. Granted transgender patients do have some unique health concerns, but for some very real effects, that could potentially kill them. Individuals should be given treatment that reflects male sex unless something is particularly impacted by iatrogenic changes.

+1 to Sure, Excellent.

As a statistician / systems engineer, I'm not surprised, but nice to have it confirmed.

3. Yeah, and the little note at the end about the reporter just caps it.

That's almost an Onion article.

So after implicitly despising ("he didn't like women," his daughter avers) the guy who made the millions, they then laud the woman who did nothing more than convert them into large pieces of art whose titles could all be "Inverted Jenny" and then gave them away to the place that was already full up with "Inverted Jenny"'s. To the point that the reporter implies she deserves even more tainted hereditary cash than she got so she could have still more of the frisson of handing it out to other, slightly-less-well-to-do New Yorkers.

Thinking of the recent magazine cover: is she a "fat cat" or not? Her grandchildren are of the approved shade, but surely that's not unusual enough in America to give her a pass: the same could be said of many a Red State resident in need of replacement. And normal people, believe it or not, find it pretty easy to be polite to security guards, custodians, and the like.

The thong was invented or first alluded to in 1874 by theadore fi rello

2. interesting

2. Are blue and green binary? Sure, there's bluish-green and the Japanese don't recognize the same blue and green divide English speakers do, but can we specify a particular wavelength where the colors by definition change from green to blue? And can we make colors that are too close to that wavelength feel bad about themselves? That would be great, thanks.

Except in a rhetorical way, what does that possibly have to do with the subject at hand?

We can draw a line. And it can be useful to draw a line. But we shouldn't pretend the line represents anything other than something that is convenient for us.

What utter twaddle. Biological sex is an extraordinarily strong bimodal distribution; it is orders of magnitude more accurate to describe it as two biological sexes, there’s no significant continuity there.

If everyone clearly goes into one category or another then there's no problem. But if not everyone clearly fits into one category or another but we insist on sorting them into the two categories anyway, then we decide where to draw the line. Or allocate weights if you are looking at more than one factor.

there is emerging and controversial evidence out of the more progressive, transgender research institutions that a general dysphoria is associated with gender because it's convenient to displace ones dissatisfaction on something concretely binary like gender, that even after experiencing one's life as the opposite sex, there is a subtle return to a dysphoric baseline. Sometimes it's to escape sexual trauma, that if you escape to the other gender, you can reinvent yourself, in some way. Whereas the deeper problems lie in the core of the human, regardless of gender. We all come into the world as defenseless humans. Rather than feeling more attached to a male or female angst, there's a better, more globally "humanistic" approach to understanding each other that eclipses gender. This approach is simply how we treat and what we give to each other; easily, this will prevent or delay such a dysphoric society by creating more tolerance. Rollo May is cool on this stuff.

Also the person upstream who said "Shakespeare 101. Suck a dick" was spot on.

2. You do know all this fuss about whose naughty bits fall into which category is a direct result of it no longer being cool for Americans to complain about homosexuality, right? Won't don't you all just skip ahead a couple of scandals and go straight to arguing about whether or not children should be allowed to improve the sex lives of cyber augmented endangered species? (Sure we want endangered species to reproduce, but do they really have to enjoy it that much?)


Well, duh! Obviously the Hero(ine) will face more violent opposition than the bad guy. Drama, people....

But what is it with tally "violence" anyway? How do they count Thanos-style mass murder with a single, perhaps offscreen, act? And there's no accounting for the injury that may occur if the Evil Plan is not thwarted?

Overall, these papers are tosh. What matters isn't the amount of violence; its the moral content of violence. I'm happy for my kids to shoot zombies/Nazis/Commies/Aliens online all day. But not to hurt innocents or inflict injury gratuitously. Censoring based on the mere quantity of violence is stupide.

Even before considering the need for heroes to face worse odds, it turns out (no doubt to the surprise of the American Academy of Pediatrics) that seeing bad people kill or hurt lots of good, innocent, kind people tends to scare and disturb children and that movie producers making fun blockbusters for young people are reluctant to include this in their movies for this reason.

#5 - torture and beating information out of people is a very common theme in superhero TV, and TV shows in general. CW's Arrow routinely does this, the audience only sees him as a hero because our focus is emotionally with him, and he's scripted against irrational straw man evils who want to destroy the world or a city for no good reason.

#5. The superhero violence count: That's more or less what's driving the 2 Incredibles films.

The way I see it, off the top of my head, to be a woman is - to do all the cleaning up, all the fetching of this and that, the sometimes-tedious watching of and amusing of small children, the preparation of food 2 or three times a day; and at least in former times or some parts of the world, to provide cheerful companionship to one's mate in return for the things he does for you. [Unless wealth permits the substitution of another woman or women to perform all or some of these tasks for you.] Of course, historically also the growing of much of the household food falls to women, or other employment, inside or outside the home, to supplement the household income. It's true that about half the women I know seem kinda lazy, and half seem very busy and hardworking (this ratio holding for those who spend their days in the home, and those who are paid to spend their days away); but overall I associate women with tasks, never-ending.

But I'm obviously a bit of a curmudgeon. Still, I'm surprised there is so much daylight between my crude conception, and that of outlets like the Times, or of academics - even those like this philosopher who recognize the functional differences in people's bodies - to whom being female consists entirely in a devotion to nail polish and dressing oneself up like a doll, or at least like someone's grandmother, gazing at oneself in the mirror, and finding the result auto-erotic.

It's interesting that women are now defined by this putative desire to be perceived in a certain way. I was too little to know much about it, but I vaguely recall feminists used to be up in arms over that very idea of "the gaze."

In a modern society, if a woman wants to do these things, she does these things. If she does not, she does not, and there is no censure towards her, and not much problem finding a partner if she is physically attractive and young.

(If a woman's husband is beating her because she does not clean up, as in the bad old days, then that's forcing her to do something she doesn't want. If he just doesn't do it, but she wants a cleaner house and so she ends up cleaning it up anyway, well, she's paying for her own preference with her own labour, as it should be.)

To be a man, however, is still associated with tasks never ending to please women and be perceived as desirable - labouring at a job to attain a high income, working out a muscular body at the gym, initiating in romance and being funny and witty in conversation, engaging in hobbies and activities women find attractive or amusing, and then once you establish a household, typically laboring to provide her with a never ending consumerist cascade of changes in decor and interior design.

Well, maybe someday your sex will reduce to "wears trousers" and you'll be able to relax.

1. Seems to be a value-neutral wish to examine female college students' reliance on sugar daddies to finance their educations.

How is this different from ingenues relying on hookups with Harvey Weinstein to launch their acting careers? Weinstein was no doubt more crude in setting out the quid-pro-quos, but is there a genuine distinction other than style points?

If not, why is Weinstein being prosecuted while sugar daddies are seen as benign? Is education a nobler goal than a glamorous acting career?

Maybe researchers also should study the women who accepted Harvey's terms, as the female students accepted their sugar daddies'. The comparison would be interesting.

Mormons, especially in Utah, are more welcoming to Muslims because their beliefs and community are stronger then the average American's. Outsiders historically are only rejected when they are a threat. The idea that "Sharia Law," or more realistically, Muslim values in general will have any impact in BYU is laughable. That might not seem so obvious in other communities that are more disperse and less homogeneous.

#5 Of course the 'good guys' are more violent (on-screen, at least). The good guys' violence is justified violence; the bad guys violence is not.

One shows just enough of the villains' violence to establish that they're really, really bad and no more. To show more invites a charge of "gratuitous" violence, violence for that sake of violence that's not necessary to tell the story. Nor is it necessary that all the villains' violence occur on-screen, as it's sufficient that the audience knows it happened.

The terrible badness of the villains justifies any amount and degree of violence to contain it. Further, if it were easy to take care of the baddies there would be no story; therefore, it's got to require lots of bloody fighting before victory is achieved.

Why would anyone be surprised that the good guys are more violent (on-screen, at least) than the villains? How else would you script such a movie- lecture the baddies that what they're doing isn't nice, so they should just stop it already- and then show they've meekly complied?

"They classified major characters as either protagonist ("good guy") or antagonist ("bad guy") and used a standardized tool to compile specific acts and types of violence portrayed in the films."

Even more than what you point out is the fact that the bad guys usually have many nameless, faceless henchmen that the good guys have to fight their way through to get to the actual bad guy. The whole "one hero against an army" is a very common theme in the superhero genre. So, the fact that they are looking at "major characters" indicates to me that they don't really understand the genre.

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