Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Where are all the female scientists

  1. Jul 3, 2014 #1

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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

    micromass

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    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

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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
    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
    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

    micromass

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    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

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

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

    Intrastellar

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

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

    Intrastellar

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Where are all the female scientists
  1. All Real Scientists Unite (Replies: 207)

Loading...