Register to reply

Why Are There So Few Women in Science?

by Jow
Tags: science, women
Share this thread:
Kholdstare
#19
Jan8-13, 02:01 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by Jimmy Snyder View Post
I went into Mathematics for the women. I was misinformed.
I'm afraid of laughing on this joke. You should simply search for Mathematics.
Kholdstare
#20
Jan8-13, 02:14 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by dipole View Post
What is wrong with accepting that women and men are different. I like that girls are different from me, and I from them. I would hate if women/men thought alike, had the same interests and were "equal" in all respects.

It's so silly to think just because science/math/engineer or whatever is less appealing to women, that that somehow makes them inferior to men. Even if they were inferior in those areas (which may or may not be true on average, but certainly doesn't seem true on an individual basis) that wouldn't make them inferior as humans.

I wish women, and men, would just accept who/what they are and stop trying to force themselves in other roles because they're so afraid of being confined by their own sex.
+1 dipole.

Everyone is different and that should be respected and not forced to be changed. Science has been wrongly pedestalized/sensationalized too much.
Monique
#21
Jan8-13, 02:26 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Monique's Avatar
P: 4,642
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
This must have been in Holland, right? In the US you can't turn someone away based on gender, race, age, sexual preference, etc. (I'm sure it happens, but it would be obfuscated by some more rational sounding objection.)
In Holland that cannot be done either. They say one cannot select on those characteristics, but yes it happens and no they won't say they're doing it.
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
If you're denied the jobs soley based on your gender then definitely its wrong. However, I was talking about US in which no employer will dare to do that.
How will you know whether an employer is not doing that? In my case people were open enough to tell me, probably that's the difference. Actually I talked to my employer not too long ago on this issue and shared the story of not being invited for interviews because of my gender, then my employer confided that they understood the selection and that I was not supposed to be invited either! That actual selection stopped me from getting the job that I wanted, a male was selected who ended up not showing up for the job: talk about selecting someone motived and fitting...
Kholdstare
#22
Jan8-13, 02:42 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by Monique View Post
In Holland that cannot be done either. They say one cannot select on those characteristics, but yes it happens and no they won't say they're doing it.


How will you know whether an employer is not doing that? In my case people were open enough to tell me, probably that's the difference. Actually I talked to my employer not too long ago on this issue and shared the story of not being invited for interviews because of my gender, then my employer confided that they understood the selection and that I was not supposed to be invited either! That actual selection stopped me from getting the job that I wanted, a male was selected who ended up not showing up for the job: talk about selecting someone motived and fitting...
How will you be so sure that the employer is doing that even if they tell you that's not the case? Will you still blame them if they actually denied you for proper reason? The problem here is not the gender discrimination, the problem here is the human ability of telling exceptionally good lies. As it has no solution, innocent until proven guilty seems less complicated solution than guilty until proven innocent.

However, in your case it was clearly bad and you deserve the job.
Monique
#23
Jan8-13, 03:21 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Monique's Avatar
P: 4,642
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
How will you be so sure that the employer is doing that even if they tell you that's not the case?
You can't be sure, even in my case when I heard first/second hand there was nothing I could do: there's no paper trail. My current employer ended up inviting me because of my strong recommendations and CV, as said others didn't even consider looking over my credentials.
Will you still blame them if they actually denied you for proper reason?
It would never have crossed my mind as an argument, if they hadn't told me I would've thought there either was no money or there was someone more qualified.
HeLiXe
#24
Jan8-13, 04:59 PM
P: 412
Quote Quote by berkeman View Post
If anybody tries that where I work, they are fired for cause.

In my experience in Silicon Valley EE circles, women and men are very equivalent. And that's how I prefer it. I have also found our female engineering managers to be extremely talented and competent.
Thanks for sharing this berkeman. I'm currently a student so my group of peers are students and there seems to be no checks and balances in regards to chauvinism.
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
Today's society already encourages women more than men in science field (in overall sense). e.g. affirmative action, title IX etc.
I think affirmative action was put in place to prevent discrimination and while it may guarantee placement of women in positions in science (academia or employment) it is not equivalent to the social encouragement of women to go into science. Affirmative actions spans across many more fields than science.
Kholdstare
#25
Jan8-13, 05:33 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by HeLiXe View Post
Thanks for sharing this berkeman. I'm currently a student so my group of peers are students and there seems to be no checks and balances in regards to chauvinism.
I think affirmative action was put in place to prevent discrimination and while it may guarantee placement of women in positions in science (academia or employment) it is not equivalent to the social encouragement of women to go into science. Affirmative actions spans across many more fields than science.
Affirmative action have nothing to do with enabling women in science positions. It was there to bring the numbers to equal. Neither does it encourages women to go to science itself than anything else nor does it prevent discrimination against them. Rather it establishes a series of social myths.
HeLiXe
#26
Jan8-13, 06:45 PM
P: 412
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
Today's society already encourages women more than men in science field (in overall sense). e.g. affirmative action, title IX etc.
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
Neither does it encourages women to go to science itself than anything else nor does it prevent discrimination against them. Rather it establishes a series of social myths.
ok.... >_>

In any event I did not say it prevents discrimination against women, I said it was put in place to prevent discrimination and to guarantee placement of women in academics and employment...this by means of a quota. My original point is that it does not encourage women to go into science related fields, and in answering the OP I stated that society encourages women to seek careers in fields related to health, education, social sciences etc. I am not debating the benefits or travesties of affirmative action.
Kholdstare
#27
Jan8-13, 07:45 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by HeLiXe View Post
ok.... >_>

In any event I did not say it prevents discrimination against women, I said it was put in place to prevent discrimination and to guarantee placement of women in academics and employment...this by means of a quota. My original point is that it does not encourage women to go into science related fields, and in answering the OP I stated that society encourages women to seek careers in fields related to health, education, social sciences etc. I am not debating the benefits or travesties of affirmative action.
Your first line is confusing. When you say "it was put in place to prevent discrimination", don't you also mean "it prevents discrimination against women" ?

In today's US any kind of discrimination is not tolerated. In overall sense discrimination is non-existent now thanks to anti-discriminatory laws. Nobody can prevent woman from doing whatever she wants. So there's no point of affirmative action trying to guarantee placement of woman in academics and employment, as nobody's stopping them.

And doing so might make them go against their wish if in a hypothetical scenario less than n number of women wants to enter the field, [where the affirmative action requires at least n number of women enter the field].
russ_watters
#28
Jan8-13, 07:51 PM
Mentor
P: 22,297
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
Affirmative action have nothing to do with enabling women in science positions. It was there to bring the numbers to equal. Neither does it encourages women to go to science itself than anything else nor does it prevent discrimination against them. Rather it establishes a series of social myths.
I'm not sure about the "establishing social myths" part (not even sure what that means, but what AA does is fight discrimination with discrimination. That's why I'm against it. It is true that it has brought numbers up in a bunch of different areas, but I'm not sure it is really reflective of a net improvement in equality of opportunity. Two wrongs do not make a right.
Astronuc
#29
Jan8-13, 07:55 PM
Admin
Astronuc's Avatar
P: 21,871
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
Quote Quote by dipole View Post
What is wrong with accepting that women and men are different. I like that girls are different from me, and I from them. I would hate if women/men thought alike, had the same interests and were "equal" in all respects.

It's so silly to think just because science/math/engineer or whatever is less appealing to women, that that somehow makes them inferior to men. Even if they were inferior in those areas (which may or may not be true on average, but certainly doesn't seem true on an individual basis) that wouldn't make them inferior as humans.

I wish women, and men, would just accept who/what they are and stop trying to force themselves in other roles because they're so afraid of being confined by their own sex.
+1 dipole.

Everyone is different and that should be respected and not forced to be changed. Science has been wrongly pedestalized/sensationalized too much.
No one is advocating forcing anyone to change or pursue an academica program, e.g., STEM, involuntarily.

Affirmative action occurs at universities and business, but there is little or no influence in K-12.

This interest in math and science has to be cultivated during the K-12 years. It's a matter of encouraging those who demonstrate an interest, and preventing discouragement.
Jow
#30
Jan8-13, 08:00 PM
P: 67
I think the reason there are fewer women has a lot to due with preference. Men, on the average, enjoy science a lot more than women. For example, I am in all honours classes in my school and you can definitely see the gender divide. More females in English and French, whereas more males in Math and in the Sciences. However, all of the females in my honours classes are very good at math and science (although the males in my honours classes [except English honours] aren't necessarily good at English). Anyway, my point is these females aren't in Math and Science honours not because they aren't good at it, but because they simply have less interest in it.
russ_watters
#31
Jan8-13, 08:03 PM
Mentor
P: 22,297
Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
Affirmative action occurs at universities and business, but there is little or no influence in K-12.

This interest in math and science has to be cultivated during the K-12 years. It's a matter of encouraging those who demonstrate an interest, and preventing discouragement.
Indeed, but as said culture is tough to change and I think gender typing is probably more difficult than racial. My mom works in a nursery school and the kids just plain don't know what race is (which is pretty cool). But every kid knows the boy is the doctor and the girl is the nurse.
Kholdstare
#32
Jan8-13, 08:05 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by Jow View Post
I think the reason there are fewer women has a lot to due with preference. Men, on the average, enjoy science a lot more than women. For example, I am in all honours classes in my school and you can definitely see the gender divide. More females in English and French, whereas more males in Math and in the Sciences. However, all of the females in my honours classes are very good at math and science (although the males in my honours classes [except English honours] aren't necessarily good at English). Anyway, my point is these females aren't in Math and Science honours not because they aren't good at it, but because they simply have less interest in it.
No. You are wrong all woman has the exactly equal preference as Astronuc has pointed out.
ZombieFeynman
#33
Jan8-13, 08:08 PM
PF Gold
P: 309
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
No. You are wrong all woman has the exactly equal preference as Astronuc has pointed out.
I think you and Jow are using the word preference differently.
Kholdstare
#34
Jan8-13, 08:13 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
I'm not sure about the "establishing social myths" part (not even sure what that means, but what AA does is fight discrimination with discrimination. That's why I'm against it. It is true that it has brought numbers up in a bunch of different areas, but I'm not sure it is really reflective of a net improvement in equality of opportunity. Two wrongs do not make a right.
There are already laws defending equality of opportunity. The problem is with investigation. Take Monique's case for example.

In this case she was wrongfully denied. [If she had some evidence] she could bring this thing up in court and the matter would be solved [unsure abt holland].

Now lets assume another girl does not get the job and is also given a proper reason. She has no reason to doubt that they are lying unless the employer disclose it. Now let's further assume she brought a case against them claiming that the employer lied.

What do you think is the solution of all this? Affirmative action or Proper police/agent investigation.
Kholdstare
#35
Jan8-13, 08:25 PM
P: 390
Anyway, my point is these females aren't in Math and Science honours not because they aren't good at it, but because they simply have less interest in it.
That proves nothing. Its an anecdote just like brekeman.
Evo
#36
Jan8-13, 08:26 PM
Mentor
Evo's Avatar
P: 26,545
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
No. You are wrong all woman has the exactly equal preference as Astronuc has pointed out.
I believe you misunderstood what astro said, you should go back and re-read it. Affirmitive action is designed to make sure that there are similar number of minorites to majorities, regardless of if they are qualified.

I'll give you an example, when affirmative action was put in place, my office was a good balance of whites and hispanics (TX), but no blacks lived in the area. So suddenly we had a quota of blacks to hire or be financially penalized, so we stopped hiring anyone but blacks. No blacks applied. So we went after black people, they failed the entrance test and couldn't be hired. Our employee numbers were dwindling since we were allowed to hire only blacks. So we waived the employment tests, they were given 3 or more months to complete a 2 week training course, most couldn't pass training. So, we hired them anyway so that we could start hiring people capable of doing the job. The ones that failed were on one side of the room where they'd gossip, paint their fingernails and read magazines. They were union, and affirmative action, couldn't be fired.

Now there were black people that did pass and did well.

I don't blame the black people, they came without a work ethic, without an education, victims of their place in society. In other words, you just can't stick a person without the desire or the knowledge into a job and expect them to succeed. We failed them.

Affirmative action (placing unquailified people into jobs) is not the answer, but fairness in hiring people of equal qualifications is.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Women in Engineering and Computer Science Career Guidance 67
Women in Science Academic Guidance 24
What's the science evidence for this? Do women have as much as calves muscles as men? Biology 3
Science Careers In Search Of Women Career Guidance 0
Women in Science General Discussion 12