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Why Are There So Few Women in Science?

by Jow
Tags: science, women
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Evo
#55
Jan8-13, 11:11 PM
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Quote Quote by Gad View Post
What I meant is that piece of information you just gave us, is unnecessary.
In light of what's being duscussed, it is important. Laws differ from country to country If he wishes to speak for a non US country, that perfectly fine, but since we are a US based forum, the US is the default unless corrected.
micromass
#56
Jan8-13, 11:12 PM
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Quote Quote by Gad View Post
What I meant is that piece of information you just gave us, is unnecessary.
It is necessary, since it puts more perspective to his posts. If he wants evo to delete the post, then he should ask.

Anyway, let's get back to the thread.
drizzle
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Jan8-13, 11:16 PM
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Quote Quote by micromass View Post
It is necessary, since it puts more perspective to his posts. If he wants evo to delete the post, then he should ask.

Anyway, let's get back to the thread.
Or she.

I don't agree on that, but let's see how it goes.
Monique
#58
Jan9-13, 01:29 AM
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FYI, equal opportunity is nothing more than a concept in the United States either: faculty believe males are more competent when they judge identical applications.
Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/09/14/1211286109
NemoReally
#59
Jan9-13, 05:00 AM
P: 194
I never really got the 'males are brainier' bit. TBH, I'm not sure how anybody who had the opportunity to observe mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousin and female peers could fail to recognize that some of them were a heck of a lot smarter than most of their male counterparts. I do, however, grok the 'women are prettier' bit ... perhaps this is why I didn't notice anything odd about the old wave/particle thing.

However, it does lead to a few random observations ...

The old "getting married" bit doesn't seem to have stopped a lot of women from becoming qualified in beauty therapy, teaching, medicine, etc. Perhaps answering the question of why there are so many women doing other stuff (and less men in some cases, perhaps?) might be apposite?

I have a vague recollection of an old New Scientist article claiming that most women who had entered science had received encouragement from their fathers but less positive signals from their mothers.

My UK University in the late '70s had a very high proportion (predominant) of (very good-looking (1)) females in the biology and biochemistry depts. There were far fewer women in physics, maths and engineering, less of whom were likely to make it on to the front cover of a glamour magazine (I married one of the exceptions).

Regrettably, based on observation of my children, there do seem to be gender-based preferences exhibited from an early age in the focus of and interpretation of activities. For example, my youngest daughter (as a 2 yr old) regarded a pram as something to push her dollies around in, whereas my elder son tipped the dolls out and played with the wheels and as for my younger son ... anyone familiar with the works of the Professors Foglio will have him pinned as a Spark. The very same daughter likes science and is good at it, but she is (as a 12 yr old) very much a 'girl' in her outlook (yes, I know, that's why the quotes) and far more of a 'people' person (2). Maybe 'hard' science is generally seen as less sociable? As an auxiliary question, how many men, as well as women, are put off science by the 'nerdy' associations?

------------------------------------------------

Notes:

1. yes, I'm male; you think I'm not going to pick up on this little factette, already?

2. OTOH, I've noticed that girls tend to be at least as adventurous as boys. My daughter saw the Red Arrows last year and wants to be an aerobatic pilot ... there are a good number of 'feminine' role models in this field eg, Svetlana Kapanina and Cecilia Aragon.
russ_watters
#60
Jan9-13, 05:51 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
And kholdstare is not from the US, which is why he/she has an odd perspective.
Lets call it a "different" perspective...
Astronuc
#61
Jan9-13, 06:08 AM
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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.
It is not clear if the 'preference' or 'enjoyment' of math/science is inherent, or a product of the culture/environment in which students evolve. It is readily apparent that the big names in math and science are mostly male, so perhaps that may be a source of discouragement to women in early years of education. In my high school, the proportion of girls in my math and science classes was close to 50%, but slightly less, and they all planned to go to university and had similar aspirations to boys in the class. I'm not sure how exactly that proportion changed during university, since all of us generally went to different universities. In my university, the proportion of women in science and engineering classes was much lower ~10% or less.

In university, I did observer some level of discrimination, but overall, the faculty encouraged students. I only encountered high ranking faculty member who was apparently hostile to women and minorities in science and engineering. That was during the early 1980s. Similarly, I encountered students whose parents had not provided much encouragement in their education, but those were in the minority.

In the educational system, a teacher's expectation will affect how students perform. If a teacher expects less from girls than boys, that may adversely affect the performance (and subsequently preference) of girls in their academic programs.

When I was teaching in university, I encouraged all of the students that classes I taught, although there were a few cases where I encouraged some poorly performing students to pursue studies outside of engineering.
Kholdstare
#62
Jan9-13, 07:51 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
And kholdstare is not from the US, which is why he/she has an odd perspective.
Why can't a guy from US have different perspective?

Quote Quote by WannabeNewton View Post
The all seeing evo. I'm disappointed you would even question her abilities Gad.
I guess my writing style gave away.

Quote Quote by Evo View Post
In light of what's being discussed, it is important. Laws differ from country to country If he wishes to speak for a non US country, that perfectly fine, but since we are a US based forum, the US is the default unless corrected.
I keep tab of US culture through media and at least I'm aware of anti-discriminatory laws in US. I cannot tell whether they are implemented properly or not, though it seems that they are. The rest of my argument is based on philosophy. If this setting disqualifies me from writing for US perspective, its OK.
Kholdstare
#63
Jan9-13, 07:53 AM
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Quote Quote by Gad View Post
If it's not seen here, or in kholdstare's profile, these posts should be deleted. It's the member's privacy, s/he has the right to share that piece of information or not.
Its OK. I'm actually from antarctica. Ask penguino, he can tell.
Evo
#64
Jan9-13, 08:43 AM
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Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
I keep tab of US culture through media and at least I'm aware of anti-discriminatory laws in US. I cannot tell whether they are implemented properly or not, though it seems that they are. The rest of my argument is based on philosophy. If this setting disqualifies me from writing for US perspective, its OK.
Actually I find that many non-US posters quite often have a better grasp.

Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
Its OK. I'm actually from antarctica. Ask penguino, he can tell.
See, I knew it!
HeLiXe
#65
Jan9-13, 09:45 AM
P: 412
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
I dont know how you missed this post.



In my first post I naively wrote it encourages. However, with further analysis I saw that false and changed my stance. I fail to see why you skipped all that and argued me over my initial response.
I did not skip over it at all and addressed it, this is your second response to me, but it conflicted with your initial response to me which is what caused me to address you in the first place. If you had said that upon further analysis you changed your stance, I would have easily understood and further discourse regarding this matter would have been unnecessary. Otherwise your statements were conflicting and I could not understand your stance.
Kholdstare
#66
Jan9-13, 01:24 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by HeLiXe View Post
I did not skip over it at all and addressed it, this is your second response to me, but it conflicted with your initial response to me which is what caused me to address you in the first place. If you had said that upon further analysis you changed your stance, I would have easily understood and further discourse regarding this matter would have been unnecessary. Otherwise your statements were conflicting and I could not understand your stance.
I'm sorry that I had forgotten what I wrote in my first response, and was wrongly assuming it was the same thing as my second response which I corrected latter.

In my first post I naively wrote it encourages. However, with further analysis I saw that false and changed my stance. I fail to see why you skipped all that and argued me over my initial response.
But you never hilighted the fact that my second post contradicts with my first one and directly proceeded to criticize the first one. If your intention was not to address the first point, rather address the conflict, you could have said so in this post.

What does any of this have to do with why there are so few women in science? Your initial response to my post referenced affirmative action as an aspect of society that encourages women more than men to get into science related fields. I fail to see how someone can choose to go through college and get a career in science related fields just so they can help an organization meet a quota.
Kholdstare
#67
Jan9-13, 01:59 PM
P: 390
Quote Quote by Monique View Post
FYI, equal opportunity is nothing more than a concept in the United States either: faculty believe males are more competent when they judge identical applications.
That's really bad to hear.

But in this system the statistics goes either this way or that way [if you ignore the very low probability of these studies yielding exactly same result for male or female]. So, if whatever you do study will almost always point out discrimination or reverse discrimination, [from a purely logical point] what's the point of doing that?

Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
It is not clear if the 'preference' or 'enjoyment' of math/science is inherent, or a product of the culture/environment in which students evolve. It is readily apparent that the big names in math and science are mostly male, so perhaps that may be a source of discouragement to women in early years of education. In my high school, the proportion of girls in my math and science classes was close to 50%, but slightly less, and they all planned to go to university and had similar aspirations to boys in the class. I'm not sure how exactly that proportion changed during university, since all of us generally went to different universities. In my university, the proportion of women in science and engineering classes was much lower ~10% or less.

In university, I did observer some level of discrimination, but overall, the faculty encouraged students. I only encountered high ranking faculty member who was apparently hostile to women and minorities in science and engineering. That was during the early 1980s. Similarly, I encountered students whose parents had not provided much encouragement in their education, but those were in the minority.

In the educational system, a teacher's expectation will affect how students perform. If a teacher expects less from girls than boys, that may adversely affect the performance (and subsequently preference) of girls in their academic programs.

When I was teaching in university, I encouraged all of the students that classes I taught, although there were a few cases where I encouraged some poorly performing students to pursue studies outside of engineering.
I don't know how much role society play to encourage or influence students to go to science field in the US compared to other factors. However, my guess will be not much. In my case it was just my curiosity rather than social encouragement. [Actually I hate my current science job , but then again I'm also a lazy guy and love to do nothing at all ]
HeLiXe
#68
Jan9-13, 02:40 PM
P: 412
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
I'm sorry that I had forgotten what I wrote in my first response, and was wrongly assuming it was the same thing as my second response which I corrected latter.
No probs


Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
But you never hilighted the fact that my second post contradicts with my first one and directly proceeded to criticize the first one. If your intention was not to address the first point, rather address the conflict, you could have said so in this post.
I actually did highlight the contradiction immediately in this post...
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.
which is prior to the post you are indicating. If you are able to go back to this post you will see I put both conflicting statements side by side and said "ok....>_>" but I think the error here is that I did not consider you were not familiar with my expressions. This is a sort of colloquialism indicating confusion. Like this emoticon ""
HeLiXe
#69
Jan9-13, 02:51 PM
P: 412
no no no ...it's like this emoticon I forgot we have this one here. Anyways sorry about that, I will try to be more clear in the future.
Kholdstare
#70
Jan9-13, 02:57 PM
P: 390
I actually did highlight the contradiction immediately in this post...
Which was after this post.

What does any of this have to do with why there are so few women in science? Your initial response to my post referenced affirmative action as an aspect of society that encourages women more than men to get into science related fields. I fail to see how someone can choose to go through college and get a career in science related fields just so they can help an organization meet a quota.
If you had highlighted the conflict in the above post, the confusion could be avoided.

no no no ...it's like this emoticon I forgot we have this one here. Anyways sorry about that, I will try to be more clear in the future.
It has nothing to do with the emoticon.
lisab
#71
Jan9-13, 03:31 PM
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Let's get back to the topic, please.
HeLiXe
#72
Jan9-13, 08:26 PM
P: 412
Quote Quote by Kholdstare View Post
Which was after this post.



If you had highlighted the conflict in the above post, the confusion could be avoided.



It has nothing to do with the emoticon.
Kholdstare, really the fault lies with you not appropriately addressing your own conflicting statements.
Quote Quote by lisab View Post
Let's get back to the topic, please.
I agree, this is pointless and enduring and completely off topic.

Gad, when you said it has to do with personal choice, do you also believe that society has some influence on the choices we make?


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