Difference in stature and gender inequality: what are the sociological arguments?

  • Michel Messu Université Paris Descartes, Centre de Recherche PHILèPOL, Philosophie, Épistémologie et Politique, Paris, França
  • Cristina Albuquerque Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Keywords: epistemology, sociology, difference in height, gender inequality


The present article seeks to emphasize the need to distinguish, in sociology, the arguments of scientific explanation and the arguments of ideological explanation. Using an example associated with the difference in stature between the two sexes, the epistemological incongruities of passing from de facto judgments to value judgments — which would require a clarification of the assumptions inherent to their enunciation — are explained and discussed. In this sense, it is argued that, by changing the explanatory framework, one can, surreptitiously, move from the factual record to the valuation record, thus attributing to a difference of stature the meaning of a gender inequality.