I refer to my question of whether or not men have more extreme variations than women.

The question is deliberately broad, because the claim the question is based on is deliberately broad.

The conclusion reached based on the assumption that the claim is true is rather significant, extending to the way cultures are formed and gender roles in society.

My defense for keeping the question open is that while the claim/question is broad it is not beyond answering on this site.

If extreme variations can be shown in key characteristics of both sexes, then that would indicate there may be something to the claim. Likewise vice versa.

Traits to be considered could be for example:

IQ Weight Strength Height Spatial ability Linguistic ability

The problem I have is two-fold.

  1. Is asking a variant of "Do men vary to an extreme more than women in X", which may result in anywhere between 5 and 10 questions really preferablt to one question that convers the same ground?

1a. Since asking separate questions such as the just given example is fine, why would an answer for my original question not be possible, given that such an answer would incorporate the specific answers given to each specific question?

  1. I don't know that I can find a specific claim being made that "Men have an extreme variation when compare to women in X". For IQ sure, but not for the rest. This would mean that I could not even post a specific question for the example traits given above, as I have to go and find that claim being made.

Which is frustrating as the broad claim already covers this.

So, why is splitting a broad question/claim into numerous more specific questions better when answers to each of the specific questions could be incorporated into the answer to the broad question?

I would also like to note that this line from the FAQ: "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much" really doesn't seem to be worded very well.

There are many answers given to questions on this site that are expanded to fill whole books.


1 Answer 1


By asking about all human traits, you've scoped your question in a way that is ridiculously wide. We could look at one trait, or at two, or even at ten, but we would still be far from the answer. There is probably a finite number of traits, but it's rather large number.

That makes your question, for all intents and purposes, unanswerable, and therefore not worth asking here. Which is why it was closed as too broad. Obviously, questions about one trait don't have this problem.


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