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The Contender
Con (against)
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There is a rational basis to deny fertile, young women employment

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 11,626 times Debate No: 35442
Debate Rounds (4)
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Topic: There is a rational basis to deny fertile, young women employment

What is up for debate here is relatively easy to understand and is motivated by a blog post I read recently. I intend to argue that employers have a strong, rational basis to deny women of childbearing age from employment.

Rational - Based on or in accordance with reason or logic.
Fertile - Bearing or capable of bearing offspring.
Young - Ages 20-29


(1) First round is for acceptance.
(2) No new arguments in the final round.

Let me know in the comments if you are interested in debating this topic.


I accept and look forward to the opportunity to debate this topic with my opponent.

I recognize my opponent as having burden of proof, although I will also proffer my own case to prove that

There is no rational basis to deny fertile, young women employment.

Cheers, and good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


I. Introduction

A chauvinist. An antiquated, misogynistic parasite, living in the grim shadows of a bygone age of patriarchy. Or at least I imagine that is what some readers' think of me upon reading the title of this debate. I embody, as it would seem, everything that threatens the bold ideals of the egalitarian agenda. But please take care to note that my claim is a modest one. I am not affirming that women are inherently of lesser value or worth than their male counterparts, or even that they are not essentially equal in all the lofty metaphysical ways that equal could in any reasonable sense apply. No, instead I am saying that there exists a rational basis for denying fertile, young women employment. But what possible argument could there be for making employment decisions based on an attribute (or conflation of attributes) that one has no control over (barring rash measures of self-sterilization)?

It came upon me as thoughts are oft to do, with a sudden and poignant insight. I was reading about how courts have decided it perfectly within the realm of legality for employers to bar intelligent persons from becoming cops. Robert Jordan, 49-year old college graduate scored too high on his IQ test, landing somewhere in the range of a 125 IQ (an IQ average I imagine for this site). When Jordan sued for discrimination, insofar as one's basic intelligence has been shown to be largely genetic[1], The US District Court found that the station had "shown a rational basis for the policy.[2]" The rational basis was one that sought to prevent job turnover, because "those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training."

This is not some isolated incident, of course, as the Iowa Supreme Court upheld its own ruling in a case where a woman was fired because she was too attractive. The court claimed "that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages, even if the subordinates have not engaged in flirtatious or other inappropriate behavior.[3]"

With this ground set, I intend to use the same reasoning that has been officially claimed as rational to show why employers also have a rational basis for denying young, fertile women employment.

II. To Prevent Job Turnover

I am certain there are no surprises here with this argument. I maintain that preventing job turnover is a rational priority for employers and any measure that would effectively prevent unneeded turnover is itself a rational measure. Females between the ages of 18-34 participate in the highest rates of pregnancy, 154.12 average pregnancies per 1000 women a year. According to recent trends, 19% of women are childless at menopause (sometime between ages 40-44)[4]. That means that 81% of women have children sometime between the ages of 1 and 39. To break it down, 6.7% have children sometime after age 34 and before the age of 40, and 5.3% of women have children before age 18, leaving a 69% chance that a woman will have a child sometime between the ages of 18-34. This is a daunting statistic. And if you can"t see why, then we know you certainly are not too smart for the New London police force. Trends indicate that the percentage of women who stay in the workforce during the weeks preceding birth steadily decline, where less than half are still working after week 30. This says nothing of the temporary disability that an employer will have to consider. Furthermore, postpartum statistics show that after childbirth, by week 20 still 50% of new mothers have not returned to the workforce and past the 100th week 20% have yet to return. These stats indicate that an employer would be taking on a significant risk by hiring a young, fertile woman, insofar as she has 69% chance of becoming pregnant and therefore temporarily disabled. Moreover, a very significant amount of those 69% will be out for upwards of 70 weeks, and roughly 20% will be out beyond 100 weeks or more.[5] So employers (especially those offering costly training) are acting rationally when they avoid the risks associated with hiring a young, fertile woman.

III. Employing Young, Fertile Women Has a Negative Effect on Consumption

While many employers are concerned about the costs associated with job turnover, perhaps even more are concerned about the decreasing demand for their products and services. But how in the world could young, fertile women have a hand in the reduced consumption of goods, both material and otherwise? Astute employers may at their leisure recognize that female independence and opportunity cost reduce both marriage and birth rates (in the 1960's, a little over 31% of women worked, where now women rival men in the 70% range[6]). Concurrently with historical wage reductions, men are working longer hours with more romantic opportunities, leading to an ever-increasing number of divorces[7]. With the combined impacts of the latter mentioned and the resulting decline in birthrates, we observe the inventible decrease in consumers and wacked out labor demand. These connections are logically sound, empirically indisputable and readily available to anyone willing to observe the data. Consider the following:

Women in the workforce 1960: 37.7%
Women in the workforce 2000: 60.2%

Compare this to:

Births per 1000 (1960): 118
Births per 1000 (2000): 66.3

As is evident by the stats themselves, the percentage increase in women in the workforce (61.8%) strongly correlates with the decrease in births (56.2%). This means that with the increase of young women in the workforce, there are now fewer consumers being produced to demand the goods of employers.

Furthermore, the invasion of young, fertile women in the workforce has had an observable effect on the continuing debt crises in the US. This observation gives governmentally funded jobs an especially rational incentive to bar female employment. Where systems like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were initially designed based on traditional family models--where birthrates were higher than replacement levels--they are now folding under the pressure of low birthrates. Simply speaking, there are not enough taxpayers replacing those who now survive on the aforesaid government infrastructures.

IV. Conclusion

I recognize that there are many more rational arguments that could be made in the favor of denying young, fertile women employment (e.g. divorce statistics, workplace stress and a higher rate of lawsuits). I also recognize that space will not afford my exhausting them all. However, I believe that the two offered arguments both rest upon rational bases and are themselves rational. I deny any presupposition of some sort of transcendent and trumping egalitarian ideal and will press my opponent to produce evidence for the metaphysical existence of any such assumption (if he decides to take that route).

PS. As a perhaps less tangential note than even I may suspect, it is at least interesting to note that 75% of new mothers would prefer not to go back to work.[8]




Before I begin, I thank my opponent for presenting a well-written and engaging argument.

I also want to add that there is a rational basis for both debaters being men, as lawyers typically represent their clients so that undue bias does not affect the client's ability to argue a matter. I cannot say the same for my opponent's arguments - I do not see a rational basis for them. While on the surface they may look clean and rational, I will prove that this simply is not the case.

PRO's statements in quoted italics.


What this debate is not about:

N1) This debate is not about any other characteristic or groups of characteristics other than being young, fertile, and female (which I will now abbreviate as YFF).

PRO brings up two legal cases where the court recognizes a rational basis to deny employment based on certain characteristics, but those characteristics are irrelevant to the resolution. Neither Robert Jordan (the intelligent cop-aspirant) nor Melissa Nelson (the attractive dental assistant) are YFF - Jordan is a male, and Nelson is 33 years old, and is thus not young. More importantly, Nelson was fired because she was "too attractive" [1], which is a separate characteristic from being YFF - PRO's source is clear that her gender had nothing to do with it; in fact, the dentist hired a (hopefully less attractive) woman to replace her. While the cases are certainly interesting and somewhat bizarre, neither uphold the resolution to any degree - it would be irrational to think so.

Much of PRO's latter arguments deal with the consequences of pregnancy and child-birthing/rearing. While this is indeed an unique situation that applies almost solely to YFFs, it is by no means a necessary aspect of being YFF. What PRO is differentiating here is not between YFFs and the population, but between PREGNANT and CHILD-BEARING people and the population. PRO himself mentions that "19% of women are childless at menopause" - this means that if we enact PRO's resolution, and given a 50/50 split between men and women amongst 315 million Americans [2], there would be at least 29 million Americans alive today that are denied employment for no justifiable reason. This is neither rational nor appropriate. This renders PRO's arguments involving job turnover due to specifically pregnancy invalid for this debate.

Had PRO made a resolution to the effect of "There is a rational basis to deny employment to YFFs who pursue pregnancy and child rearing" then and only then would his arguments apply. However, that is not the resolution we are debating. PRO needs to address the 19% along with the 81% to achieve all 100% of YFFs to uphold the resolution.

N2) This debate is not about relative levels of discrimination - it is about absolute levels of discrimination.

We are not talking about "some sort of transcendent and trumping egalitarian ideal" to rectify wage discrimination...we are talking about not even giving a YFF a chance to prove her worth, i.e. to deny employment. This flies in the face of most of human history, as even YFFs in pre-industrial peasant huts engaged in entrepreneurial activity through marketable handicrafts like sowing and knitting while the man dealt with more physically demanding tasks like plowing the field and chopping trees for lumber. Denying YFFs employment would deny them such activities as well, which is simply not supported by historical record even in the most blatantly misogynistic societies. [3]

This is what caused me to accept the debate. I was initially convinced along with most of the commenters that burden of proof (BoP) for this debate was inordinately low for PRO, as he only needed to prove one rational basis, but then I focused upon the aspect of denying employment. Denying employment involves the situation where even if there are no qualified applicants, i.e. where a YFF would be the only applicant being considered for a job, that applicant would be denied solely because she was YFF. This is an inordinately difficult resolution to prove since even criminals are given a chance at employment; this goes well beyond the typical arguments revolving around time taken off work to take care of the kids leading to discriminatory wage practices. Such a situation does not warrant an outright denial of employment, which is extreme. Rationality would dictate that we enact reasonable and measured responses for justifiable discriminatory practices, and not succumb to absolutist black-and-white sentiments that are anything but rational.

N3) This debate is not about specific forms of employment, but about general employment.

I could easily make the argument that "There is no rational basis to deny YFFs employment as a wet nurse," because only YFFs can perform the task. However, this IMHO does not fulfill BoP as it is too specific and does not address the workforce as a whole. Therefore, whatever PRO argues must conform to the vast majority of the forms of employment in the marketplace and to all YFFs as a group.

Example: Robert Jordan's case would not apply here, as not all jobs are as ostensibly boring and un-engaging as law enforcement.

Correlation is not Causation

PRO's final bevy of statistics comprise a surprisingly weak argument - that YYFs in the workforce somehow "[Have] a Negative Effect on Consumption". I do not dispute his statistics, but dispute how he applies them.

CC1) An increase of YFFs in the workforce does not cause lower birth rates in the population. Other factors are responsible, like the escalating costs of properly educating a child and other standard of living issues involving child-rearing [4].

CC2) An increase of YFFs in the workforce does not cause men to be over-worked and thus adulterous. This doesn't even make should cause men to have to forfeit hours in order to make more hours available to women. It should (and does) result in a reduced work week for everyone, which should allow for men to devote more time to their marriage - in 1890, the work week was 60 hours [5]; today, it is 33 hours [6].

CC3) An increase of YFFs in the workforce does not cause higher divorce rates, especially if men are spending more time on their marriage through reduced work hours. Wage reductions would be ameliorated by having 2 bread-earners as opposed to one, and would lead to an overall more productive and healthy family unit. High divorce rates are much more indicative of societal and moral degradation, as evident through the Free Love movement [7] and websites like Ashley Madison [8], which ferments, advertises, and promotes adultery, was founded by a man, and has no evident link to YFFs in the workforce.

CC4) An increase of YFFs in the workforce does not exacerbate the US debt crisis; I cannot even figure out how PRO substantiates this.


PRO is debating a rather novel and controversial resolution, but it is novel and controversial because it is so one in their right and rational mind would bring it up, let alone defend it. PRO has some tangential evidence that there is a rational basis to deny employment due to certain factors, but not due to the specific factor of being YFF. He has not upheld BoP.

I agree there is room for justifiable wage discrimination and at times even outright denial of employment for various reasons, but PRO has not brought any evidence to justify this specific resolution.

(out of room)








Debate Round No. 2



I am happy to have found a willing opponent of this debate and appreciate, Wrichcirw, for his apt response. There are some things we will very much need to clear up, however. CON seems to misunderstand my use of the two legal cases in my formal preamble. I never stated, nor I think inferred, that these cases were archetypes of my argument at large. Instead, I see these as archetypes of the sort rational basis I intend to employ, insofar as these cases asserted that “a rational basis for…policy” is sufficient for denying employment to large, categorized groups of people. I think that our readers are sufficiently intelligent to know my meaning in this regard, and hope CON will cease in trying to surmount this man of straw he has built in place of my argument.

Another issue that very much needs addressed, is CON’s very weird absolutist approach to my argument at large. If it had at least some ground upon which to purchase a modicum of strength, it would not seem so petty. But it just plain does not. My claim is neither absolute nor specific, it is a general claim. Thus, there are specific cases where the rationale to deny young, fertile women employment does not obtain or supersede other grounds. We all can with ease name a few (eg. Strip clubs). Moreover, this general assertion does not entail its application, which my opponent seems to misunderstand. While a rational basis may exist for YFF exclusion, it may not be sufficient to compel an employer to deny employment--the existence of a rational basis notwithstanding. With this said, and pray understood, let me move to his arguments.

N1) Further define to defeat

Most of this I cleared up in my introduction. However, here CON intends to define my claim more robustly and then claim that it no longer comports with the resolution. I mean, if my argument only stated “There is a rational basis to deny employment to young, fertile women who pursue pregnancy and child rearing,” then they would have some merit. Or so were told. This is a weird rebuttal, though not uncommon in the face of an argument one cannot defeat, and should be disregarded without rebuttal, though I will of course address it anyway. What my opponent fails to grasp is that my argument DOES apply to 100% of YFF’s. The argument does NOT state that all YFF’s will get pregnant, it only concludes that there is a very HIGH chance that a YFF will get pregnant. If we exclude the 10.9%[1] of women with impaired fecundity from the 19%, we have 8.1% of women who, though fertile, remain childless. Thus, if we update my numbers to the stronger claim that there is an 89.1% chance that a YFF will get pregnant sometime during the duration of her employment, we can rightly understand that an employer may not want to assume that risk, irrespective of whether or not the particular female(s) in question will be among the 8.1% who do not.

But then my opponent will modify his retort to say, “But 25 million women will thus be denied employment for no justifiable reason.” But this is again totally false. The reason is that they have a high probability of becoming pregnant, irrespective if it turns out that they do not. Certainly my opponent does not think that, in the case of Robert Jordan in my first round, that all people with an IQ greater than 115 would “get bored with police work.” No, instead the court recognized that “those who scored too high could get bored…” (Emphasis mine) You’ll notice that even the Supreme Court recognized that it was rational do deny employment where menial labor was involved to people with higher IQ because the probability was higher that they would leave. This demonstrates that a rational basis exists so long as the risk shared by a group is disproportionate and real, not necessarily absolute.

N2) To Grasp at Straws

I am not making a claim that the existence of a rational basis to deny YFF means that YFF will be denied employment all the time. Historically, there was always about 30% of women who worked, despite the fact that employers were able to discriminate at their leisure without legal recourse (against women at least). Moreover, there may be some OTHER rational basis for an employer that supersedes the high likelihood of temporary disability, long absences and turnover. CON simply tried to make my claim some weird absolute one; this is completely unwarranted. I did not say there is a rational basis to ALWAYS deny YFF. I did not say there is a rational basis to deny ALL YFF, either. My claim was general, modest and totally exempt from the weird semantic gymnastics he wishes to impose.

N3) General Employment

It’s not clear what my opponent wishes to prove here. I already admitted that there are plenty of cases where the rational bases presented here to deny YFF employment could be superseded by other factors (the wet nurse example). However, since the majority of employers have real concern about job turnover and the consumers of their services, my argument could not apply in a more general way than it already does.


It’s too bad that my opponent merely excused this argument with customary hand waving. Correlation is not causation as the quip goes. This is true enough, but too oft abused by those who do not want to look seriously at the statistics at hand. As demonstrated, the rise of women in the workforce strongly correlates with lower birthrates. Other factors apply, certainly, but let’s look at the important ones:

1. Career women cheat more frequently.[2]
2. Career women divorce more often.[3]
3. Career women have fewer kids.[4]
4. Children of working mothers are 23% less likely to pass college entrance exams.[5]
5. Children of working mothers are 29% more likely to be unemployed.[6]
6. Women at home cheat less frequently.[7]
7. Women at home divorce less often.[8]
8. Women at home have more kids.[9]

How could it be said that there is no evident link to YFF in the workforce…? If you do not see how more divorce and birthing fewer kids who are unemployed more frequently negatively impacts future consumers, then the problem is not any wanting clarity in my argument. Furthermore, to blame fewer births on a weak economy is balderdash. The birth rates started to fall after 1960, when women’s suffrage movements were at their pinnacle. Through the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and even 90’s the US has had its economic boons and lulls, but the birthrate still steadily declined. Moreover, as this graph clearly shows, the romantic opportunities of men are FAR more frequent because both men and women are working longer hours.


Both my arguments stand uninhibited and as strong as ever. There is a rational basis to deny YFF employment for at least two reasons. (1) There is a high risk of temporary disability, long absence and turnover. There are also (2) good reasons to avoid hiring YFF because doing so decreases and negatively effects future consumers of the goods and services that employers supply. I hope my opponent will move past this absolutist parody and confront these arguments truly.

[6] IBID
[7] IBID


(PRO's quotations in quoted italics.)
(sources continued from round #2)
([N1 - N3], and [CC1 - CC4] refer to my round #2 arguments)

Key Arguments

I will first summarize uncontested points and then proffer a key argument:

K1) PRO does not contest the following:

- Over 29 million women would be unjustly denied employment due to PRO's resolution.

- Criminals would have a better chance at employment than YFFs; the latter would be categorically denied.

- Employers are currently forced to bear unreasonable costs due to problems stemming from PREGNANCY, not from being YFF.

- PRO has dropped ALL of [CC1 - CC4], and has instead replaced them with 8 new points, which I will label CC11 - CC18.

K2) PRO claims that "While a rational basis may exist for YFF exclusion, it may not be sufficient to compel an employer to deny employment..." This is false. It logically follows that PRO's resolution will NECESSARILY deny YFFs employment.

If per PRO's resolution: "There is a rational basis to deny YFFs employment," then the contrapositive ( also holds: "To NOT deny YFFs employment has NO RATIONAL BASIS," meaning that if PRO's resolution is valid, then no one in their right mind would hire a YFF. This is PRO's resolution, not mine, and I maintain that it is absolutely absurd. PRO has simply not thought the resolution through.

This logic is evident in Robert Jordan's case, who was NECESSARILY denied employment due to NYPD policy stemming from "a rational basis". If you accept the NYPD's position on this matter (and I do not), then to change the policy would not be rational.

If boredom was "a rational basis" for denying employment, then 71% of the American workforce would be denied employment [9]. The NYPD policy is absurd, applies only to New York, and is not representative of America.

Again, PRO's resolution is novel and controversial, because the situation is novel and controversial - for the first time in human history women are necessarily granted equal employment. I think there are some warranted changes that can be made to civil rights legislation on this matter, but denying women employment is simply too extreme a solution. It has no historical basis in all of human history and is absolutely draconian, beyond misogynistic, and completely irrational.


Correlation is STILL NOT Causation

R1) PRO admits that correlation is not causation, yet still brings up a bevy of new correlations with questionable evidence. I will utilize the notation [PRO1], [PRO2], etc, to reference PRO's round #3 sources.

Here is PRO's new list:

CC11. Career women cheat more frequently.[PRO2]
CC12. Career women divorce more often.[PRO3]
CC13. Career women have fewer kids.[PRO4]
CC14. Children of working mothers are 23% less likely to pass college entrance exams.[PRO5]
CC15. Children of working mothers are 29% more likely to be unemployed. [PRO5]
CC16 - CC18. [Redundant arguments and sources - same as CC11 - CC13]

(I noted in the comments section that there are issues with some of [PRO2 - PRO9] which PRO subsequently addressed - I will do a preliminary rebuttal and reserve the right to contest the rest next round).

Here are some problems with this new list:

CC11. [PRO2] is an abstract that does not corroborate this point. The true source of infidelity and promiscuity is the baby boomer/Free Love mentality [CC3], [10], not working YFFs.

CC12. [PRO3] also does not corroborate PRO's claim. The abstract states that increasing women's work weeks "raises the probability of divorce by two tenths of one percentage point." This correlation is statistically IMMATERIAL.

[PRO3] also explains this immaterial correlation:

"A worker in a bad marriage might clearly choose to work more hours as a way to avoid ones spouse. Also, a worker anticipating a divorce might chose to work more hours to provide financial security in the event of a divorce."

...i.e., work does not cause divorce...rather divorce causes work.

PRO also argues that "the romantic opportunities of men are FAR more frequent because both men and women are working longer hours." PRO's solution to this problem is to rob women of opportunity and to lock them in the house like a slave. Ridiculous. Keep in mind that marital rape was legal in the US as late as 1993 [11]. We do not need to regress to that era.

Rather, MARRIED MEN simply need to keep their vows and refrain from screwing everything they see.

There is no basis for PRO's CC12. Divorce stems from unhappy couples, not because YFFs are working.

CC13. [PRO4] is about delaying childbirth due to a successful career, and how successful moms have fewer children. To put this matter in perspective, more kids does not equate to better kids; welfare moms have 3 times the birth rate as the rest of the population [12].

PRO also states that "to blame fewer births on a weak economy is balderdash." I agree, but I never made this point - this is a strawman. Refer to [CC1] - Fewer births are due to the skyrocketing costs of child care, especially education, not YFFs in the workforce.

CC14, CC15. [PRO5] is the wrong source. Needs correction.


Some other related points:

R2) PRO's chart shows that problems with longer work hours equally apply to both men AND women. His point violates my [N1]; work hours are not unique to YFFs and are thus irrelevant to the resolution.

R3) Employment gives YFFs incentive to educate themselves and become productive, leading to smarter, stronger, and better planned families. [CC1], [CC3], and CC13 corroborate this assertion.

A Rational Solution to PREGNANCY

R4) Although I maintain that PRO's arguments about pregnancy do not uphold the resolution, I will address them anyway.

Yes, pregnancy presents a risk to an employer's operations, a risk unique to hiring women. How do employers handle risk? Through insurance. I propose that we foster a new PRIVATE industry, namely pregnancy insurance.

Any employer that hires a YFF could buy insurance to protect from the event that the YFF gets pregnant and bears a child while employed. The cost of this insurance would be paid by the employer and deducted from the YFF's paycheck, thereby relieving the employer from the burden of a YFF's pregnancy. All of this can be made clear on a worker's W-2.

Before you cry "WAGE DISCRIMINATION", wait, there's more! I recognize that it's in society's best interests to get women pregnant and bearing children, and it is rather unfair to force women to bear all of the burden. Therefore, I would advocate for a "women's work tax credit" for women who work - they would get back the income they lost due to the employer's insurance deduction and thereby suffer no income loss due to their gender.

This makes everyone happy - the employer is free from business risk. Women receive the same income as men. A new insurance industry would cater to employers hiring women. Taxes collected to fund the tax credit would be redistributive, but fair and minimal.

This plan allows for women to work while giving employers the chance to hire a woman without suffering for it. My solution does NOT unfairly deny employment to 29 million women across America.

Also note that if a woman has two kids while she is 18-44 years old, she takes unpaid maternity leave for 6 months of employment out of 26 years, or 6 months out of 312 months. This is simply not a big problem.

The rational solution to PREGNANCY is to account for PREGNANCY, not to deny employment based upon gender.


WORK SUCKS (video) - still, we live in a free country. Denying employment to anyone worthy is a step backwards.

(no room)

(pg 15)
Debate Round No. 3


CON has listed his points out in an increasingly cumbersome manner and I will simply trust that the reader is astute enough to understand how it all pans out. As for uncontested points, I think our readers know the truth of it, my opponent’s claims on the matter notwithstanding.

Further define to defeat

You’ll remember that I told you my opponent has attempted to redefine my argument in order to disqualify it from comporting to the resolution as stated. This is churlish and, as it were, completely backwards. For instance, he says the following:

“It logically follows that PRO's resolution will NECESSARILY deny YFFs employment.” And “if per PRO's resolution: ‘There is a rational basis to deny YFFs employment,’ then the contrapositive...also holds..."

I will give my opponent the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is simply philosophically ignorant when it comes to the use of contrapositives. As it happens, contrapositives work on conditional statements, which mine is not. If P then Q necessitates that not-Q then not-P is also true. But my statement that there exists a rational basis is decidedly, verifiably, observably and quite assuredly, NOT a conditional statement, nor cannot it reasonably be changed to a conditional sentence without being substantially different then the resolution I have intended to argue.

What is worse is that my opponent seemed to start out this debate with an inferred understanding of this, where he said that there exists a rational basis for lawyers to represent their clients as it prevents bias. According to his own weird misuse of logical laws, this would mean that all people who represent themselves are operating at the height of irrationality. I have already spent too much time on this wasteful point.

My opponent has wrongfully interpreted my resolution as necessarily denying employment when it clearly does not necessitate anything.

My opponent again claims that I am actually making an argument against pregnancy not YFF. If one did not read this debate and instead had made up what they thought would be said, perhaps they could come to such a conclusion. But I have clearly shown that there is a rational basis to deny YFF because of the likelihood of pregnancy and its associated risks. This risk applies to all YFF and thus conforms to the resolution as stated.

Employment is not Denied

I state this again under a bold header to make it even clearer than I already have. I am arguing that there is a rational basis to deny employment, not that a rational basis necessitates denial. Nor that non-denial necessitates irrationality. My opponent is utilizing a fallacy known as a false dilemma, whereby he has sought to limit the alternatives in an either-or manner that is simply not supported by reality. Employers that ultimately do not care about quick job-turnover or other related factors may hire YFF at their leisure. This does not eliminate the rational basis, it simply is supersedes it with other bases that may themselves be more pressing or rational.

On Correlation and Causation

It’s tedious, but CON will need quotes when it comes to the risks of working women.

1. Career women cheat more frequently

“...recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.[1]

"In 2000 Treas and Giesen found similar results where sexual opportunities in the workplace increased the likelihood of infidelity during the last 12 months." Also, "Wiggins and Lederer (1984) found that opportunities to engage in infidelity were related to the workplace where nearly one half of their samples who engaged in infidelity were involved with coworkers.[2]"

My opponent has erroneously tried to blame this on other factors, but the fact that infidelity increases with women who work but does not similarly increase with women who do not, seems quite clearly to favor the position that employment is a causal factor in increased infidelity. This seems prima facie true, insofar as employment increases the amount of potential romantic encounters.

2. Career women divorce more often

“Higher income for women increases the probability of divorce.[3]

One need not be a genius to see that no income for women reduces the probability of divorce as much as possible.

“All three indicators of career success increase the chances of divorce for women.[4]

3. Career women have fewer kids

“Somewhere between 34 percent and 61 percent of high-achieving women are childless in midlife.[5]

In light of the statistics displayed in this graph

Social scientist offer that “Women now postpone marriage and/or motherhood in order to get more years of schooling and work experience before they settle into married life. In 1970, for example, the median age of first marriage for women was not quite 21. Since then the age of first marriage has risen to just short of 26.5 For women who hold a four-year college degree, the age of first marriage is even higher. After marriage, moreover, women wait longer before they bear their first child.[6]”

It could merely be coincidental that the rise of women in the workforce corresponds to the decrease in birthrate, but that doesn’t seem to be the opinion of social scientists. For instance, if it was primarily the result of other factors, we would think it would be consistent among women regardless of employment. Yet consider the following:

“While roughly 1 out of 5 stay-at-home mothers had two or more children under age 5 in the household, this was true for closer to 1 out of 10 for other mothers.[7]

Thus, women who are not stay-at-home moms are 50% more likely to have fewer kids than their stay-at-home counterparts.

These three statistics alone show that denying YFF in the workforce will benefit employers by eliminating the higher risks of divorce, where divorce is well known to reduce worker productivity.[8] Being that denying YFF will also limit the probability of infidelity, it will in turn limit the probability of divorce. Similarly, limiting YFF will also increase the production of future consumers, insofar as non-career women produce more offspring.

Accounting for Pregnancy

While it could equally be said that there is a rational basis to deny pregnant women employment, this does very little to prevent the liabilities incurred by those who may get pregnant during their employment. Thus, by denying employment to those most likely to get pregnant, employers can avoid all the aforesaid risks associated with YFF. Furthermore, my opponent’s figure is wrong about the 29 million. In the 19% childless, we forgot to deduct 10.9% of women who have impaired fecundity and thus could not be rightly considered fertile. Thus the remaining 8.1% who are voluntarily infertile is actually more in the range of 12 million. Even so, irrespective of whether or not any given woman is actually among that 12 million, there is still an 89.1% chance that at some point during the duration of employment she will become pregnant. It is not wise for an employer to cling to an 8.1% chance that an employee will not become temporarily disabled at some point during their career.


The majority of my opponent’s case rests on a false philosophical assertion that simply cannot obtain in this case. It is abundantly clear that there is a rational basis for employers to deny employment to YFF because of the unnecessary risks that would be assumed. My opponent’s insurance claims at the end are utterly irrelevant as they don’t even begin to address the issues of divorce, consumer reduction and the job turnover associated with YFF in the workplace.



(Arguments are indexed. To find the argument, just do a search for it...example: "CC12" will return an argument about working women and divorce in my round #3.)
(sources from rounds #2 and #3)
(PRO's words in quoted italics)

Hmm. Before I close, two points:

1) PRO has resorted to ad hominem. "Churlish" is not a civil form of address. I ask that conduct be taken for this...I did not expect such behavior from my opponent, especially after giving him the benefit of the doubt with sources last round.

2) PRO states: "...all people who represent themselves are operating at the height of irrationality."

It is not the "height of irrationality," it is simply irrational. No one in their right mind would do it - such cases are typically lost even by skilled attorneys representing themselves.


PRO has dropped the vast majority of his arguments upon rebuttal. I will address what remains.

Rationality Necessitates Logic

PRO continues to misinterpret his own resolution, and faults his inability to understand it on my ostensibly "churlish" behavior.

PRO is correct that contrapositives only work on conditional statements, but any valid argument, indeed any valid resolution, can be stated as a conditional. Here's a simple example:

"Fire is Hot."

X= Fire
Y = Hot

X -> Y

"If we're considering the qualities of fire, one such quality is that it must be hot."


nY -> nX

"If something is not hot, then it is not fire."

The logic holds. And, "Fire is Hot" can indeed be expressed as a conditional.


For PRO's resolution, the logic is quite simple:
"There is a rational basis to deny YFFs employment."

X = Set of decisions with a rational basis
Y = Denying YFFs employment is a decision for consideration

X -> Y
...i.e., "If we are considering the set of decisions with a rational basis, then
denying YFFs employment falls within this set."


nY -> nX

...i.e., "If NOT denying YFFs employment is a decision for consideration, then we are
no longer considering a set of decisions with a rational basis."

In plain English:
"To NOT deny YFFs employment has NO RATIONAL BASIS."
This is exactly what I stated in the prior round. As I stated before, another way to say this is that "no one in their right mind would hire a YFF."


To contrast PRO's resolution with a rational approach, let's replace "deny employment" with "discrimination":
"There is a rational basis for employers to pay YFFs less."

X = Set of decisions with a rational basis
Y = Paying YFFs less for work is a decision for consideration.
Plain English:
"For employers to NOT pay YFFs less has NO RATIONAL BASIS."

Both PRO/CON agree that all else being the same, if a woman becomes PREGNANT, she will necessarily take time off for maternity leave, time off that a man will not take. Her employer bears inherent business risks (like turnover) associated with her pregnancy which is similar to any other prolonged incapacitation that an employer insures against, thus resulting in the woman being paid less overall for her work. My round #3 plan goes over this in detail.

Whether or not you, the reader, agree with my plan is irrelevant to this debate - I do not have burden of proof. I merely present it as a rational alternative to PRO's absolutist and draconian ideal. Denying employment is too extreme a solution for this problem.


PRO desires to have a conversation about decisions with "a rational basis" without using proper logic. Granted, I'm guessing he was intrigued by Robert Jordan's predicament, but PRO has become quite mean-spirited in venting his frustrations with logical assertions. His behavior is inappropriate.

Per my analysis, PRO's resolution is the same as "No one in their right mind would hire a YFF," and that the primary reason for such an assertion is because YFFs take 6 out of 312 months for maternity leave (less than 2% of a woman's time in the workforce while fertile), and only if they get PREGNANT. This is absurd...Denying women employment on a general level has no historical basis, is absolutely draconian, beyond misogynistic, and completely irrational. A minor dock to a paycheck would be much more appropriate.

The continual absurdity of PRO's argument is apparent when he labels an entire section "Employment is not Denied", when this debate is all about denying YFFs employment. It seems PRO is now arguing against his own resolution in his closing statements.

Keep in mind that this debate is specific about the rationality of a certain decision. Rationality requires precise use of logic to ascertain validity and soundness. PRO's argument is neither valid nor sound - it is not rational.

Correlation is Simply Not Causation

PRO has updated his sources and has thus corrected the problems I cited in round #3. What PRO has not done is to address any of my points. PRO has instead dropped ALL of them - ALL of [CC1 - CC18] are valid. I will repeat them below.

1. "Career women cheat more frequently."

- [CC11] Even elderly women in nursing homes are cheating more frequently. Again, the true source of infidelity and promiscuity is the baby boomer/Free Love mentality [CC3], [10], not working YFFs. PRO dropped this direct refutation of his claims.

- Yes, people cheat with their co-workers, but they also meet their spouse at work - it is the most common place where people meet their future spouse. [13]

- PRO's solution is to keep women at home, thereby turning the home into either a prison or a baby-making factory.

2. "Career women divorce more often."

- [CC12] Absolutely inconsequential correlation - it increases the chance by "two tenths of one percentage point". PRO dropped this as well.

- Furthermore, recall: work does not cause divorce...rather divorce causes work. Dropped by PRO.

3. "Career women have fewer kids."

- [CC13] More is not better. Welfare moms have 3 times the birth rate as the rest of the population. Dropped by PRO.

- PRO's new chart has the exact same problems as I addressed in [R2]. BOTH MEN AND WOMEN are responsible for fewer births. There is no rational basis to single out only women - by this logic, men should be denied employment as well.


PRO concludes: "...denying YFF [employment] will [not only] limit the probability of infidelity, it will in turn limit the probability of divorce." Well, why not just mutilate their genitalia, tie them up and gag them - you know, the whole "Rwandan" option? That'll teach them...can't divorce if you can't speak or write, can't you? Won't cheat if you can't enjoy sex, can't you? Living a life locked in your own house awaiting the "pleasures" of marital rape or worse is barely a step up from such cruel and draconian measures.


- I've set up numerous hurdles PRO had to clear in order for his argument to be valid:

N1) Any of PRO's arguments must be specific to the target group - YFFs. PRO continually proffered arguments that applied to both men and women (both of his charts, most of his correlations), which do not clear this hurdle; otherwise men should also be denied employment for the same reasons and we would have no workforce. Pregnancy is also not a necessary condition to being YFF, and thus also does not clear this hurdle.

N2) PRO's resolution necessitates absolute levels of discrimination. PRO's resolution fails the hardest here. PRO simply has not thought the resolution through. Denying employment results in an extremely draconian lifestyle for women, and only for women. It also leaves no room for wage flexibility.

N3) This hurdle frames the discussion around general employment, no problems here.

- The resolution is absurd, resulting in PRO dropping nearly all of his arguments and making strange and lopsided accusations against women. Most of what he states (divorce, infidelity, smaller families) have shared responsibility between men AND women, yet he only targets women, and only when they are working. It simply has no rational basis.

Thanks to PRO for hosting and to you for reading this debate - it was fun. VOTE CON.

Debate Round No. 4
72 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by rross 5 years ago
Lol. No, no, I just meant if I was in the US, I might have a gun in the house. Otherwise, not.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago

"For example, if my neighbor annoys me by playing her saxophone in the back garden, if I lived in the US, I could shoot her. "

lol, I hope you're not taking my new sig too seriously...=)

Even in America, if your neighbor annoyed you with bad saxophone playing , you would not be able to shoot her unless it posed a serious threat to your person. The phrase "great bodily harm" was thrown about quite a bit while discussing "stand your ground" laws regarding the Zimmerman case. My sig is there because anyone believing that you'd have justifiable cause to shoot someone simply for annoying you is a clown.
Posted by rross 5 years ago
InquireTruth, you may be right. I've always been a bit vague about what rational means exactly.

For example, if my neighbor annoys me by playing her saxophone in the back garden, if I lived in the US, I could shoot her. There's logic in this. By shooting her, I stop the annoying noise. But there are other solutions that are more rational.

Is it rational not to choose from the better solutions?

I think this idea was implied in your round 1, when you spoke of "strong, rational basis" which implies that a weak rational basis could exist, but is not included in the resolution.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
Hmmm...after giving the hat example some thought, I think there is a minor flaw in how I presented the contrapositive in the debate. If I could change it, I would change it to thus:


"There is a rational basis to deny YFFs employment."

X = Reality (there is)
Y = A rational basis to deny YFFs employment

X -> Y
...i.e., If we are dealing with reality, then within this reality is a rational basis to deny YFFs employment.


nY -> nX

...i.e., "If we find no rational basis for denying YFFs employment, then we are not dealing with reality."

In plain English:
"If we find it reasonable to hire women, then we aren't dealing with reality."


Interestingly enough, the meaning stays the same.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
Finally, to apply my mathematics analysis to this debate, what exactly is rational, and what exactly is irrational?

This goes back to your definition:

"Rational - Based on or in accordance with reason or logic."

My question for you would be simple - if there was a set of two options that you were considering, and within this set one was deemed "better" than the other, would it be reasonable to implement the lesser option? No, therefore, it would be irrational to do so.

"Better" or "worse" can be quantified, especially since this debate dealt with quantifiable options, like % of women who get pregnant, and amount of wage discrimination. So, for example, all else being the same, if one could do something short of flat out denying employment to achieve the aims that you set out (turnover, family stability), then would that be considered "better"? I think the commonly accepted answer is "yes". That would make the "lesser" option "irrational" to take.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
"2) Men wear hats"

Change this to:

"2) A man wears a hat."

There. =)
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
Just to clarify your hat-wearing man example:

Do you see the difference between these two statements?

1) There is a man who wears a hat.
2) Men wear hats

1) is what I broke out.
2) is what you intended to break out.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
1) I had a feeling you might go this route. Although I did not equivocate, I recognize your assertion that there is certainly room for equivocation in my statement to be valid.

I didn't want to go this route, but let's do something less subject to equivocation.


Use the number system. There are positive and negative numbers and zero. Some numbers are more/less than others. However, we don't say that numbers are "more positive" than others precisely to avoid the possibility of equivocation as you mentioned above.

Regardless, "more than" clearly has a strong connection to positivity, in that a number that is "more than" a negative number has a possibility of being a positive number, and that the opposite is not true - a number that is "less than" a negative number does not have this possibility.

Instead of using language like "more positive" we can use basic calculus to arrive at the same conclusion without possibility of equivocation.

5 > 1, 2 > -2, 4 > 0. All of these are true statements. In order for the lesser number to become the greater number, all of the lesser numbers will have to become "more than" their current state by exactly 4. This can be expressed in first derivative language in that the action of adding four to the lesser number involves changing the original number to the "greater than" value. This change occurs...there is a "rate of change" which is unknown because we do not know the time period in which this change occurs. Regardless, this rate is positive (i.e. greater than zero, up to positive infinity)...therefore the first derivative is greater than zero.

From this example, you can see how something can be "more positive" (i.e. 1st derivative greater than zero) yet still be a negative number. Apply this argument to rationality - something can be "more rational" yet still be irrational.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago


I will first address the simpler point.

2) "There is a man who wears a hat."

You did not break this out correctly.

X: Reality (i.e., "there is")
Y: Man who wears a hat

If reality exists, then within this reality exists a man who wears a hat.



There is fire.

X: Reality (there is)
Y: fire

If reality exists, then within this reality is fire.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago

Thanks for the vote. =) I'm glad a good number of my key points survived in a clear form.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Legitdebater 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con since Pro controversially used the word churlish to describe Con's rebuttal of his contention. Churlish means rude in a mean-spirited way and could be insulting to other members. Arguments to Con since his major point was in a 50/50 split between American women and men, 29 million YFF's would be unemployed. At first Pro's premise seemed rational, however, Con points out that denying YFF's the right to employment is beyond discriminatory and would basically keep them locked up at home. Con also refutes Pro's 8 correlations by stating that some of them are insignificant, illogical, or ultimately caused by both genders. Con's refutation that really gripped me was his point that if a woman has two kids while she is 18-44 years old, she takes unpaid maternity leave for 6 months of employment out of 26 years, or 6 months out of 312 months. As the Contender states: Not a big deal. In conclusion, Pro ultimately failed to uphold the BoP.
Vote Placed by rross 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is an interesting debate. You could argue it the other way too - that it's rational to deny employment to young men because they are six times more likely to be arrested for a crime and three times more likely to be killed in a road accident, ten times more likely to commit sexual assault than women are. There are lots of reasons, and yet Pro chose to pick on young, fertile women instead. About the arguments. I thought Pro's arguments relating to women in the workforce being more likely to divorce etc. were kind of irrelevant to the resolution. Unless he is trying to say that employers choose workers based on what they think is good for the workers' private live and society in general. This is crazy talk. Employers are not qualified to make these decisions. The causation pathway is opaque to invisible, and even if it weren't, it's an extraordinary way to envisage employers' motivation in hiring. Neither of Pro's early examples included anything like this. More in comment
Vote Placed by xXCryptoXx 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Reserved. First vote!