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01 Apr 2012, 10:58 am

ruveyn wrote:
My guess is this: even if all cultural bias against females is removed, at the very top (95 th percentile or higher) of the population of mathematicians and theoretical physicists you will find a majority of males. I think there are definitely gender related factors in the way human brains work.

Only a guess.



ruveyn



I partially agree with you. Because from what I see there are already certain fields of science where women dominate. And one of those is Chemistry.



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01 Apr 2012, 1:31 pm

ruveyn wrote:
Stargazer43 wrote:
I don't think it's a "man's" field per say, but there certainly are more men involved in it. For example, currently female college graduates outnumber male college graduates (per year, I don't know if that's true for total graduates). However, in technical fields such as engineering, there are typically ~75% men and 25% women in a graduating class. The women involved in scientific/technical fields can be every bit as capable as men. However I think that the main reason that many women shun these fields is just out of a lack of interest. It's my impression that this is largely caused by perceived societal expectations. Anything remotely scientific is often portrayed as "nerdy" and "antisocial" in popular culture, and I think that this impression may have a larger effect on women than it does on men when it comes to deciding on a career path. Of course I could be completely wrong, but that's just how I see it.


To excel in science and mathematics when one is young (and at his/her mental peak) requires an investment in time that would interfere with child up bringing. Women bear the major expenditure of time and effort to bring up a child compared to a man. All a man has to do is get his lady pregnant and he can pretty well be an absentee father. For a women, more time and effort is required to do the job. So a woman would have to make the choice: Be a math or physics genius or be a mother. The years of being one's mental prime coincide exactly with the years of maximum fertility for a woman. As a result many women will not make the sacrifice necessary to being a world class physicist or mathematician. Other branches of science require a lesser investment of time and energy. That is why there are so many women in fields related to psychology or some kind of care and nurturing.

ruveyn


I actually saw a statistic that said men actually wanted children less than women, however ended up having children because they wanted to be with a woman who wanted children. I can't remember where I read it though.



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03 Apr 2012, 9:54 am

AspieRogue wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
My guess is this: even if all cultural bias against females is removed, at the very top (95 th percentile or higher) of the population of mathematicians and theoretical physicists you will find a majority of males. I think there are definitely gender related factors in the way human brains work.

Only a guess.



ruveyn



I partially agree with you. Because from what I see there are already certain fields of science where women dominate. And one of those is Chemistry.


There are also prominent women in psychology and psychiatry. Women do equally well as men in medicine. Particularly gynecology. I imagine a woman patient would be more at ease with a female gynecologist in matters pertaining to the plumbing.

ruveyn



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04 Apr 2012, 12:42 am

^ Absolutely. Men seem to see it as either disgusting, or some sort of divine alter. Women are more pragmatic about it.
Also more sympathetic.



04 Apr 2012, 11:07 am

But why so many women in chemistry? What is about it that appeals to women moreso than men.


:?:



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04 Apr 2012, 6:29 pm

AspieRogue wrote:
But why so many women in chemistry? What is about it that appeals to women moreso than men.


:?:


Perhaps it is a lot like cooking?

ruveyn



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25 Apr 2012, 1:16 pm

iceveela wrote:
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iceveela wrote:
And also females and males are equal in terms of math skills. Girls actually seem to do better than guys at math...

If only more high-school girls would realize this fact, but most of them seem more interested in being attractive to boys - they think that brainy girls are unattractive, so they seem to try to out-sleaze each other instead of preparing themselves for a more productive future.


I never quite understood high schoolers and middle schoolers. To them, school is all about social activity and finding the right mate as opposed to actually learning anything. So the girls actually think it is in their best interest to get bad grades in math, etc in order to attract a mate.

These people confuse me immensely T^T

You'd believe that peer pressure is the path to godliness or something.

A LOT of it is the way girls are conditioned. From day one, we wrap girls in pink, buy them dolls, dress them up, and their peers reinforce it. Boys are encouraged to build, design, and strategize, while girls are instructed to care for and dote over dolls.
I saw a program where women were given a one or two semester class in spatial reasoning, and afterward, their scores were comparable to those of men. Girls are more even balanced in their reading and math skills, whereas boys tend to have less reading ability. I am concerned about the lingering bias against women in scientific academia. I live in a house at my university specially dedicated to women in science and tech. It's a very supportive environment, and I hope more universities adopt it.


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25 Apr 2012, 2:18 pm

iceveela wrote:
I wrote an article about this but it did not save and I lost it, so I am not writing another.

But what I want to know is: Do you think science is a "Man's field?"

I have been told that science is a "man's field", and that I am a female.

Yes, I am a female, but I like science and am going into a field of science.

what is your opinion on the whole "man's field" thing?


Assuming that equality through opportunity holds, I really do not feel too emotionally swayed by sex dominance in an industry since more people from that sex choose that field. Equal outcomes do not follow from free choice.

I do get a little bummed out when I notice that female scientists do not get nearly as much press, since it sends the impression that something is male dominated when women were actually involved. For example, I heard IT declared as "male dominated" when women have been alongside men in computer technology since Charles Babbage collaborated with Ada Lovelace.

I'd be careful making assumptions down this route, though. There have also been plenty of men who went unnoticed, too. Quick, without looking him up, who invented the mouse?


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25 Apr 2012, 5:57 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
In Korea, and other east Asian countries, girls and boys are equal in math aptitude. They dont have the folk belief that one gender is better than the other in math.

Same... I'm an immigrant and in my home country there were a lot more girls who were excellent in math and sciences. I'd never heard that girls aren't good at those until I was in USA. If anything, in my home country, boys would be slapped by their parents for not being good at math... :P But I will be honest and say that I think it was because most boys were not very studious.

I agree, the situation in USA is really strange/funny. I don't understand what's going on.
In the USA, the only girls in my science/math/computer both at high school and university classes were IMMIGRANTS like me!

ruveyn wrote:
My guess is this: even if all cultural bias against females is removed, at the very top (95 th percentile or higher) of the population of mathematicians and theoretical physicists you will find a majority of males.


What everyone is seems to forget is that... women... bear children... and also... are generally expected to be the main caretaker of children, and also to deal with cleaning, cooking, take children to the doctor if they're sick... all these little things add up. Even if their partners help out, women are still expected to take most of the burden.

So most women with children either leave their career, or stay in a lower position (less demands) so that they are able to focus at work and with family.

I could share my story, but I HATE thinking about it, so instead, here are some resources for those who want to read about the topic.

Online:
http://people.mills.edu/spertus/Gender/why.html
http://valerieaurora.org/howto.html This is about Linux, but from my experience it expands to other science fields.

Books:
Note, I've not read all of these, they're on my library queue.
Gender and Computers: Understanding the Digital Divide
Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing
The Science Glass Ceiling: Academic Women Scientist and the Struggle to Succeed

There was also another good one but I can't remember the title...



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19 May 2012, 8:00 pm

Quote:
But what I want to know is: Do you think science is a "Man's field?"

I have been told that science is a "man's field", and that I am a female.

Yes, I am a female, but I like science and am going into a field of science.

what is your opinion on the whole "man's field" thing?




Hi, Icveela, I have a counter question? Is the raising of children strictly a woman's field? Is reading mainly a woman's field? If one goes by literacy, grades and test scores especially in the early grades women in aggregate do significantly better. Is violent crime exclusively a male trait? Comparison by aggregate grouping between groups doesn't give satisfactory answers in my opinion. I don't believe men and women are in direct competition with each other. A certain percentage of people may hold this view, but in society what's accepted as critical thinking is bizzarre. I assume you don't believe god incarnated himself in male form as the son of god, then died for all our sins. If you do, then just remind yourself that I'm going to burn in hell, this should take any sting out of my statement. My thoughts are these: few people become scientists and man and woman are both derived from the word man. A woman is a variation of man. Man is a word developed in terms of males. Words are just symbols, although priceless in importance they don't represent matter exactly. Words aren't the Holy Grail. Words don't = matter and symbols don't = matter.
Most men don't have the aptitude (I sure don't) to be a scientist and most women don't either. men in pure number dominate the field, but so what? Does that make me a better scientist than you because I have a penis. lol!

I assume since you are an aspie like me you wouldn't take offense to my quirky response. If you do though then I'm sorry, I shouldn't assume all aspies think in the same type of weird or unique ways. This opens up another whole can of worms: The variation in aspies and how to group and or diagnose different types of people with aspergers.'

I just felt like writing out a rant. i respect the subject you bring up, but I don't have a specific good answer for your question. I include women and men in this encompassing world of man. I assume the word "mankind" includes the female sex along with the male, but that's just my logic.

If women had dominated over men in the beggining the word for "mankind" would be in terms of "woman" and then "man" would be a variation of "woman". In truth each sex is a variation of the other sex and that is controlled if I'm not mistaken largely by testosterone and estrogene. Although this makes me feel a little uneasy, I will say it anyways. I'm a variation of woman. Every other man is too. But we aren't taught to think this way are we? Stay with your passion no matter what. Be true to yourself!



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20 May 2012, 1:48 am

There was an interesting point a peer brought up to me during college.

Boys have traditionally been encouraged to play with toys such as chemistry/science kits, balls, legos, cars, build it yourself playsets, and other toys that strengthen logical, spatial, and mathematical reasoning. Girls, on the other hand, have been encouraged to play with toys such as barbies, dolls, cooking/cleaning, pre-built castles/playsets which encourage nurturing, language development, socialization skills, and empathy

I think a lot of girls are at a disadvantage in science and engineering because, during those crucial first years, their brains are not being strengthened in those areas. This also explains why many boys are associated with an inferior sense of empathy; they are not encouraged to develop it but seem to do better in science and engineering.

From all the evidence I have gathered, I would say about 99.999% is environmental and less than 1% is the result of differences in the brain. Culture is very, very strong. Culture convinces people of outright lies as history has shown us time and time again. It is too easy to see it is because it is a "natural" difference when there are more nefarious deeds at play.

Men having a natural advantage in science and technology is a lie. Men being smarter is a lie. As a man, this is all a fat big lie that needs to die. And I'm going to help make it die by never, ever entertaining the notion.

As a child, my parents allowed me to play with both types of toys. I thank them for them because I have it all; the nurturing, logical reasoning, and everything in between.

I think if a lot of autistic boys were encouraged to play with "girl toys" that it would help alleviate some of the social deficiencies.



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23 May 2012, 4:03 pm

Onyxaxe wrote:
NicoleG wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Oh, and girls should stop being afraid of mathematics - it's not all that hard.


I'm a mathematician by nature. I really don't understand what other people find hard about it. That being said, I can't draw a tree or write a book to save my life.


Thank you for putting that second part in there, I can recreate the Sistine Chapel but math feels like a clogged sink nowadays. I laugh about it but I kinda feel like I caught the stupids. At one point it was fun but once they started adding triangles my brain checked out lol.


Ugh, I wish I didn't struggle so badly with trigonometric graphing.



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23 May 2012, 5:19 pm

EXPECIALLY wrote:
OTOH I've wondered if teen girls are just having more disruptions in the brain due to hormonal changes than boys.

I know they're going through it too obviously, but estrogen swings combined with a still developing brain have the effect of making one crazy. I wasn't even one of the really girly teenage girls but it doesn't matter, I definitely had a few years where I really wasn't in control of my mind.

Now I'm actually better at math and not really less spatially retarded(which they say often contributes to or at least occurs along side with excellent mathematical ability) but I don't have trouble learning it like I did as teen.

Once you fall behind in 9th-10th grade it's extremely hard to recover, I think that could explain a lot.


I have tried very hard not to let my emotions get the best of me, but at certain times of the month (with few exceptions) the emotions come out to haunt me, and I don't feel very much control, no matter now many times I tell myself that it's just hormones or how many times I try behavioral therapy concepts.

I didn't fit in as a girl in most respects as a teenager, although I did have long hair and was "endowed" with a very decidedly curvy female body. And I love/d high heels and dresses. Actually, it felt like the similarities ended pretty much there. :lol:

I had a VERY hard time understanding concepts in junior high school. I would call myself an intelligent person in most respects, so this really upset me and was a big blow to my self-esteem. I was in the honors math for 2 years in high school and then I decided I didn't care to try anymore so I gave up (ah, teenagehood) and decided I would just try to find some non-technical field to get into instead of what I wanted, which was microbiology. I had that negative attitude toward mathematics for about 5 years, until I ended up deciding to take a calculus class in college (I studied some old high school trig/pre-calculus notes so I tested into it) and I loved it! I was already over 2 years into getting a BA but I realized that a lot had changed since high school, my brain included.


One topic which comes up a lot with women-in-science organizations is childbirth and child-rearing. Apparently there's a bias going around that women scientists who decide to have children are not really devoted scientists, or they're not really serious about contributing to their field. I'm not talking solely about men, either; women can have prejudices against women, too.

That presents a dilemma for those who really do want to be mothers. They feel torn between two options. Once women reach age 30-35 there can be a lot more complications associated with pregnancy, but if you have already devoted your 20's to getting a master's or doctorate, you don't have a whole lot of fertile time left. That is one big reason why I was concerned about going into a scientific field. However, I've read some good articles written by successful mothers who are also successful in their respective scientific fields.

I still have a nagging belief that if I get pregnant and take maternity leave while I'm in the middle of working that I will be compromising myself and my career, but I'm a fairly determined individual and I will work as hard as I can to find a way to make my ideal come to fruition.



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23 May 2012, 7:30 pm

Senath wrote:


One topic which comes up a lot with women-in-science organizations is childbirth and child-rearing. Apparently there's a bias going around that women scientists who decide to have children are not really devoted scientists, or they're not really serious about contributing to their field. I'm not talking solely about men, either; women can have prejudices against women, too.



In the early years taking care of a child is almost 7/24. Being a first rate scientist is also 7/24 or nearly so. The best years of scientific creativity also coincide with the best years of fertility for a woman. So for a woman it is really a choice. Be a mom or be a scientist. Men definitely have an advantage here. They can love their women then wash up and walk away to do other things including science and mathematics.

ruveyn



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