Why Are There So Few Women in Science?


by Jow
Tags: science, women
drizzle
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Jan9-13, 09:48 PM
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Quote Quote by HeLiXe View Post
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?
Well, I hate the stereotypical reasoning, especially when it comes to individual choices in/opinion about life matters. Every single one has a set of values/ethics/believes/etc is for sure influenced by culture/religion/person/animal/idea/etc. But in the end, what that person chooses or expresses is their own ideology and should never be related to 'one' of their backgrounds.

That's one. Another thing is that everyone is responsible for their choices. Do not blame it on circumstances.
Monique
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Jan10-13, 03:41 AM
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Quote Quote by Gad View Post
Well, I hate the stereotypical reasoning, especially when it comes to individual choices in/opinion about life matters. Every single one has a set of values/ethics/believes/etc is for sure influenced by culture/religion/person/animal/idea/etc. But in the end, what that person chooses or expresses is their own ideology and should never be related to 'one' of their backgrounds.

That's one. Another thing is that everyone is responsible for their choices. Do not blame it on circumstances.
Up to a certain point yes, but environment does play an important role. You're formed as a child and depend on the school system and parents to guide you.

I've seen people get rejected for PhD-positions, because they acquired a technical degree (equivalent to a BSc) prior to their research BSc-MSc degree. Absolutely ridiculous, since the decision on the track a child follows is made when it's 11 years old (when children are placed in different groups, according to how well they performed on a test). Immediately people judge one as being of a lower class, become they consider themselves elite.
Bacle2
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Jan11-13, 02:31 AM
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Quote Quote by Jow View Post
I know that science hasn't always been kind to women in the past but that seems to have changed. So why is it that there are so few women in the scientific community. I know it isn't extremely difficult to find a woman scientist, but compared to men the numbers are rather low (according to Forbes, in the US only 13% of physics PhDs are awarded to women). I am sure that there is still discrimination against women, but it seems to me that this should be significantly lower now as it used to be. What other major factors might there be which result in the fewer women scientists. I remember hearing somewhere that women don't go into science as much because it is harder to start a family due to the lack of stability in a science career and women don't want to wait until their late 30's to start having children. What do you think?
You're sure there's still discrimination against women? Seriously? How so?

EDIT: just to make a general point: I am not questioning all the claims made just to be argumentative. The constant claims of discrimination create a climate in which one, as a male is seen as a cruel exploitator. This affects, among other things, public policy, and makes it harder to compete, and makes it harder to have a leveled playing field. So there are real consequences to making such claims. I'm not saying the claims are not valid, I'm just saying those making them should have the burden of proof, given the potential consequences.
Monique
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Jan11-13, 07:01 AM
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Quote Quote by Bacle2 View Post
The constant claims of discrimination create a climate in which one, as a male is seen as a cruel exploitator.
Females discriminate to the same level as males, see the study I cited (and that matches my experience as well).
Quote Quote by PNAS
The gender of the faculty participants did not affect responses, such that female and male faculty were equally likely to exhibit bias against the female student.
To get back to the question "why are there so few women in science": I work in a hospital and do biomedical research, an industry where females are generally well-represented. There is a program for the development and management of talents, so that postdocs are prepped for a junior principle investigator predicate. This program is very selective and application is only considered after recommendation by the group leader and with the approval of the head of a department, among other limitations.

I found out today that in the hospital there were 30 people selected, of which 2 females. Really, how is that possible?
Monique
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Jan11-13, 07:12 AM
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Quote Quote by LargeGregory View Post
because they are human too, and they know their hormones will get in a tizzy.
Yeah, assuming they were all males?
Choppy
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Jan11-13, 07:30 AM
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Quote Quote by Monique View Post
To get back to the question "why are there so few women in science": I work in a hospital and do biomedical research, an industry where females are generally well-represented. There is a program for the development and management of talents, so that postdocs are prepped for a junior principle investigator predicate. This program is very selective and application is only considered after recommendation by the group leader and with the approval of the head of a department, among other limitations.

I found out today that in the hospital there were 30 people selected, of which 2 females. Really, how is that possible?
Do you know what the sex ratio was in the applicant pool?
Monique
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Jan11-13, 07:48 AM
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Quote Quote by Choppy View Post
Do you know what the sex ratio was in the applicant pool?
I know for sure that far more than 6% of postdocs is female, I was planning to check whether there are any official hospital demographics known.
Monique
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Jan11-13, 08:48 AM
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Quote Quote by Choppy View Post
Do you know what the sex ratio was in the applicant pool?
Ok, so I looked it up. I don't have the exact number, since only people within three years after receiving their PhD qualify.. but let's have a look at what the gender ratio is among PhD students:

MD/PhDs-students = 60% female,
PhD-students = 46% female.

Scientific personnel (postdocs, but may include technicians) is 39% female. Professors is 15%.
Kholdstare
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Jan22-13, 01:08 PM
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Found this article on the web.

why can't a woman be more like a man?
jim hardy
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Jan22-13, 01:26 PM
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I have to think they're not encouraged toward "stuff" when very small.

I encouraged my daughters to help work on cars, fix their bicycles and things around the house. They both turned out quite handy.
At age fourteen, after a family project of fixing the brakes on brother's car, my eldest proudly announced to Mom: "We relined all four wheels and i only broke one naii ! "

In movie "My Cousin Vinny" Marisa Tomei plays a girl who saves the day with her extraordinary knowledge of car mechanics.
Interesting , how the writers used that character for iconclastic value.

I think we have certain cultural expectations of little girls and unwittingly program them away from science.

my two cents
ChristinaJ
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Aug9-13, 08:49 AM
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Maybe it's something to do with women not wanting to work in places that are so dominated by men. I work in a place that has a smaller number of women than the US women in science average. Though I probably would have taken it, if I had known this before I took employment I would certainly have considered it as a factor in accepting the position.

cj

Also take a look at this short film on the subject from Edinburgh university http://sciwomen.tumblr.com/ and, ladies, I would really like to know about your science http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=704763
WannabeNewton
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Aug9-13, 09:41 PM
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Quote Quote by _StrongArm_ View Post
Women are too soft and caring. They're mothers, instinctively maternal beings. I don't support women taking up roles designed for men. Men lead, woman and children FOLLOW.
Evo
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Aug9-13, 09:44 PM
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Don't feed the trolls and _strongarm_ is a troll.
Aero51
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Aug9-13, 10:02 PM
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Why do so few men go into child care?
Enigman
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Aug9-13, 10:16 PM
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Quote Quote by Aero51 View Post
Why do so few men go into child care?
Cause we are wimps? Any man who isn't totally crazy is scared of changing diapers.....
:beer:
Mr.E
drizzle
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Aug9-13, 10:52 PM
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... How would you answer the OP question , Mr. E?
leroyjenkens
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Aug10-13, 11:16 AM
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Quote Quote by Enigman View Post
Cause we are wimps? Any man who isn't totally crazy is scared of changing diapers.....
:beer:
Mr.E
I have a weak stomach for some things and not others. I just watched video of a bull giving a guy a facelift with his horn, and it didn't give me any ill feeling whatsoever. But if you show me a video of a poopie diaper, I won't be able to eat for the rest of the day.
Why do so few men go into child care?
I think it's a combination of two things. 1) Men generally don't like taking care of children. They'll do it, but women seem to actually derive joy from it. And 2) People tend to not trust men with their children. Women tend to not trust men period. Every bulletin I see at school for a female student looking for a roommate, they 100% of the time, from what I've seen, specify only female applicants.
Aero51
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Aug11-13, 12:05 AM
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Isnt it interesting how the converse with men can be answered so easily, but no so with women?


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