by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The academic paper that claimed penises cause climate change was reviewed and approved with no changes by two peer reviewers at a scientific journal.
Cogent Social Sciences has updated the article “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” after its authors revealed it was a hoax. The paper claimed the primary male sex organ is “problematic,” presents “significant problems for gender identity,” and causes climate change.
Authors Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay, academics who used pseudonyms to publish the paper, put the word males in scare quotes and claimed “there are many women who have penises” on the first page. They said they made their observations by “searching trending hashtags” on Twitter.
“At best, climate change is genuinely an example of hyper-patriarchal society metaphorically manspreading into the global ecosystem,” they wrote.
None of this raised any flags among peer reviewers at Cogent Social Sciences, including one who accepted the paper with no changes.