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(M)any women on the site?


pears
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  1. 1. Are you male or female?

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I've always had trouble working with females because I've never met a single one that would admit when she was wrong. This type of behavior has always rubbed me the wrong way.

 

Funny, form my experience (in a science setting) the way I approach the situation often determined the outcome. I would also hazard that the dynamics of the interactions will be the determining factor.

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StringJunky's got a point. It may not necessarily be what you're saying to them, but rather the attitude that you exude while around them that prevents them from wanting to admit fault.

Yes. How one says something is as important as what one says. The former determines how well it will be received.

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Several shots of tequila?

lol that sounds good :)

 

If someone wonders why females or really anyone would be put offf here, just read the "arrogance" thread in the general philosophy section. If that is the way people exchange ideas here, by insulting others for no reason, then looks like I don't quite fit here.

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Does it really matter if there is a visible gender imbalance in biology?

One should ask the same of all the science subjects. I know that, for example, the Institite of Physics wants to encourage more women into physics, or at least breakdown the barriers both real and precieved. We all accept the data on the gender imbalance, but is it really a problem?

 

I will just say I am not sexist and don't wish to appear so here. Just no-one that I can recall has ever actually said why the gender imbalance is a problem.

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One should ask the same of all the science subjects. I know that, for example, the Institite of Physics wants to encourage more women into physics, or at least breakdown the barriers both real and precieved. We all accept the data on the gender imbalance, but is it really a problem?

 

I will just say I am not sexist and don't wish to appear so here. Just no-one that I can recall has ever actually said why the gender imbalance is a problem.

i agree. As long as there is equality of opportunity between the genders, the gender distribution in any given field is what it is and nothing to be concerned about imo. Those concerned about it and who wish to engage in social engineering to even it up may ultimately find out they are trying to push square pegs through round holes.

Edited by StringJunky
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Maybe this is what people are worried about rather than the actual balance.

Target and survey that group of women who might have the aptitude to do science and see if there is a trend to the reasons why they didn't do it or don't want to do it? One could look at A level students (or equivalent) and those further up the career path but not in science but use skills that are compatible with science like accounting, actuaries or engineering for example.

Edited by StringJunky
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Maybe this is what people are worried about rather than the actual balance.

 

I would say this is indeed the case. There also has been a discussion how much gender stereotyping in childhood may influence it (e.g. the being afraid of maths part).

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I would say this is indeed the case. There also has been a discussion how much gender stereotyping in childhood may influence it (e.g. the being afraid of maths part).

 

The sociological literature definitely supports the view that childhood gender stereotyping plays a role in dissuading girls and women from entering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields in college. I certainly think the imbalance is largely social in origin, and that it's something that should be addressed at the educational and institutional levels.

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I think that the issue is not of imbalance but that we may discourage a significant proportion of the population to acquire skills and knowledge in natural sciences (or in bio let them start with wrong preconceptions). We may therefore reduce scientific literacy within the population.

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Gender imbalance in STEM is fine so long as it reflects a genuine imbalance between genders in terms of subject and/or career preference that is innate or consciously decided upon as a life decision that is personal to the individual - rather than as a result of the real or perceived barriers to career progression for women in general in STEM subjects.

 

I think to survive as a female in Science one has to develop a thick skin - mine is pure leather!

 

If men don't want us women in Science, too bad on them smile.png

Edited by Tridimity
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The female scientist archtype has lately been more prevalent in pop culture, Bones, CSI, Lisa Randall, etc...

And, fortunately, it would seem that this archtype doesn't come with a dyke label attached. Not that there is anything wrong with being a dyke, but it should be considered a human quality, not a career quality.

I celebrate any dilution of social stratification.

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If someone wonders why females or really anyone would be put offf here, just read the "arrogance" thread in the general philosophy section. If that is the way people exchange ideas here, by insulting others for no reason, then looks like I don't quite fit here.

I feel it may be useful to quickly respond to this (being in the role of moderator)... Obviously, an anonymous online forum is gonna attract all kinds of people, including the kind that likes to troll and flame. You don't have to put up with any of that kind of stuff. But rather than try to fix it as an adult, please instead just report it (the 'report' button is at the bottom of any post).

 

In real-life, your good example may sometimes encourage people who are fighting to improve their behavior. Online, it seems that this doesn't work... which is why we have moderators. We have some tools with which we can improve bad behavior of others. Don't try to fix anything yourself. Just report. (And in case of doubt: report anyway. We'd rather have one report too much than one too little).

 

Flaming and trolling does not belong on this forum, and the gender of the majority of our members has nothing to do with what is acceptable or not.

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Because it's very important to have gender equality in all spheres of society, especially the field of knowledge production.

Maybe, but your statment is just a rephrasing of my question. You simply assert it is very important without explaining why.

 

Let me be clear, I am not saying that women should not be scientists or that they should not be on this site or anything like that. I don't want my comments here to be misunderstood as being a reflection of my personal views, which have nothing to do with this.

 

I am just making the point that dispite people always saying that it is important to address the geneder imbalance in STEM subjects no-one has ever clearly given a reason why we should do this.

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I am just making the point that despite people always saying that it is important to address the gender imbalance in STEM subjects no-one has ever clearly given a reason why we should do this.

I am not a lawyer; thus, cannot quote case law. There are probably sex discrimination cases in US law in which judges have given such reasons in accordance with US law. I believe, in some discrimination cases, judges have issued orders to hire people from discriminated groups because nothing less would prevent discrimination--it was in essence a punishment. In recent years, this practice has been challenged as reverse discrimination by people from majority groups. In other words, people from majority groups are being discriminated by judicial order to stop discrimination.

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Because it's very important to have gender equality in all spheres of society, especially the field of knowledge production.

Is childbirth a sphere of society and if it is how do you propose to institute gender equality in relation to it? If it is not, on what grounds are you excluding it?

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Maybe, but your statment is just a rephrasing of my question. You simply assert it is very important without explaining why.

 

Let me be clear, I am not saying that women should not be scientists or that they should not be on this site or anything like that. I don't want my comments here to be misunderstood as being a reflection of my personal views, which have nothing to do with this.

 

I am just making the point that dispite people always saying that it is important to address the geneder imbalance in STEM subjects no-one has ever clearly given a reason why we should do this.

 

Well, I am in favor of understanding gender imbalance and I think that we will do a bad job addressing or knowing whether we have to address it. That being said, I still think that a good foundation in natural sciences will be to the benefit of most, regardless of the structure of the reproductive system. I also would like to focus on education rather than career for a moment, because early experiences in education will influence your career choice (how often have you heard that a student chose topic X because he/she thought they were good at it?)

 

One of the most important things about science is that almost everything is skill based. You do not have to have a certain height or muscle mass. To become at least competent you really just have to invest time and practice.

But what is the impact of societal factors such as e.g. of stereotyping? There are studies that indicate that stereotypes (girls are bad at math) may lower their performance (Beilock et aL PNAS 2009). I have to add that these findings are not uncontested.

 

Also female kids actually can perform similarly as compared to boys as PISA studies have shown, but there are also countries with strong gender differences.

Taking the 2009 study it shows for example that in 35 countries boys scored higher, in 25 there is no difference and in 5 girls showed higher abilities. So already on that level there is disparity but it does not appear to be biologica (I should also add that in countries in which girls performed well they also often outperform boys in other countries eith larger gender gaps).

What I am saying is that if there is a possibility that we as society cause one half of our population have lower interest in "hardcore" sciences we should figure out why.

There are also other issues when it comes to hiring for higher positions but that is probably good for another post.

.

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The gender imbalance seems like a problem that doesn't exist.

 

I think more damage will be done if certain women are pushed psychologically towards scientific careers they have absolutely no interest in.

 

Some women prefer to have a big family and not chase a scientific career because someone said that they have to be "somebody".

 

I have no problem with women in science. Just make sure it is what you really want.

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I do not think that anyone is thinking about pushing people to do science if they do not want to. But I wonder why in some countries less females perform better than their peers. Or why they receive half of the doctorate (which should indicate that they have interest in science) but only 20 odd% are professors.

 

Family wishes could be a point, but is it that they (for some reasons) lose their interest to go back to science (which is fine) or is it that the system makes it impossible to return once you decide to have children?

I have seen quite a few successful couples doing science and raising children, and it usually involves both parents taking turns. And again, the "just make sure it is what you really want" is just what gender stereotyping criticizes. The assumptions is basically that by promoting the assumption that women are doing worse in science, you make them believe that this is not what they want. I believe the inverse, i.e. that somehow women are forced to chase a science career is more of a non-issue.

 

And let me talk openly for a bit now: higher in the hierarchy there is gender bias. No one will admit to it, but especially in male dominated areas (which is almost all of science), after a few beers and no females present some will let things slip that indicate that they expect women to stay home and take care of kids. This is not bad if that is what their wives want BUT it also spills over to female colleagues who may not be interested in having kids or even those that are single.

You will here much often a (in my opinion somewhat sexist) comment that young female researcher should find a husband and/or get kids rather whereas for the young male researcher the pep talk involves sacrifice your time and life for science. In do not believe that any of that is done with any malicious intent, but it is a simple fact that people tend to use their life as reference point. And if you have a management that is male dominated with wives at home, the assumption is that this should be the norm. But it can make things unnecessarily difficult for women who actually do not want to confer to this stereotype.

FWIW I do believe things are changing somewhat. It is now also OK for males to stay home and watch the kids, for example and I think the attitude as a whole to gender roles may be in for a change.

Edited by CharonY
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The gender imbalance seems like a problem that doesn't exist.

Right, so the imbalance exists, but if that is really a problem has never been clearly answered in my opinion.

 

I think more damage will be done if certain women are pushed psychologically towards scientific careers they have absolutely no interest in.

I don't think anyone right now is proposing that, but you are right that such a situation would be counter-productive.

 

So, this needs to be avoided. However, any barriers stopping women, or any other group of people, getting involved in science should be removed. A priori no-one should artificially be excluded, but my reasoning for this is probably based more on ethics than science.

 

But I would stop at actually trying to encourage people who have no real interest in science. I would say the same about any underrepresented group in any collective.

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