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Does Physics discriminate?

  1. May 10, 2005 #1
    Is it true that 99% of the time, males score higher in Physics exams than females? Is that why there's an abundance of male Physicists than female Physicists?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2005
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  3. May 10, 2005 #2

    Pengwuino

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    I highly doubt that percentage is THAT high. And this woudlnt be a basis of "discrimination". Its just statistical anomalies.
     
  4. May 10, 2005 #3

    JesseM

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    Interesting article from "Symmetry" magazine on women in physics:

    http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/cms/?pid=1000103
    And here's a debate on "gender and science" from edge.org:

    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/debate05/debate05_index.html
     
  5. May 10, 2005 #4
    All most all of my Physics professors are male; in fact, all of them. I am not saying that there's anything wrong with this, but the more I think about it, maybe there's some truth to what that Harvard professor was talking about. I see one or two women darting inside the Physics building, but that's about it. I think that my friends (females) don't have a lot of faith in me as a Physics major because they tell me facts like "99% of the time, males score higher in Physics exams than females" to make me change my major into something like Dance. I am convinced to stick to my major unless something goes seriously wrong. I have lost some friends over this. In fact, I refuse to hangout with any one of them.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2005
  6. May 10, 2005 #5
    There is no discrimination. Either you can do the work or you can't. We have gone very far form the 60's with elliminating discramination so don't complain.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2005
  7. May 10, 2005 #6

    JesseM

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    Yeah, ignoring people like that is probably the best thing you can do. As for the lack of female physics professors, to a large extent it's probably a generational thing, the number of women pursuing physics was a lot lower in the past than today--as that first article says, in the early 1970s only about 5% of physics Ph.D.s were earned by women, today it's up to about 18%, and hopefully it will continue to rise. The article also mentions that "Data from the United States indicate that once women have earned a bachelor's degree in physics, they are able to advance through the academic ranks at about the same rate as men. For example, retention rates during physics graduate school are about the same for US women and men. Women are represented on physics faculties at the rates we would expect given degree production in the past."
     
  8. May 10, 2005 #7
    I wasn't complaining. I was just contemplating on the issue. If there is no discrimination today, then we must be living in a perfect society, which is clearly not the case.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2005
  9. May 10, 2005 #8

    Pengwuino

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    BOOM, theres your problem staring you right in the face. Theres still a very dumb little attitude going on that is actually fueled by females too that states women cant do well in science and that they should do "girly" activities such as dance. They use what i can only think of as highly exagerated statistics to try to convince you not to strive to achieve. I'm sure there are many other examples which people tell another group of people that they are inherintly unable to do something because of hteir gender, nationality, ethnicity, etc. I doubt theres any scientific data saying girls inherintly are unable to learn physics... so just dont listen to them. There going to end up as probably liberal arts majors lol or philosophy majors and be flipping burgers or being nurses or receptionists (last 2 have some dignity of course). You can't strive and achieve if you deem it impossible to do yourself.
     
  10. May 10, 2005 #9

    mathwonk

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    i noticed also in college that 99% of all males (and females) scored higher than me in physics, so any possible male superiority really doesn't do me any good personally.
     
  11. May 10, 2005 #10

    Pengwuino

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    My friend, a girl, seems to know physics better then me. I now feel pathetic lol.
     
  12. May 10, 2005 #11
    So a more appropriate title would be "Do people discriminate Physics?" instead. What you say is very true. It's weird because you think you know your friends, but really you don't when you come to some disagreement. When I questioned them about where they got their statistics from, they got in my face. However, they can be very convincing too. A friend who was challenging me was in an intro to Physics class, and she dropped out of it, took Pass/Fail and changed her major from Math to Chicano Studies so that she wouldn't have to take any prereq Physics classes. I thought that that was such a dumb thing to do. And as for dance, if I were to double major in Physics with Dance instead of Math because my friend told me to, then is that considered to be well-roundeded? This is a silly question but... Do you think that Physicist/Dancer has dignity attached to it as opposed to a Physicist/Mathematician? What's more thrilling than running around in circles with maracas and rolling around with balloons to forest sounds? Heck, this girl is brain-washing me.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2005
  13. May 10, 2005 #12
    It's funny how you did a total 180 with this post.

    I agree with the people who say it's all a social problem. Science is still considered geeky, and nobody wants to be geeky. But they ALL want cool cell phones, instant pudding, and to be healthy. Sure there are differences between men and women, but they aren't nearly big enough to totally prevent all women from learning science & math. I'm trying to get my sister to like science more. I don't want to turn her into a physicist or anything (she doesn't like it THAT much :p) but make her at least comfortable with math and more importantly, make her think logically.

    PL
     
  14. May 10, 2005 #13

    Pengwuino

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    Well it was more of a joke. If the conception is that all men are incredible highly sophisticated thinking machines and all but 1 guy will triumph over all girls, then i feel sad seeing as how im asken my friend for help lol.
     
  15. May 10, 2005 #14

    Pengwuino

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    Its well-rounded by why do you care to be well-rounded? Consider that it'll take a lot away from your actual physics study. And what degrees you have dont create the dignity you have; its how you conduct yourself and what research you do.... or at least it should. Physics seems to be a subject where the societal problems dont apply as much as other areas. If your a good researcher, you could be a public bed-wetter and you'd still carry dignity in the eyes of hte people who matter.
     
  16. May 11, 2005 #15
    I don't get how you can "major" in dance. Is it in performance? History, styles, etc? Both?

    What kind of job can you get with that.

    "Ok... why should we hire you to work at Microsoft?"
    "I can dance."

    PL
     
  17. May 11, 2005 #16
    I think it's just the fact that more male students chose the alpha sciences. Women have quasi equal talents. The top student in my graduation year at college was female, as well as the number two :)

    marlon
     
  18. May 11, 2005 #17

    JesseM

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    The thing about well-roundedness reminds me of something I read recently in a review of a book of letters that Richard Feynman wrote to people:
     
  19. May 11, 2005 #18

    Galileo

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    There is some discrimination in physics.
    There are all kinds of prizes for the best female physicist of the year, best publication by a female. We have a Minerva-prize awarded to female scientists twice a year. This all help get more females into science in general and physics in particular.

    I`m not complaining about this. It's a good initiative.
     
  20. May 11, 2005 #19

    ZapperZ

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    Can somebody hunt for the almost-identical thread we had on this in here from a few months back? I'm having a deja vu feeling all over again.....

    Zz.
     
  21. May 11, 2005 #20

    arivero

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    A great thing for women in physics departments is the dressing code. No more time lost in front of the mirror, or shopping around for the best fitted dresses.
     
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