# Male Bio Students Underestimate Female Peers

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1. Feb 12, 2016

### Choppy

I noticed this article today on Science Daily and it got me wondering whether the same phenomenon (or perhaps something even stronger) is found in physics.

In summary, the findings were that male students showed a bias towards believing that male students out-performed female students, but the female students displayed no significant bias. This bias can potentially play a role in whether students continue in a specific field because is could influence peer-support.

2. Feb 12, 2016

### WWGD

If you are going to leave a career for lack of emotional support, you are in the wrong field. And, does the study generalize outside of UW?
Try replicating it in other schools. And while you're at it, study why women are, as a whole, getting around 60% of all college degrees (1), yet there are no studies that I know off nor any real concern about men being left behind. More selective concern and outrage, it is a woman's world.

(1)http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/women-now-33-more-likely-men-earn-college-degrees

After all sorts of doubtful statements put out by women's groups, like the allegation of getting paid $0.77 for every$1 a man makes _for the same work_ , I remain skeptic.

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3. Feb 12, 2016

### Silicon Waffle

First, they didn't mention how many female subjects there are among 1700 samples for their surveys.
Second, the experiments/surveys look too simple (make questions or questionnaires to students and teachers and then draw conclusions).
I guess Washington state is having more than 50% of total voters in support of Hilary Clinton.

4. Feb 12, 2016

### f95toli

Sure there are, at least in the UK. While males from the lowest socioeconomic groups are very unlikely to go to university and that is being talked about quite a lot, they are e.g. quite a bit less likely than BAME from the same socioeconomic background to get a degree.

That said, once they've graduated white males are more likely to get a well paid job than anyone else...

5. Feb 12, 2016

### WWGD

Maybe the women's movement is more reasonable there. Here women tend to gravitate, for reasons I don't claim to understand, to jobs that don't pay as well as those that men gravitate to. And then they demand to be paid equally, and they make claims that are, to understate, factually innacurate.

6. Feb 12, 2016

### Choppy

From the Materials and Methods section:
I agree that studies based on surveys have their limitations and potential biases, but I don't think that negates the results outright. Further, with any study, it's also important to examine it in context. In the introduction, the authors cite studies that demonstate biases favouring male students in other similar contexts incuding mentorship time, email response, and calling on students in class. Are there just as many or more studies investigating geneder biases in STEM fields that have found null results? I don't know, but I would expect that if their were the peer review process would at least require that they be cited.[/QUOTE]

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7. Feb 12, 2016

### Choppy

But socially don't we have a responsibility to strive for a bias-free atmosphere in which to educate people?

The study reports a bias under the conditions cited. Sure, they could look at different schools, but that doesn't negate the results.

8. Feb 12, 2016

### WWGD

1) Yes, in a (more) ideal world, this would be the case, and we should aim for it, but, being realistic, one should prepare for these situations

2) I have seen so much dishonesty from the US women's movement that I tend towards skepticism, and I consider the pressure to go along with the PC police , e.g., questioning anything the U.S has ever done , market fundamentalism on the right and women's perpetual victimhood on the left

9. Feb 12, 2016

### Andy Resnick

We see this all the time, especially in intro physics labs- these are groups of 4 students who work together. Very often, female group members are marginalized at every step along the way: setup, measurement, analysis, writeup. I've also seen this in group work sessions in a Calc I class- the males discuss, the females sit quietly.

My female students are also more likely to apologize for struggling with the material, even when they are in the top 25% of the class. By contrast, my male students typically allege that something is 'unfair' or otherwise make excuses.

Gender bias is real and corrosive, infecting all of STEM- and it's not limited to students. Faculty members often display similar patterns of behavior. The underlying causes are deeply rooted cultural biases that can't be easily negated. I have no problem with efforts to increase URM participation in Physics and STEM at all levels.

10. Feb 12, 2016

### WWGD

Not quite, at least not always:
https://math.berkeley.edu/~kirby/sexism.html
http://www.awm-math.org/articles/notices/199403/jackson/node5.html
PC is too strong to allow the truth to come out. You won't find the truth on neither most women's issues , nor abortion, etc. because both left and right push too hard , lie and cheat to (appear to) be right.

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11. Feb 12, 2016

### Andy Resnick

I think your arguments about gender bias reflect a deeper, more frightening issue that we all must face at some point: irrelevance. As long as we define people relative to hetero-white-male norms rather than simply accepting full personhood, we have to accept complicity in the continued suffering and injustice resulting from unfair bias. Personally, I have benefited from and continue to benefit from gender bias. Racial bias, too..

12. Feb 12, 2016

### WWGD

I don't know what arguments about bias you are referring to. I just mean that the far left and the far right cherry pick in order to win arguments. Women have many advantages that they neglect to mention. Now, on racial bias, there is a strong, defensible point to be made and legitimate issues that do need to be addressed. But the gender issue is full of hot air , and blown way out of proportion. Please do address the injustice of a male-female prison rate ratio of 10-1 + , similar for deaths on the job, suicide rate, school dropout rates, etc. But the loud mouths on the far left do not bring this up; they only cherry pick, so you only hear about areas where women fair poorly , so , unless you do some research, you believe this is the whole story. Ditto in other areas for the loudmouths in the far right.

13. Feb 13, 2016

### Bandersnatch

Whether they do or don't have other advantages (and disadvantages) should not stop us from acknowledging this particular bias and striving to negate it. If we do the same for any other gender bias we may find, regardless of which side it's on, we should make the society overall more egalitarian.
You seem to be saying that it's fine to have gender biases, as long as the other side is made equally miserable as a result.

14. Feb 13, 2016

### WWGD

Yes, you have a point, but I am also skeptic about a lot of these claims, having seen the PC pressure there is to produce results that support the party line. And , still, the results may not hold in other places. The reason I sometimes get upset over this, is that only one side is brought up, and the general perspective is one-sided. But this perspective often seeps into, or becomes public policy, laws. And you end up with laws favoring women in employment, etc. So these views and beliefs do have real-life consequences.

15. Feb 13, 2016

### Andy Resnick

From my perspective, redressing bias in STEM has nothing to do with proportional representation but has everything to do with acknowledging existing power structures.

White males currently have a preferred position in terms of setting top-level (science) agendas and research (earmarked) budget allocations; white males predominantly choose special focus topics for conferences and journals and thus also have a disproportionate say in setting future priorities and funding of science research; STEM texts are predominantly written by white males and STEM subjects are predominately taught by white males. Since rational thought is not the exclusive domain of white males, it seems to me essential that other perspectives be included, especially for a human endeavor that has global impact.

16. Feb 13, 2016

### WWGD

What is preventing women or anyone else from chiming in, from joining? What makes you think this is not the result of personal/individual choices ? Women are getting 60% of college , including graduate-level degrees, and it seems nothing has stopped them from doing so. Women are also evenly-represented in Astrophysics and over-represented in other areas, including Psychology, where they receive 72% of all degrees (1) (though you don't hear complaints about this in the U.S). This seems to suggest that there no real barriers, neither visible ones, nor "invisible ones", unless one believes these barriers exist only in STEM fields . My readings seem to agree with this last (lack of women's presence) being more a choice than anything else. I don't know about minority issues in education, though
Besides, while being OT, why not address the fact that men are getting only 40% of college degrees (and I believe this proportion is decreasing), to prevent an over-representation of women? Why is it that women's issues in this country seem to be given priority over everyone else's issues? I suspect it is the result of effective political organizing and lobbying. Their professional victimhood has become tiresome.

(1)http://dailyprincetonian.com/news/2014/05/art-psychology-class-of-2016-majors-overwhelmingly-female/ [Broken]

Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
17. Feb 13, 2016

### Rx7man

It kinda goes like this... For the political parties trying to get (re)elected to office, if they aren't likable enough to get a majority, they have to make themselves likable to any possible minority to make up for it.. And there's the reason why 'special interest groups' get far more representation than their relative population would command.

I'm all for everyone being treated equally, and I strive to make my ways a good example.. there's arseholes of any race and gender, and I should be forced to hire, be friendly, or give any consideration to one because of affirmative action or any leftist law.

About women not speaking up on group projects.. well.. Everyone should be treated equally, does not mean everyone is the same, and that is especially true of character traits... I would dare any guy to try to put my ex-girlfriend in his shadow in a conversation... She wasn't the kind of character that would allow that.

The more we try to pander to special interests of any kind by giving them special groups, benefits, etc the more alienated they are... if everyone just works together and is courteous of their own volition, I think a lot of the problems will fade with time

18. Feb 13, 2016

### Andy Resnick

This is exactly my point- expecting others to obey your idea of what is good and proper social behavior is bias.

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19. Feb 14, 2016

### WWGD

Actually, it seems like it is you who has these expectations. You do expect women to study things they may not want to study. I am just letting them do as they wish. It is you who are upset that they are not choosing STEM careers -- your expectations for them. I just believe they are choosing to do what they want.

20. Feb 14, 2016

### Andy Resnick

Maybe you honestly don't realize that you are simply circling around and repeating yourself, or perhaps you simply demand agreement with your particular point of view. Having an honest, thoughtful, conversation about the extent of bias and the various forms it may be discomforting as it requires careful self-examination about your own values and sense of relevance in the context of a global community.

Let's put this on hold for a bit, I'm happy to continue when you can provide some original ideas and insight.