If 20% of a group are harassers (evenly across genders), & the group has more men than women… then each woman gets 16x more bad experiences than each man.

The Petrie Multiplier: in a group where x% are bullies/harassers, the minority will feel it (x/100)^2 more.

This blog post has stuck with me through the years. I like the maths in it, & I like the conclusion that attacking sexism/racism etc doesn't have to be an attack on the majority.


@hadleybeeman this is a very cool visualization. I'd also like to see what happens in the graph when we include sexist remarks toward one's own gender (men harassing men, women harassing women).

@adrint @polychrome Yeah, I had a really hard time phrasing that in a non-binary way. I’m sorry that I didn’t get there in the end. Apologies.

@polychrome @adrint oh, I’m sorry! That was a reply to another comment. I’m with you on the question though... interesting to expand the analysis!

@polychrome @adrint Oh no wait. I’m all turned round. It was @adrint who was talking about gender not being real. So I am relying to the right comment — just also crossing with your point, @polychrome. Sorry all round!!

@hadleybeeman Combine this with homosociality, and it also illuminates why as a man some do not witness or perceive the same amount of such events as women report. They are more frequently out of the targeted vectors of gendered harassment, in addition to being around men more often than women. There is probably a better way of expressing this as a more general principle that doesn't just apply for gender but am lazy.

@hadleybeeman Thanks! And I always like nuance, so this was an interesting read.

@hadleybeeman normally I wouldn't like the reductionist approach of reducing a very complex social problem down to a mathematical equation, but as the target group of this article is a huge fan of reductionism, fair enough :D

@hadleybeeman I appreciate that this article has gender stereotype colors from both a century ago and modern colors.


😍 this: As has been said, "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl." That was said in 1918, so think about that change over the last 100 years if you think that some other difference (e.g. gender ratio in Tech) cannot be changed.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!