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Where are all the female scientists

  1. Jul 3, 2014 #1

    wolram

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    It seems there are only a few on PFs, so what happened to equality in science?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2014 #2
  4. Jul 3, 2014 #3

    WWGD

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    Just curious: do you assume that an unequal or disproportionate representation of a gender in any given area is a sign of inequality/unfairness (and not the result of, say, personal choices), or, that a disproportionate representation is necessarily undesirable ?
     
  5. Jul 3, 2014 #4
    You summed it up nicely.
     
  6. Jul 3, 2014 #5

    WWGD

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    Do you have any support for this? If so, how do you explain that 90%+ of the prison population is male? Or the advantages for women in family court, where children of divorced parents go predominantly to the mother?
    Or how about the fact that 90%+ of deaths on the job are male? And how do you explain that, despite the fact that the mortality rate for prostate cancer is virtually the same as that for breast cancer, you do not hear of any campaigns to end prostate cancer? My personal hypothesis about one of the factors influencing this is that men are (for good or bad) more likely than women to be risk-takers and more likely/willing to stand outside of the norms of society. Evidence for this is the larger variance in the distribution of male traits than of female traits. This may also help explain the greater proportion of men in prison.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  7. Jul 3, 2014 #6
    There are very few left-handers too. It's a scandal. Something must be done!
     
  8. Jul 3, 2014 #7
    This thread is about females in science. Not about males in prison. Not about prostate cancer. Not about left-handers. Please keep on topic.
     
  9. Jul 3, 2014 #8

    WWGD

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    You're right, but I was answering a followup by Mogarr , in which, as I understood, she stated that inequal representation was a sign of a society that was overall unfair to women. I tried to counter this claim.

    Still, point taken, sorry, will try to stay on topic.
     
  10. Jul 3, 2014 #9

    256bits

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    I will assume the topic is:
    The question is about the socio-economic-political-gender-? pressures that woman face in the science community, and even though these problems are applicable at large in the whole society and professions at large, please llimit discussion to the scientific community.
     
  11. Jul 3, 2014 #10

    256bits

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    In which case,
    from,
    Does the male/female membership on PF reflect what is going on in the scientific community?
     
  12. Jul 3, 2014 #11
    Yes. Also allowed are discussions on whether an equal ratio of men/women in science is desirable or not. And what reasons there might be for such an unequal ratio.
     
  13. Jul 3, 2014 #12

    AlephZero

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    Maybe the reason is political or religious. After all, in a different culture like Iran, 60% of university students are female. And 40% of first degrees are in science and engineering. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Iran

    I heard a first-hand report from somebody at Imperial College London, who had been on a fact-finding visit to evaluate Iran's stem cell research programmes, at the time when Bush had virtually shut that subject down in the USA. He commented that based on what he saw when walking around the labs, about 75% of the Iranian researchers were female.
     
  14. Jul 3, 2014 #13

    Maylis

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    There are many grad students at my university that are female in my department. I don't know about a majority, but certainly present in a good percentage.

    Undergrad seems to be more skewed with more males, but still they are there
     
  15. Jul 3, 2014 #14

    lisab

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    Interesting - when I was studying physics some 25 years ago, there were far more undergrad females than graduate females, far far more graduate females than female post-docs, and one or two female professors.
     
  16. Jul 3, 2014 #15

    Curious3141

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    This thread boils down to "Where all the Wise Wimmen at?" :biggrin:
     
  17. Jul 3, 2014 #16

    Intrastellar

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    Furthermore,
    http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/women-power-in-education-1.1306157

    For 2013 results: page 65
    http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2013.pdf
    Analogous results.
     
  18. Jul 3, 2014 #17

    Maylis

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    I thought the arabic world was anti-woman????
     
  19. Jul 3, 2014 #18

    Intrastellar

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    Did you think we bomb people as well ? :wink: Joking.
    There are reasons why these kinds of stereotypes are spread, but I hope that these examples will help in establishing that they can be very wrong.
     
  20. Jul 3, 2014 #19

    WWGD

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    There is a similar trend in the U.S, where women are getting 60%+ of the master's degrees and around 53% of doctorates, and the rate has been going up in 1999-2009 :

    http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=72

    But I doubt there will be any complaints from anywhere to address the inequality.
     
  21. Jul 3, 2014 #20

    WWGD

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    Just stay away from the propaganda of the far-left like MSNBC and the far-right like Fox news, and you'll have a more accurate idea of what is going on.
     
  22. Jul 3, 2014 #21

    Choppy

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    Some data to throw into the discussion:
    http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/article/65/2/10.1063/PT.3.1439 [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  23. Jul 3, 2014 #22

    WWGD

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    The problem I have with that report is that it relies on the perception and opinion of the respondents to a survey, and not on harder, more objective data. So it seems the only thing you can reliably conclude is that many women respondents perceive that they do not have the same opportunity, but that does not seem like very hard data. Besides, one of the claims made there, that women are overwhelmingly asked to take care of the children and do house chores because their income is lower than that of the man, is not as true today as it may have been at an earlier stage.

    And the last paragraph of the study :" The low representation of women in physics is a problem the community needs to address, but the community also needs to address inequities in access to resources and opportunities. Cultural expectations about home and family also inhibit the progress of women physicists; those, of course, are much more difficult to change. Nonetheless, we look forward to a future in which science truly means science for all. "

    Really makes them seem anything but objective, but instead normative since they have not given any evidence to any of the claims in the paragraph: where is the evidence of a difference of access to resources? Why is the low representation a problem? Similar for other claims. Some of these women seem to believe any man has it basically made when he enters into a science career.

    And relying on these assumptions seems to reveal a bias on the authors themselves.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  24. Jul 4, 2014 #23

    Evo

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_gender_restrictions_in_education#20_August_2012_course_ban
     
  25. Jul 4, 2014 #24

    Student100

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    I wonder why this is an issue, I guess I fail to see what difference it would make if the ratio of men to women was more evenly split. There aren't enough positions for current grads, increasing the number of those pursuing STEM would further add to the number of graduates who're unemployed or employed outside their field.

    I wish there would come a time when we didn't analyze these things and continue to propagate judging our "equality" based on ratios of gender and race, it's effect is opposite to the one intended; if anything it results in what almost seems like a form of "legal" segregation.
     
  26. Jul 4, 2014 #25

    WWGD

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    Sorry to be repeating it, but I think this is a result of the radicalization of news outlets, mostly Fox and MSNBC , both of which use business models that consist of attracting the radicals on each side, giving a voice to nuts on both sides; rarely do you see someone countering absurd claims by both the anti-government nuts and the feminist nuts. Note that I am not saying that there aren't any valid claims to be made by either group, but that when you give true believes free rein and do not challenge them, you end up with this level of absurdity.
     
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