Why do some people think women suck at science and math?

In summary, the conversation revolves around the topic of women's abilities in science and math. Some people think that women are naturally less skilled in these subjects due to their supposed hardwired inclination towards childcare. However, others argue that this is not true and that women are just as capable in these fields. The conversation also touches upon societal pressures and stereotypes that may discourage girls from pursuing these subjects, despite their interest and ability. Ultimately, the group agrees that both men and women can excel in science and math, and that any apparent differences in ability may be due to a variety of factors rather than innate gender differences.
  • #106


ideasrule said:
If they're not scientifically proven, would they be stats?

I guess I would say its not a natural science. It proves facts but based on gathering information and the topic of this thread cannot be proven by just stats. I said that based on personal experience, most guys I know or have met, try to get a point across by stats and set their goal based on standards.:rolleyes:
 
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  • #107


burkie.31 said:
I guess I would say its not a natural science. It proves facts but based on gathering information and the topic of this thread cannot be proven by just stats. I said that based on personal experience, most guys I know or have met, try to get a point across by stats and set their goal based on standards.:rolleyes:

Setting a goal based on statistical analysis makes perfect sense. However, one does have to carefully consider all of the variables.

Based on analyzing the appropriate statistics, I should be able to calculate not only on which date I'll get lucky on, but the exact time that I'll get lucky. But, I've noticed that if I mention that fact to my date and how I figured it out, it suddenly throws all of my calculations off because just mentioning it to my date has introduced an entirely new set of variables - how ticked off my date has suddenly become, whether or not she has a wooden door or a metal door, how much time I spend recovering in the hospital, etc.
 
  • #108


BobG said:
Setting a goal based on statistical analysis makes perfect sense. However, one does have to carefully consider all of the variables.

Based on analyzing the appropriate statistics, I should be able to calculate not only on which date I'll get lucky on, but the exact time that I'll get lucky. But, I've noticed that if I mention that fact to my date and how I figured it out, it suddenly throws all of my calculations off because just mentioning it to my date has introduced an entirely new set of variables - how ticked off my date has suddenly become, whether or not she has a wooden door or a metal door, how much time I spend recovering in the hospital, etc.

Sounds painful, perhaps you should have thought about whether Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle might have an effect on such a situation!:wink:
 
  • #109


PhDorBust said:
Male mathematicians are usually very good looking, female mathematicians usually are quite repulsive. Therefore, females only go into the sciences because it is the only place where the gender ratio is so strongly in their favor that they can find a superior mate.

And I am one of the counterexamples :(
 
  • #110


PhDorBust said:
Male mathematicians are usually very good looking, female mathematicians usually are quite repulsive. Therefore, females only go into the sciences because it is the only place where the gender ratio is so strongly in their favor that they can find a superior mate.

i'm a female who studies BA of maths, I've always been good at maths and i actually think I am rather good looking. tall, blonde, blue eyes, slender, etc i have guys falling for me quite a fair bit too. But i think there's this complex that some girls have, i notice it because i see myself in soo many other girls I am surrounded by.
We're the attractive, mathy, metal loving, gaming girls who are usually quiet as well. We like being in sciences because we like breaking the mold, (which i think is dissappearing anyway) and get a confidence boost from people thinking we are unique. We think science is cool, and we want people to think we're cool, thus we need to study what we think is cool, so people can think we're cool. But we also like sciences because we want a guy to think that we're so unique he simply must fall for us. And because we think we are so cool, we deserve someone equally cool to recognise the coolness in us, can't have someone who isn't worthy enough for us lol and the only people that will recognise the coolness in us, are other nerds.
Well there's my two cents, an incredibly shallow look into the mind of a female. There are actually an increasing amount of us girls out there. I suspect it has something to do with a very mild form of aspergers in women also increasing. Most documentation is about men with aspergers and most of it doesn't apply to women with aspergers, but i think we all seem to have this complex. I could also be way off, its only an observation made from very little study.
Even so, i don't think there are many repulsive females in my course. A lot of them are fashionistas, but this is only 1st year BA maths course. maybe they get worse as the science gets harder. Of the ones that do continue on to phd's and stuff, i hardly think its because they want a superior male, but rather because they like science and if they don't care what they look like they probably arent really that interested in finding a male. Most of the males arent that great anyway fyi. most of the attraction a women may experience comes from the personality of a male rather than the outward appearance, but usually an outward appearance is required for a female to even begin thinking about a male that way.
 
  • #111


I'm going to agree that there is a bias towards women, however, that is obviously changing. Moreover, there is nothing more attractive than a good looking woman who can do math... NOTHING!
 
  • #112


sandy.bridge said:
Moreover, there is nothing more attractive than a good looking woman who can do math... NOTHING!

I agree! :smile:
 
  • #113


In my opinion as a female engineer in the USA, there are now few practical barriers for women to succeed in science and engineering. In fact, there are many incentive programs like women-only scholarships and affirmative action programs. The barriers that remain are the sexist attitudes you may encounter from individual people (fellow students, co-workers, professors, family and friends, etc.). I would encourage aspiring female engineers and scientists to accept that yes, some people you work with and even respect may be sexist or have a low opinion of your abilities, but you will encounter many other unpleasant things in life, so learn how to deal with it. Don't let the attitudes of some individuals keep you from achieving excellence, especially now that, like I said before, there are so few (if any) practical barriers holding you back.
 
  • #114


Female only scholarships and the like are discriminatory. Here females can join engineering courses with lower grades than men (and men get a similar advantage in female-dominated uni courses) due to the high men-woman ratio at the courses. Stuff like this doesn't help reward the person with the right grades, but with the right sexual organ.

If there is some kind of stigma attached to scientific women in high school (I haven't noticed any such things but I don't live in an Anglosaxon country), I don't think handing out scholarships due to gender would improve that situation.
 
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  • #115


So, homogenous work environments are undesirable for reasons having to do with collaboration. This is why a certain number of women should (and are) prodded into the sciences, using scholarships or propaganda or what-have-you.

I could go a step further and make an analogy using pure and applied mathematics. People usually view pure maths as being the more difficult field, however both fields are symbiotic with one another. Men and women, clearly, also have a sort of symbiosis, but whether this proves profitable in the workplace.. I don't know.
 
  • #116


It is so true! at least for me - my fellow coursemates seem to think I don't know anything about science! I guess its to do with the way I express myself and not me being a woman. But still... maybe if I was a guy they would give me more credit for what I say. maybe.
 
  • #117


i read in the newspaper some time ago ,i don't remember where this research was done ,it said that in some fields like maths or mechanical engineering or some branches of science men appear to do better than women simply because women are not really so interested in it as men but if they are also interested,they can be equally good.
 
  • #118


VikFloyd said:
I am a mechanical engineering major. I love science and math. I am very good at the two. I ran into this forum where these people argued over whether or not women are good at science or math. Surprisingly a lot of men said women are just as good at math and the sciences while other said the opposite. Some said that women are hardwired to take care of children and men are hardwired to think. Honestly, it really annoys me when people say women are only hardwired to take care of children because I do not even want children. One of the members also claimed that women never catch on easily to math. When I am learning math I catch on very quickly. Even faster than my male classmates. Someone said something about girls only struggling in their classes. I know guys who are in my class who struggle too.

I think men and women are good at science and math. I just think that sometimes girls pretend to not be good at the two to look "cute". What do you people think?

p.s I am new to this forum and I do not mean to start an argument. I just want to know what you people think. :smile:

Social norms. But perhaps some girls do believe that girls aren't suppose to be good, so they don't do well. Confidence does matter.
 
  • #119


Dembadon said:
Is this your opinion?

Well, I don't know if my exposure to media is representative of that of the general public

or not, but in my

experience, I am constantly hearing about areas where women are trailing men,

or where women feel discriminated against, and about how hundreds of studies

are conducted to understand the issue better, to get at the root cause.

Sometimes even new laws are passed to address these (alleged) inequalities/disparities--

Lily-Leadbetter and Violence Against Women beeing the latest.

But I have never experienced the flip side. It was just recently that I found out that

Men's rights groups existed at all, and I only found out by chance.

I wonder if anyone here has been exposed to any of the following , in their

respective "media diet":

--Never-married women aged 40-64 outearn men in that age group.

--Men go to prison at a rate about 8X women's rate.

--Men die on the job at a rate around 12X that of women.

--Men are getting only around 40% of college degrees. Teenage boys are dropping out of high school at higher rates than teenage girls.

--Women have a far greater chance than men of getting custody of a child in divorce cases. How about

Legislation NOW is trying to pass in NY state to restrict visitation rights for fathers?

--Reproductive Rights: women have the full say on wether they abort a fetus or not,

but the father is expected to share in at-least half the cost of raising the child from

0-to-21 or-so, which comes down to $1,000,000 (estimated total cost, so, around $500,000-or-more for the father to chip-in. ).

Is it just me, or are these issues just not brought up for the most part? And, as to societal pressures hurting women's chances to go into the sciences, there are plenty against men too, seeing how the jocks

are the ones that tend to get most of the rewards : women, popularity, etc.
 
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  • #120


Math is actually a major that is common among both genders. Biology is also common among both.

As for other sciences, women tend to have a preference for other disciplines. It is very common in the the scientific community to assume that people who study science can be good at other disciplines so they think they are smarter than people from other disciplines. A lot of them also assume that people who don't study science do it because they couldn't handle it.

So if women don't major in scientific subjects the elitist scientists and science majors automatically assume they are poor in science. This attitude permeates through the rest of the educational levels.
 
  • #121


I think women are better at language than men. In my Chinese class, the girls are all seemingly naturals. The guys seem to struggle.

Though, I struggle at math and physics too.
 
  • #122


This is an asinine discussion.

"Why do some people think"?

What people? Whenever a person uses "some people" as a testament to asking such questions I immediately think, hidden motive. I exit left because that is where I usually think the door is located.
 
  • #123


Quite a lot of argument went on with a loaded question from the OP. Let me tell you what I think (scientifically).

Men better than women at science and math - WRONG (scientifically)
Women better than men at science and math - WRONG (scientifically)
Men and Women equal at science and math - WRONG (scientifically)

Huh? You might think the last one might not be wrong. Well, it is wrong scientifically along with the first and second one, cause there exists no conclusive way by which you can measure scientific competency in a human being quantitatively. Scientifically, you simply cannot count how much scientific a person is. There is no metric to experimentally measure. (Like you take a person and do an experiment and you obtain a real number, telling you about scientificity.) There is just no conclusive evidence which shows one is better, worse or equal to the other.

Examination is just another statistical measurement. Because, we do not do any experiment on the scholar's brain, separating neurons, proteins, molecules, wavefunctions ..., trying to determine what caused what (the conclusive way) and link the scholar's scientific capability with some basic constituents of his brain. There's no scientific theory/definition of science itself relating it to the physical world. The examination process assesses the competency in science depending on various variables (question choice, time limit, student background, preparation for examination, date and time of the exam, student selection, future/past generation … etc). The examination score does not guarantee anything, but indicate the possibility. A high-scorer still has chance to perform poorer or vice-versa at a future time if any of these variables changes.

All we currently have is social "science" (statistics), trying to figure out who is "better" and who is "worse" from statistics, or far worse, propagating the argument of "equality". We are neither better, worse nor equal to the other. If asked, the simplest answer is: we do not know. A lot more harm is done in the name of gender equality when some special program discriminately favors one gender over another gender. As I say, create the option, but stop promotion. If there’s less female in science and math field currently, it is fine. All we have to ensure is that there is nothing stopping them from entering the field. But this does not mean that we should just give away the opportunity to them to be politically correct. Unequal gender ratio in these fields will not cause any harm to the society, but gender discrimination will.
 
  • #124


Kholdstare said:
(Like you take a person and do an experiment and you obtain a real number, telling you about scientificity.)

What about a complex number? Can't leave all the i's out in the cold, now can we?
 
  • #125


FalseVaccum89 said:
What about a complex number? Can't leave all the i's out in the cold, now can we?

all observables are real because they must be Hermitian operators.
 

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