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Thread: Where are the women?

  1. #1 Where are the women? 
    ox
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    When I look at the topics on The Science Forum I am led to ask 'where are the women'? I can't think of any female mathematician or physicist, any chemist other than Madam Curie, any biologist other than Rosalind Franklin, and so on. That's not to say there haven't been large numbers of them, but where is the female equivalent of Einstein or Newton or Darwin?
    I find in my classical music collection that I have only one CD by a female composer and that is by an 11th Century nun called Hildegard von Bingen. And where are the great painters or dramatists? Where is the female equivalent of Van Gogh or Shakespeare?
    So can we put it all down to brain size or testosterone or the strange claim that men are from the cooler red planet and women from the hotter green one? But men do daydream more, don't they? While women have more social pressures, the likes of Einstein, Newton and Darwin were much happier being alone.
    When men wake up in the morning have their brains been stimulated more so by lucid dreaming? Men are better at walking apparently because women's pelvises tilt up and down. How many great ideas have manifested when men were out walking?
    Could we put it down to just one or a combination of these and other factors?


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  3. #2  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Women have frequently not been allowed an education or, where they have contributed, they have not been credited.


    xkcd: Marie Curie

    There are countless examples: Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars. So her professor got a Nobel Prize. The same is true in the arts. Many painters had wives, models, mistresses who were also artists but who rarely got any recognition.

    So can we put it all down to brain size or testosterone or the strange claim that men are from the cooler red planet and women from the hotter green one?
    Almost certainly not.

    Men are better at walking apparently because women's pelvises tilt up and down. How many great ideas have manifested when men were out walking?
    Really? <shakes head in despair>


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    When I look at the topics on The Science Forum I am led to ask 'where are the women'? I can't think of any female mathematician or physicist, any chemist other than Madam Curie, any biologist other than Rosalind Franklin, and so on. That's not to say there haven't been large numbers of them, but where is the female equivalent of Einstein or Newton or Darwin?
    I find in my classical music collection that I have only one CD by a female composer and that is by an 11th Century nun called Hildegard von Bingen. And where are the great painters or dramatists? Where is the female equivalent of Van Gogh or Shakespeare?
    So can we put it all down to brain size or testosterone or the strange claim that men are from the cooler red planet and women from the hotter green one? But men do daydream more, don't they? While women have more social pressures, the likes of Einstein, Newton and Darwin were much happier being alone.
    When men wake up in the morning have their brains been stimulated more so by lucid dreaming? Men are better at walking apparently because women's pelvises tilt up and down. How many great ideas have manifested when men were out walking?
    Could we put it down to just one or a combination of these and other factors?
    Strange is right. Education and social expectation are mainly responsible, almost certainly. Women were simply not allowed the leisure - because originally "natural philosophy" was a leisure hobby - to pursue it.

    Admittedly, it does seem that, even though we've done our best to remove these restrictions today, it is still the case that fewer women or girls opt for physical sciences than men. Arguments rage as to whether this is an inherent disposition or residual social conditioning. I incline a bit to the former view, as it really does seem fewer women are as coldly rational - hard-hearted, if you like - in their approach to the world as men can be - and I can imagine evolutionary reasons why that might be so. But it's hard to show scientifically of course, as it is famously impossible to unscramble the effects of nature and nurture.
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  5. #4  
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    I think there is an element of selection bias in your post. For example, here are a few, mainly European and American, well known and influential women artists through the years:

    Timarete
    Eirene (artist)
    Herrad of Landsberg
    Hildegard of Bingen (A bit of a "renaissance man" )
    Claricia
    Diemoth
    Ende (artist)
    Guda
    Frögärd i Ösby
    Catherine of Bologna
    Caterina van Hemessen
    Levina Teerlinc
    Sofonisba Anguissola
    Esther Inglis
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fede_Gali
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavinia_Fontanazia
    Diana Scultori
    Barbara Longhi
    Marietta Robusti
    Properzia de' Rossi
    Mayken Verhulst
    Lucia Anguissola
    Artemisia Gentileschi
    Josefa de Óbidos
    Louise Moillon
    Judith Leyster
    Giovanna Garzoni
    Élisabeth Sophie Chéron
    Rachel Ruysch
    Mary Beale
    Maria van Oosterwijck
    Maria Sibylla Merian
    Magdalena de Passe
    Clara Peeters
    Luisa Roldán
    Elisabetta Sirani
    Rosalba Carriera
    Maria Cosway
    Marguerite Gérard
    Angelica Kauffman
    Adélaïde Labille-Guiard
    Giulia Lama
    Mary Moser
    Ulrika Pasch
    Anna Dorothea Therbusch
    Anne Vallayer-Coster
    Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun
    Lucy Bacon
    Marie Bashkirtseff
    Anna Boch
    Rosa Bonheur
    Marie Bracquemond
    Mary Cassatt
    Camille Claudel
    Marie Ellenrieder
    Kate Greenaway
    Kitty Lange Kielland
    Edmonia Lewis
    Constance Mayer
    Victorine Meurent
    Berthe Morisot
    Suzanne Valadon
    Enid Yandell
    Wilhelmina Weber Furlong
    Marie Ellenrieder
    Marie-Denise Villers
    Elizabeth Jane Gardner
    Olga Boznańska
    Barbara Bodichon
    Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale
    Kate Bunce
    Evelyn De Morgan
    Emma Sandys
    Elizabeth Siddal
    Marie Spartali Stillman
    Maria Zambaco
    Julia Margaret Cameron
    Gertrude Käsebier
    Elizabeth Thompson
    Edmonia Lewis
    This is getting boring ...
    Hannelore Baron, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Romaine Brooks, Emily Carr, Leonora Carrington, Mary Cassatt, Elizabeth Catlett, Camille Claudel, Sonia Delaunay, Dulah Marie Evans, Audrey Flack, Mary Frank, Helen Frankenthaler, Elisabeth Frink, Wilhelmina Weber Furlong, Françoise Gilot, Natalia Goncharova, Nancy Graves, Grace Hartigan, Barbara Hepworth, Eva Hesse, Sigrid Hjertén, Malvina Hoffman, Margaret Ponce Israel, Gwen John, Käthe Kollwitz, Lee Krasner, Frida Kahlo, Laura Knight, Barbara Kruger, Marie Laurencin, Tamara de Lempicka, Séraphine Louis, Dora Maar, Margaret MacDonald, Maruja Mallo, Agnes Martin, Ana Mendieta, Joan Mitchell, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Gabriele Münter, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O'Keeffe, Orovida Camille Pissarro, Irene Rice Pereira, Bridget Riley, Verónica Ruiz de Velasco, Anne Ryan, Charlotte Salomon, Augusta Savage, Zofia Stryjeńska, Zinaida Serebriakova, Henrietta Shore, Sr. Maria Stanisia, Marjorie Strider, Suzanne Valadon, Remedios Varo, Nellie Walker, Marianne von Werefkin, Ogura Yuki, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Marina Abramović, Jaroslava Brychtova, Lynda Benglis, Lee Bul, Sophie Calle, Janet Cardiff, Marlene Dumas, Marisol Escobar, Jenny Holzer, Runa Islam, Chantal Joffe, Yayoi Kusama, Karen Kilimnik, Sarah Lucas, Yoko Ono, Jenny Saville, Carolee Schneeman, Shazia Sikander, Lorna Simpson, Lisa Steele, Stella Vine, Kara Walker, Susan Dorothea White ...
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  6. #5  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Admittedly, it does seem that, even though we've done our best to remove these restrictions today, it is still the case that fewer women or girls opt for physical sciences than men. Arguments rage as to whether this is an inherent disposition or residual social conditioning.
    I can't comment on physics specifically, but for engineering (electronics, software, IT, etc) it is very obviously cultural. When I worked in Singapore, for example, the development teams were pretty much 50-50 male and female.

    And before that, when I worked as a lab tech in a university, pretty much 100% of the female students (mainly life sciences and electronics) were overseas students (one was Welsh, which almost counts).
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Admittedly, it does seem that, even though we've done our best to remove these restrictions today, it is still the case that fewer women or girls opt for physical sciences than men. Arguments rage as to whether this is an inherent disposition or residual social conditioning.
    I can't comment on physics specifically, but for engineering (electronics, software, IT, etc) it is very obviously cultural. When I worked in Singapore, for example, the development teams were pretty much 50-50 male and female.

    And before that, when I worked as a lab tech in a university, pretty much 100% of the female students (mainly life sciences and electronics) were overseas students (one was Welsh, which almost counts).
    Though I take your point I think that may not be a fair way to assess the issue, since those teams would have been recruited from only those people who HAD made the choice to study hard sciences. And companies nowadays are under huge pressure to get a balance between the sexes.

    Whereas it seems in UK schools that it continues to be a problem to get more girls to study physics and chemistry.

    I suppose the combined implication of what you and I are saying is that if you are female and you opt for hard science-related job, you have a far higher chance of being selected than a man would have. Which doesn't sound very fair, but then +ve discrimination programmes are not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    Strange is right. Education and social expectation are mainly responsible, almost certainly. Women were simply not allowed the leisure - because originally "natural philosophy" was a leisure hobby - to pursue it.

    Admittedly, it does seem that, even though we've done our best to remove these restrictions today, it is still the case that fewer women or girls opt for physical sciences than men. Arguments rage as to whether this is an inherent disposition or residual social conditioning. I incline a bit to the former view, as it really does seem fewer women are as coldly rational - hard-hearted, if you like - in their approach to the world as men can be - and I can imagine evolutionary reasons why that might be so. But it's hard to show scientifically of course, as it is famously impossible to unscramble the effects of nature and nurture.
    Taking this forum as an example, over the last few years, and I hope both my opinion and memory are accurate, I felt that Jane Bennet (no longer here) was the only female posting regularly, to a high standard, in the maths and physics sub forums.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    Strange is right. Education and social expectation are mainly responsible, almost certainly. Women were simply not allowed the leisure - because originally "natural philosophy" was a leisure hobby - to pursue it.

    Admittedly, it does seem that, even though we've done our best to remove these restrictions today, it is still the case that fewer women or girls opt for physical sciences than men. Arguments rage as to whether this is an inherent disposition or residual social conditioning. I incline a bit to the former view, as it really does seem fewer women are as coldly rational - hard-hearted, if you like - in their approach to the world as men can be - and I can imagine evolutionary reasons why that might be so. But it's hard to show scientifically of course, as it is famously impossible to unscramble the effects of nature and nurture.
    Taking this forum as an example, over the last few years, and I hope both my opinion and memory are accurate, I felt that Jane Bennet (no longer here) was the only female posting regularly, to a high standard, in the maths and physics sub forums.
    I wonder what Adelady thinks about all this - perhaps we'll find out.
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  10. #9  
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    Its purely cultural, and apparently many people that are in sexist cultures, do not realize, evidently, that they are in a culture that is in fact sexist. AS such, any sexist view is taken as being normal and often not even noticed, like you don't see the air around you even if its everywhere and ubiquitous.

    Ex: The college I was going to has large public restrooms/WC in the main building, in most cultures you look at the sign that says men or women as if its a given, but that was a restroom pure and simple, not a men only or a women only. In some cultures this would not be business as usual but something unusual (these find having bathrooms for men only, and for women only, "normal", in their on mind, that's the way its always been, its normal), and in other more conservative/archaic cultures where men and women must ride in separate elevators (Saudi Arabia, at least in the 80s) and all sorts of crazy sexist shite this would be a blasphemous outrage.

    Someone used to such an environment(large public restroom, period), might find it, special, to designate bathrooms by women or men, the same way one might find it peculiar to have a little man sign to indicate that this is a men only cafeteria, or a little women sign in front of a staircase to indicate that this is the women's staircase.
    ~Of course you need to separate cafeteria, two separate stair cases, separate elevators, even in shopping malls, you need an escalator for men and another one for women, what? You mean that in your shopping malls men and women go on the same automated staircase escalators? OMG, how decadent! How come women are not raped? Btw, why aren't you carrying clubs and wearing animals skin?~
    Note that someone that lived in a culture where there's an escalator for women and one for men, would probably think its normal and not even think about it, not realize how utterly absurd it is.

    Some time ago I went into a small restaurant where there was two small bathrooms, one for men, the other for women. Its logistically retarded, my GF went to the bathroom but the womens bathroom was occupied, she had to wait (in theory) while a bathroom was not being used, retarded, there was 2 bathrooms and two humans that needed but it was sub-optimal use, then I needed to go but there was a human that happen to be a man so I had to wait even if there was a bathroom available and not being used. I guess most people dont even notice this, but for me its freaking annoying and stupid. Its mathematically sub optimal and primitive. (I should have been born in the 23rd century).
    Last edited by icewendigo; August 29th, 2013 at 08:49 AM.
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    Two relatively recent studies suggested two reasons for the continued lower % of women in math and science:

    1) Women's choose to have and raise children place demands that limit their career options.
    Women With Both High Math and Verbal Ability Appear Less Likely to Choose Science Careers Because Their Dual Skills Confer More Career Options | University of Pittsburgh News


    2) Women good at math when younger are more likely to also be better at verbal skills than their male peers, therefore having and choosing other career options.
    Women opt out of math/science careers because of family demands, study concludes | Cornell Chronicle

    My anecdotal observations from attending grad school during the 1980s. where women were one or two per class, and two recent math courses were women are at least a 3rd of the class, is there's been a dramatic shift away from the sexual cultural bias in the US.
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    Many years ago women were not given the rights to attend higher education classes at universities but recently they have been able to do so. Besides that few businesses were hiring women for anything 100 years ago which made life for them very difficult.

    Another thing is that women wanted to raise their children and keep their families together which took much time and effort to do so. So they choose to stay with their families instead of attending colleges.
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    Six feet under ground or strewn across various landscapes, like Einstein, Newton, and Darwin.
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    I haven't got the study to hand but there is still the residual idea in the UK anyway that girls are not expected to be good at maths by their teachers so when they aren't, nobody bothers. But history has been written by men and by rich, white men too. Its not just women that have been done down either - Alfred Russell Wallace arguably did more for evolutionary theory than Darwin but Darwin was rich and Wallace wasn't.

    Exchemist - "few women are as coldly rational"???? Would you like me to send you a tardis to rescue you from the 1970's or are you happy there? Personality traits and dispositions are not gender related - some women are coldly rational - I think the derogatory terms used by males for that disposition are things like "ball breaker", "frigid", "ice-maiden" etc., and some women aren't. Some men are coldly rational and some men aren't. Gender has nothing to do with personality, rationality or the ability to control emotions.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    Exchemist - "few women are as coldly rational"???? Would you like me to send you a tardis to rescue you from the 1970's or are you happy there?
    There you go.
    He makes a perfectly innocent comment and you get hysterical and start screaming about time travel.
    Pfft, wimmin.
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    I suppose the combined implication of what you and I are saying is that if you are female and you opt for hard science-related job, you have a far higher chance of being selected than a man would have.
    Wrong.

    A study using identical applications for laboratory manager jobs but with male/female names substituted. Science faculty
    Take away quote from abstract.
    Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant.
    Bloke with a unisex name had trouble getting a job in the area.
    I understood gender discrimination once I added “Mr.” to my resume and landed a job – Quartz
    Take away quote
    She was the example everyone used to show that it could be done, but that most women just didn’t want to. It’s embarrassing to think I once believed that. It’s even more incredible to think many people still do.
    The point being that these instances are from the last few years. It was much, much harder 20, 50, 150 years ago.

    One of my husband's favourite stories is about a woman who managed to be the first medical student at one British university - her husband was very supportive and encouraging in her endeavours to do this. She was the only woman among a couple of hundred male students. Most of the faculty really, really hated her being there. One clever clogs thought he'd put her in her place. When he got to the topic of male anatomy he "invited" her to the board to draw a picture of male genitalia. So she did. He was horrified! Spluttering, "B- b- but it's erect." Yes, she said, "I've never seen it any other way."

    Two take-aways from this story.
    1. Her husband encouraged her. Even now there are many husbands, and fathers, and brothers, and other relatives, who actively discourage their women family members from STEM fields.
    2. The open hostility of faculty and students towards women participating in these areas.

    And it's not just STEM. It was even more stark in music. There were always plenty of women students, but why were orchestras so dominated by men? Turns out all you need is a screen so selection panels can't see musicians during the audition. Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians
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    And for those who cling to the notion of biological differences between men and women in maths and science. Try these for size.

    A quick slide show. How does biology explain the low numbers of women in computer scien...

    A couple of papers. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/107/2/139/ ERIC - Gender Differences in Mathematics Performance., 1999-Jan-27

    And, the killer, social impacts.

    http://rachelappel.com/stats-data-an...hnology-fields

    "The dropping out was a surprise to us. We knew anecdotally that women were leaving these careers. We didn't expect to see the number 52 percent."


    Stereotype Threat and Women's Math Performance




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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    Its purely cultural, and apparently many people that are in sexist cultures, do not realize, evidently, that they are in a culture that is in fact sexist. AS such, any sexist view is taken as being normal and often not even noticed, like you don't see the air around you even if its everywhere and ubiquitous.

    Ex: The college I was going to has large public restrooms/WC in the main building, in most cultures you look at the sign that says men or women as if its a given, but that was a restroom pure and simple, not a men only or a women only. In some cultures this would not be business as usual but something unusual (these find having bathrooms for men only, and for women only, "normal", in their on mind, that's the way its always been, its normal), and in other more conservative/archaic cultures where men and women must ride in separate elevators (Saudi Arabia, at least in the 80s) and all sorts of crazy sexist shite this would be a blasphemous outrage.

    Someone used to such an environment(large public restroom, period), might find it, special, to designate bathrooms by women or men, the same way one might find it peculiar to have a little man sign to indicate that this is a men only cafeteria, or a little women sign in front of a staircase to indicate that this is the women's staircase.
    ~Of course you need to separate cafeteria, two separate stair cases, separate elevators, even in shopping malls, you need an escalator for men and another one for women, what? You mean that in your shopping malls men and women go on the same automated staircase escalators? OMG, how decadent! How come women are not raped? Btw, why aren't you carrying clubs and wearing animals skin?~
    Note that someone that lived in a culture where there's an escalator for women and one for men, would probably think its normal and not even think about it, not realize how utterly absurd it is.

    Some time ago I went into a small restaurant where there was two small bathrooms, one for men, the other for women. Its logistically retarded, my GF went to the bathroom but the womens bathroom was occupied, she had to wait (in theory) while a bathroom was not being used, retarded, there was 2 bathrooms and two humans that needed but it was sub-optimal use, then I needed to go but there was a human that happen to be a man so I had to wait even if there was a bathroom available and not being used. I guess most people dont even notice this, but for me its freaking annoying and stupid. Its mathematically sub optimal and primitive. (I should have been born in the 23rd century).
    Many are unisex now.

    Regardless, if the men's is empty and the women's is full and I have to pee.....sorry boys...I'm using YOUR bathroom!
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    I haven't got the study to hand but there is still the residual idea in the UK anyway that girls are not expected to be good at maths by their teachers so when they aren't, nobody bothers. But history has been written by men and by rich, white men too. Its not just women that have been done down either - Alfred Russell Wallace arguably did more for evolutionary theory than Darwin but Darwin was rich and Wallace wasn't.

    Exchemist - "few women are as coldly rational"???? Would you like me to send you a tardis to rescue you from the 1970's or are you happy there? Personality traits and dispositions are not gender related - some women are coldly rational - I think the derogatory terms used by males for that disposition are things like "ball breaker", "frigid", "ice-maiden" etc., and some women aren't. Some men are coldly rational and some men aren't. Gender has nothing to do with personality, rationality or the ability to control emotions.
    STANDING OVATION!

    I know women with hearts of steel, and men with hearts of gold. It is NOT gender related!
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Though I take your point I think that may not be a fair way to assess the issue, since those teams would have been recruited from only those people who HAD made the choice to study hard sciences. And companies nowadays are under huge pressure to get a balance between the sexes.

    Whereas it seems in UK schools that it continues to be a problem to get more girls to study physics and chemistry.

    I suppose the combined implication of what you and I are saying is that if you are female and you opt for hard science-related job, you have a far higher chance of being selected than a man would have. Which doesn't sound very fair, but then +ve discrimination programmes are not.
    I don't know how you draw those conclusions from what I am saying.

    My first point was that in a different culture (for whatever reasons) a more normal proportion of women work in engineering (and presumably a similar proportion studied it). I don't believe the numbers could have been 50:50 by selecting from the sort of proportion of women who study engineering in the UK, for example.

    My second point was that there seemed to be almost no British women studying science and engineering at the university I worked at. Again, this has nothing to do with positive discrimination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    1. Her husband encouraged her. Even now there are many husbands, and fathers, and brothers, and other relatives, who actively discourage their women family members from STEM fields.
    About 20 years ago we took on a bright female IT graduate. She was obviously going to do well, and did. She had married while at university and, unfortunately, her husband did not do so well in his career initially. Within a few years of them both graduating and working, they got divorced because he could not cope with her earning more than him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    1. Her husband encouraged her. Even now there are many husbands, and fathers, and brothers, and other relatives, who actively discourage their women family members from STEM fields.
    About 20 years ago we took on a bright female IT graduate. She was obviously going to do well, and did. She had married while at university and, unfortunately, her husband did not do so well in his career initially. Within a few years of them both graduating and working, they got divorced because he could not cope with her earning more than him.
    I find that sad. Many couples don't make equal wages (both ways male/female, female/male) but many don't feel, I guess inadequate? because of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    I haven't got the study to hand but there is still the residual idea in the UK anyway that girls are not expected to be good at maths by their teachers so when they aren't, nobody bothers. But history has been written by men and by rich, white men too. Its not just women that have been done down either - Alfred Russell Wallace arguably did more for evolutionary theory than Darwin but Darwin was rich and Wallace wasn't.

    Exchemist - "few women are as coldly rational"???? Would you like me to send you a tardis to rescue you from the 1970's or are you happy there? Personality traits and dispositions are not gender related - some women are coldly rational - I think the derogatory terms used by males for that disposition are things like "ball breaker", "frigid", "ice-maiden" etc., and some women aren't. Some men are coldly rational and some men aren't. Gender has nothing to do with personality, rationality or the ability to control emotions.
    I think you've rather gone off the deep end over what I was trying to convey. Why do you start bringing rude remarks about women into the discussion? All I meant was there there is a certain distance, coldness, perhaps solitariness, a dispassionate quality, about preoccupation with the physical sciences, as opposed to the humanities: language, literature, history, the arts, which are all about the interactions between people. And that it seems to me possible that there might be an intrinsic difference between the sexes as to the proportions of each sex who are attracted to this world.

    Modern management books expatiate at length on the different qualities that women bring to management positions in organisations, compared to men, and how valuable they are to the organisation. So difference in that context is universally accepted and considered to be a benefit. Yet the moment it is suggested that there may be differences in tendency towards various fields of academic study, people jump up, hotly deny that it could possibly be so, and then embark on ad hominem attacks on the person with the temerity to make such a suggestion.

    So it seems to me we have a bit of cognitive dissonance here, related I suspect to the ghastly modern politics of sexual difference.
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    Because the social norms have pushed for the woman to make a baby then take care of said baby and bring it up, while the man has port and cigars and works. It has nothing to do with pelvis size or gender brain difference. This has been the case in most cultures for thousands of years, and the very recent gender equality revolution(s) still have to fight against the gargantuan momentum that history has had a chance to gain over time.

    It will change. Gradually. Slowly, but surely. I would not go looking at the pelvis for the answer, though. That is a dead end right there.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I suppose the combined implication of what you and I are saying is that if you are female and you opt for hard science-related job, you have a far higher chance of being selected than a man would have.
    Wrong.

    A study using identical applications for laboratory manager jobs but with male/female names substituted. Science faculty
    Take away quote from abstract.
    Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant.
    Bloke with a unisex name had trouble getting a job in the area.
    I understood gender discrimination once I added “Mr.” to my resume and landed a job – Quartz
    Take away quote
    She was the example everyone used to show that it could be done, but that most women just didn’t want to. It’s embarrassing to think I once believed that. It’s even more incredible to think many people still do.
    The point being that these instances are from the last few years. It was much, much harder 20, 50, 150 years ago.

    One of my husband's favourite stories is about a woman who managed to be the first medical student at one British university - her husband was very supportive and encouraging in her endeavours to do this. She was the only woman among a couple of hundred male students. Most of the faculty really, really hated her being there. One clever clogs thought he'd put her in her place. When he got to the topic of male anatomy he "invited" her to the board to draw a picture of male genitalia. So she did. He was horrified! Spluttering, "B- b- but it's erect." Yes, she said, "I've never seen it any other way."

    Two take-aways from this story.
    1. Her husband encouraged her. Even now there are many husbands, and fathers, and brothers, and other relatives, who actively discourage their women family members from STEM fields.
    2. The open hostility of faculty and students towards women participating in these areas.

    And it's not just STEM. It was even more stark in music. There were always plenty of women students, but why were orchestras so dominated by men? Turns out all you need is a screen so selection panels can't see musicians during the audition. Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians
    Thanks for that, Adelady. I suspect there may be a difference in who is in "the teams" and who gets to be the "manager". Putting women in authority continues to be a challenge for old-fashioned organisations.
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    Whatever...
    I was trying to find out what gives some men a sudden startling inspirational idea, rather than trying to start a debate on gender and intelligence.
    My superheroes provide examples:
    Darwin / Wallace - realised how life survives on earth when it could so easily have fizzled out.
    Newton - realised that an invisible force held the whole universe together.
    Einstein - realised that space + time is fluid, and gravity is not a force but a form of geometry.
    Lemaitre - realised that the universe started in a cosmic fireball.
    Hamilton / Dawkins and others - realised that bodies are for the survival of genes.

    I understand that these and many others were the result of a flash of inspiration when simply reflecting on the problem in hand, rather than exhaustive time consuming research which a woman raising her kids might not have time for. It should all point to the brain and nervous system shouldn't it? When Einstein's brain was removed it was allegedly found to have some special features.

    I've got a book in front of me called 'What is your Dangerous Idea?' with contributions from 108 authors. Only 9 of them appear to be women.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I understand that these and many others were the result of a flash of inspiration when simply reflecting on the problem in hand, rather than exhaustive time consuming research which a woman raising her kids might not have time for.
    Then I am pretty sure you understand wrong. Darwin and Wallace both spent many years developing their ideas and collecting evidence. They were also, as Newton put it, standing on the shoulders of giants. Some of these ideas may have been presented after the fact as sudden breakthroughs to make a good story. (Newton's apple may be the only one in that category, though. And it is generally agreed he made the story up.)

    I am quite sure that one could put together an equally long list of women who have come up with brilliant ideas (whether by hard work or inspiration). So, again: it is simply selection bias on your part. I'm not sure if this is deliberate in order to try and support some particular point of view, or just due to ignorance.

    It should all point to the brain and nervous system shouldn't it?
    Apparently not, if you had read any of the responses above.

    When Einstein's brain was removed it was allegedly found to have some special features.
    Citation needed. And even if true, how does it compare to Marie Curie's brain? (Remember, she got twice as many Nobel Prizes as Einstein).

    Oh, they haven't examined her brain? No point. After all, she is just a woman.

    I've got a book in front of me called 'What is your Dangerous Idea?' with contributions from 108 authors. Only 9 of them appear to be women.
    You should write a letter of complaint to the publishers for their obvious bias.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Whatever...
    I was trying to find out what gives some men a sudden startling inspirational idea, rather than trying to start a debate on gender and intelligence.
    My superheroes provide examples:
    Darwin / Wallace - realised how life survives on earth when it could so easily have fizzled out.
    Newton - realised that an invisible force held the whole universe together.
    Einstein - realised that space + time is fluid, and gravity is not a force but a form of geometry.
    Lemaitre - realised that the universe started in a cosmic fireball.
    Hamilton / Dawkins and others - realised that bodies are for the survival of genes.

    I understand that these and many others were the result of a flash of inspiration when simply reflecting on the problem in hand, rather than exhaustive time consuming research which a woman raising her kids might not have time for. It should all point to the brain and nervous system shouldn't it? When Einstein's brain was removed it was allegedly found to have some special features.

    I've got a book in front of me called 'What is your Dangerous Idea?' with contributions from 108 authors. Only 9 of them appear to be women.
    If you are not trying to debate sex (I hate "gender" outside the context of grammar) and intelligence, why did you title the thread as you did and why do you cite this statistic? Don't be disingenuous.

    I suspect if you set them all down with dates against the idea and order them by date, you will find the contributions from women come at the end of the c.19th or in the c.20th. If you have taken in any of the comments on this thread, you will see that the bald statistic of 108 vs. 9 proves nothing about men vs.women.

    But that's OK because that was not your point anyway, right?
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Whatever...I was trying to find out what gives some men a sudden startling inspirational idea, rather than trying to start a debate on gender and intelligence.My superheroes provide examplesarwin / Wallace - realised how life survives on earth when it could so easily have fizzled out.Newton - realised that an invisible force held the whole universe together.Einstein - realised that space + time is fluid, and gravity is not a force but a form of geometry.Lemaitre - realised that the universe started in a cosmic fireball.Hamilton / Dawkins and others - realised that bodies are for the survival of genes.I understand that these and many others were the result of a flash of inspiration when simply reflecting on the problem in hand, rather than exhaustive time consuming research which a woman raising her kids might not have time for. It should all point to the brain and nervous system shouldn't it? When Einstein's brain was removed it was allegedly found to have some special features. I've got a book in front of me called 'What is your Dangerous Idea?' with contributions from 108 authors. Only 9 of them appear to be women.
    If you are not trying to debate sex (I hate "gender" outside the context of grammar) and intelligence, why did you title the thread as you did and why do you cite this statistic? Don't be disingenuous.I suspect if you set them all down with dates against the idea and order them by date, you will find the contributions from women come at the end of the c.19th or in the c.20th. If you have taken in any of the comments on this thread, you will see that the bald statistic of 108 vs. 9 proves nothing about men vs.women. But that's OK because that was not your point anyway, right?
    I'm a woman, and I approve of this message. Well said.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I think you've rather gone off the deep end over what I was trying to convey. Why do you start bringing rude remarks about women into the discussion? All I meant was there there is a certain distance, coldness, perhaps solitariness, a dispassionate quality, about preoccupation with the physical sciences, as opposed to the humanities: language, literature, history, the arts, which are all about the interactions between people. And that it seems to me possible that there might be an intrinsic difference between the sexes as to the proportions of each sex who are attracted to this world.

    Modern management books expatiate at length on the different qualities that women bring to management positions in organisations, compared to men, and how valuable they are to the organisation. So difference in that context is universally accepted and considered to be a benefit. Yet the moment it is suggested that there may be differences in tendency towards various fields of academic study, people jump up, hotly deny that it could possibly be so, and then embark on ad hominem attacks on the person with the temerity to make such a suggestion.

    So it seems to me we have a bit of cognitive dissonance here, related I suspect to the ghastly modern politics of sexual difference.
    No cognitive dissonance - I am pointing out that you are incorrect in relating any personality trait or disposition to gender. I am perfectly happy to accept differences where they exist - in fact I think its ridiculous not to do so but the difference here is not gender. Modern management can expatiate all they like but you I doubt you can find one personality trait that is universal to all women, just as you cant find one that is universal to all men. What people gravitate to is a product of their individual socialising and upbringing and environmental constraints, not a product of their biology.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    What people gravitate to is a product of their individual socialising and upbringing and environmental constraints, not a product of their biology.
    I'll disagree with this statement. The effect of a person's sex on their behavior is an open question, but I'm pretty sure behavior has something to do with biology, not just environment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I suppose the combined implication of what you and I are saying is that if you are female and you opt for hard science-related job, you have a far higher chance of being selected than a man would have.
    Wrong.

    A study using identical applications for laboratory manager jobs but with male/female names substituted. Science faculty
    Take away quote from abstract.
    Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant.
    Bloke with a unisex name had trouble getting a job in the area.
    I understood gender discrimination once I added “Mr.” to my resume and landed a job – Quartz
    Take away quote
    She was the example everyone used to show that it could be done, but that most women just didn’t want to. It’s embarrassing to think I once believed that. It’s even more incredible to think many people still do.
    The point being that these instances are from the last few years. It was much, much harder 20, 50, 150 years ago.

    One of my husband's favourite stories is about a woman who managed to be the first medical student at one British university - her husband was very supportive and encouraging in her endeavours to do this. She was the only woman among a couple of hundred male students. Most of the faculty really, really hated her being there. One clever clogs thought he'd put her in her place. When he got to the topic of male anatomy he "invited" her to the board to draw a picture of male genitalia. So she did. He was horrified! Spluttering, "B- b- but it's erect." Yes, she said, "I've never seen it any other way."

    Two take-aways from this story.
    1. Her husband encouraged her. Even now there are many husbands, and fathers, and brothers, and other relatives, who actively discourage their women family members from STEM fields.
    2. The open hostility of faculty and students towards women participating in these areas.

    And it's not just STEM. It was even more stark in music. There were always plenty of women students, but why were orchestras so dominated by men? Turns out all you need is a screen so selection panels can't see musicians during the audition. Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians
    Your points about having a supportive environment ring very true for me, Adelady. I was sabotaged in my efforts to attend college, first by my parents and then by my husband (twice) despite a very strong aptitude for math and science. I ended up waiting until my youngest child was eight to start college, which effectively cuts my career in half.

    The earlier poster's comment about "coldly rational" made me laugh out loud, because I know quite a few scientists, male and female, and they are far from coldly rational people. Being a good scientist or mathematician takes a great deal of passion and creativity. Indeed, some of the best scientists I know are also the best artists I know.
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I think you've rather gone off the deep end over what I was trying to convey. Why do you start bringing rude remarks about women into the discussion? All I meant was there there is a certain distance, coldness, perhaps solitariness, a dispassionate quality, about preoccupation with the physical sciences, as opposed to the humanities: language, literature, history, the arts, which are all about the interactions between people. And that it seems to me possible that there might be an intrinsic difference between the sexes as to the proportions of each sex who are attracted to this world.

    Modern management books expatiate at length on the different qualities that women bring to management positions in organisations, compared to men, and how valuable they are to the organisation. So difference in that context is universally accepted and considered to be a benefit. Yet the moment it is suggested that there may be differences in tendency towards various fields of academic study, people jump up, hotly deny that it could possibly be so, and then embark on ad hominem attacks on the person with the temerity to make such a suggestion.

    So it seems to me we have a bit of cognitive dissonance here, related I suspect to the ghastly modern politics of sexual difference.
    No cognitive dissonance - I am pointing out that you are incorrect in relating any personality trait or disposition to gender. I am perfectly happy to accept differences where they exist - in fact I think its ridiculous not to do so but the difference here is not gender. Modern management can expatiate all they like but you I doubt you can find one personality trait that is universal to all women, just as you cant find one that is universal to all men. What people gravitate to is a product of their individual socialising and upbringing and environmental constraints, not a product of their biology.
    You may be right, but mere assertions, unaccompanied by evidence, strike me as being an expression of a political creed rather than a scientific conclusion.

    Your reaction reminds me a bit of Walt and Mearsheimer's experience, writing about the US Israeli Lobby. The reaction from a number of pro-Israel organisations was along the lines of: "It is false to assert there is any such thing as an Israeli Lobby, anyone who does so is antisemitic, and what's more, we can ensure they never find employment again, because we know a lot of influential people".

    In other words, you seem to be saying we celebrate and harness sexual diversity, but simultaneously must deny on principle that any such diversity exists. Can you clarify the apparent contradiction?

    Or, if your point is just the mild one that there's a huge spectrum of variety among both women and men, then I don't see how anyone could disagree. Least of all me, married as I am to a mathematician and engineer (Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and MIT) who earns double what I did before I retired.
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I think you've rather gone off the deep end over what I was trying to convey. Why do you start bringing rude remarks about women into the discussion? All I meant was there there is a certain distance, coldness, perhaps solitariness, a dispassionate quality, about preoccupation with the physical sciences, as opposed to the humanities: language, literature, history, the arts, which are all about the interactions between people. And that it seems to me possible that there might be an intrinsic difference between the sexes as to the proportions of each sex who are attracted to this world.

    Modern management books expatiate at length on the different qualities that women bring to management positions in organisations, compared to men, and how valuable they are to the organisation. So difference in that context is universally accepted and considered to be a benefit. Yet the moment it is suggested that there may be differences in tendency towards various fields of academic study, people jump up, hotly deny that it could possibly be so, and then embark on ad hominem attacks on the person with the temerity to make such a suggestion.

    So it seems to me we have a bit of cognitive dissonance here, related I suspect to the ghastly modern politics of sexual difference.
    No cognitive dissonance - I am pointing out that you are incorrect in relating any personality trait or disposition to gender. I am perfectly happy to accept differences where they exist - in fact I think its ridiculous not to do so but the difference here is not gender. Modern management can expatiate all they like but you I doubt you can find one personality trait that is universal to all women, just as you cant find one that is universal to all men. What people gravitate to is a product of their individual socialising and upbringing and environmental constraints, not a product of their biology.
    You may be right, but mere assertions, unaccompanied by evidence, strike me as being an expression of a political creed rather than a scientific conclusion.


    In other words, you seem to be saying we celebrate and harness sexual diversity, but simultaneously must deny on principle that any such diversity exists. Can you clarify the apparent contradiction?

    Or, if your point is just the mild one that there's a huge spectrum of variety among both women and men, then I don't see how anyone could disagree. Least of all me, married as I am to a mathematician and engineer (Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and MIT) who earns double what I did before I retired.
    She didn't say that at all. She is stating rather, that there is no 'hard and fast rule' when it comes to 'judging' personality traits based on gender differences. She specifically states that she believes there isn't one trait 'universal' to women or men. That is true. These types of discussions sort of make me wonder the reason behind initiating them. Is it to show that men are somehow the 'stronger' sex over women? The 'smarter' sex over women? Women are not these oddities to be studied, yet these discussions sometimes take the framework of that. As though women are to be studied and evaluated as to why they are 'different' than men in 'this or that' regard. While there are fundamental differences biologically between men and women, the roles that women play in society, and in various careers, are largely based on social stigmas, and not on biology at all. Science doesn't dictate what women can or can't do or haven't done, according to some such 'study.' Society has been dictating it for way too long; thankfully, the tides have been turning for a number of years, and the future will only get brighter for women to have the opportunities that have routinely only been afforded to men.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I think you've rather gone off the deep end over what I was trying to convey. Why do you start bringing rude remarks about women into the discussion? All I meant was there there is a certain distance, coldness, perhaps solitariness, a dispassionate quality, about preoccupation with the physical sciences, as opposed to the humanities: language, literature, history, the arts, which are all about the interactions between people. And that it seems to me possible that there might be an intrinsic difference between the sexes as to the proportions of each sex who are attracted to this world.

    Modern management books expatiate at length on the different qualities that women bring to management positions in organisations, compared to men, and how valuable they are to the organisation. So difference in that context is universally accepted and considered to be a benefit. Yet the moment it is suggested that there may be differences in tendency towards various fields of academic study, people jump up, hotly deny that it could possibly be so, and then embark on ad hominem attacks on the person with the temerity to make such a suggestion.

    So it seems to me we have a bit of cognitive dissonance here, related I suspect to the ghastly modern politics of sexual difference.
    No cognitive dissonance - I am pointing out that you are incorrect in relating any personality trait or disposition to gender. I am perfectly happy to accept differences where they exist - in fact I think its ridiculous not to do so but the difference here is not gender. Modern management can expatiate all they like but you I doubt you can find one personality trait that is universal to all women, just as you cant find one that is universal to all men. What people gravitate to is a product of their individual socialising and upbringing and environmental constraints, not a product of their biology.
    You may be right, but mere assertions, unaccompanied by evidence, strike me as being an expression of a political creed rather than a scientific conclusion.


    In other words, you seem to be saying we celebrate and harness sexual diversity, but simultaneously must deny on principle that any such diversity exists. Can you clarify the apparent contradiction?

    Or, if your point is just the mild one that there's a huge spectrum of variety among both women and men, then I don't see how anyone could disagree. Least of all me, married as I am to a mathematician and engineer (Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and MIT) who earns double what I did before I retired.
    She didn't say that at all. She is stating rather, that there is no 'hard and fast rule' when it comes to 'judging' personality traits based on gender differences. She specifically states that she believes there isn't one trait 'universal' to women or men. That is true. These types of discussions sort of make me wonder the reason behind initiating them. Is it to show that men are somehow the 'stronger' sex over women? The 'smarter' sex over women? Women are not these oddities to be studied, yet these discussions sometimes take the framework of that. As though women are to be studied and evaluated as to why they are 'different' than men in 'this or that' regard. While there are fundamental differences biologically between men and women, the roles that women play in society, and in various careers, are largely based on social stigmas, and not on biology at all. Science doesn't dictate what women can or can't do or haven't done, according to some such 'study.' Society has been dictating it for way too long; thankfully, the tides have been turning for a number of years, and the future will only get brighter for women to have the opportunities that have routinely only been afforded to men.
    Far from it wegs. As far as I'm concerned, there is no wish for assert any form of superiority of one sex over the other in any way at all. I am simply open to the possibility that there may be some differences between the sexes that show up in average levels of predeliction towards various types of study. It seems to me not unreasonable to think that there might be, in view of the well-publicised difference in choices of course at school.

    But I have not yet got round to reading the links Adelady has posted on this subject. If someone has been able to rule out any inherent sexual difference in this area by means of solid evidence, I'll very happily indeed accept that there is no such difference. But I'm NOT going to rule it out from pure political correctness.
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    I'm surprised Grace Hopper doesn't get more attention in these discussions. She was one of the pioneers of the computer field during WW2, back when they were still half mechanical. She is often credited with the popularization of the term "bug" in computer programming, because she encountered a problem that turned out to be literally a bug.

    Grace Hopper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    2) Women good at math when younger are more likely to also be better at verbal skills than their male peers, therefore having and choosing other career options.
    Women opt out of math/science careers because of family demands, study concludes | Cornell Chronicle
    My younger sister was like that. She started reading Shakespeare in first grade. Never took much interest in math, though there's nothing to suggest she's bad at it. Just a lot better at the other stuff, and finds it more interesting (perhaps because she's so good at it.)



    For culture bias, I think a lot of women feel like they're failures on the dating scene if they can't find a partner who's more successful than they are. So, one strategy is to just not be very successful. It's like she's kind of half way to being a single mother (the ultimate negative stigma in our culture), if she manages to get married but still ends up being the primary provider.

    Another one of my sisters is in a situation very much like that. Her husband failed out of sports medicine college, and now she's working a full time job supporting him and her kid while he goes to school to become an accountant. He isn't working while he's in college. Only she is. He's kind of a bum that way, and it is embarrassing for her to have to prop him up. On the other hand, he's a great cook. In a less sexist culture, maybe they could switch roles?
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    @ exchemist; I appreciate your points. In truth, there's nothing wrong with studies that are done in the name of science to determine a variety of things relating to gender differences. But all too often, there seems to be a disingenuous motive that underpins these types of discussions. I agree about your PC comment...to me, equality should never have become a politically correct standard. It should just BE the standard.
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    If the study has an equal likelihood of confirming or refuting gender inequality, then I see no reason not to conduct it. Of course it could arrive at a wrong conclusion due to confounding variables, but all studies have that potential. We might as well just quit using the scientific method altogether if we're going to let the fear of false confirmation or false refutation stymie us. We must take all the precautions we can but "don't conduct any tests at all, just guess instead" is a bad precaution.

    Our society needs to get over the idea that statistical data is meaningful on the individual level. Outliers are expected. You can't apply statistical data to an individual unless you can first prove they are not an outlier.
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    Okay, please define "statistical outlier" in this context. I think I know, but need confirmation.Here is the thing. If you have never been treated unfairly or discriminated against because of your sex, you will never understand where I'm coming from, really.There is no gender inequality, only differences. And these differences do not dictate someone's intelligence or what he/she may be more proficient in. I don't like these studies. :/
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    You can't apply statistical data to an individual unless you can first prove they are not an outlier.
    You can never apply statistical data to an individual, only to a population.

    Once you have your statistical picture of a population, you can then look at the outliers to see what features they have to determine what might or might not be tested as an influence on the majority of the population. Or to compare different populations.
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    Here's one great woman in mathematics: Emmy Noether. Perhaps the best one of all time.
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    My strong point lies in the genetics of breeding good horses and the mare is 60 % of the equation, according to horsemen through the ages by reason of the time the mare spends in nurturing the foal.

    The point has been made earlier in the thread that many women choose to nurture and the one thing that all the great men of science have in common is that they were all born of women. Men and women have different means of arriving at the same destination so merely making formerly male dominated venues available to them does not automatically suggest that more women are going to choose science or politics just because it is now more acceptable.

    The hey with that lads. I know how to have my cake and eat it too, lol...

    Men, or at least most men, are not comfortable in being outdone by a woman so a great number of us play a supporting role not because we cannot lead but because we choose to lead from a different position.
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    And no one's mentioned Ada Lovelace. She came up with the algorithm that allowed Charles Babbage's idea to actually work.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    My strong point lies in the genetics of breeding good horses and the mare is 60 % of the equation, according to horsemen through the ages by reason of the time the mare spends in nurturing the foal.

    The point has been made earlier in the thread that many women choose to nurture and the one thing that all the great men of science have in common is that they were all born of women. Men and women have different means of arriving at the same destination so merely making formerly male dominated venues available to them does not automatically suggest that more women are going to choose science or politics just because it is now more acceptable.

    The hey with that lads. I know how to have my cake and eat it too, lol...

    Men, or at least most men, are not comfortable in being outdone by a woman so a great number of us play a supporting role not because we cannot lead but because we choose to lead from a different position.
    *clapping*
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    @ exchemist; I appreciate your points. In truth, there's nothing wrong with studies that are done in the name of science to determine a variety of things relating to gender differences. But all too often, there seems to be a disingenuous motive that underpins these types of discussions. I agree about your PC comment...to me, equality should never have become a politically correct standard. It should just BE the standard.
    Sure. But I - at least- am not discussing equality AT ALL. The possible existence of differences does not imply inequality.
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    In that famous photograph taken at the Solvay Conference 1927 there were 29 scientists and only one was a woman (Curie). If you were to hold such an event today, who would you invite and what would be the ratio of men to women?
    When I started working in IT there was a woman with a maths degree from Cambridge. She was cleverer than anyone else in the department, but she maintained a low profile. Then I worked with a woman with a degree in quantum physics from Oxford. She was little more than a payroll clerk. I can only give a sample of 2 but there was a lack of ambition there somewhere compared to most of the men. So maybe there's such a thing as a confidence gene or an ambition gene to go with the competition gene found in most males.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    You can't apply statistical data to an individual unless you can first prove they are not an outlier.
    You can never apply statistical data to an individual, only to a population.

    Once you have your statistical picture of a population, you can then look at the outliers to see what features they have to determine what might or might not be tested as an influence on the majority of the population. Or to compare different populations.
    Yeah. I was saying that "unless you can prove they are not an outlier" part kind of with tongue in cheek.

    Since the only way to prove someone isn't an outlier is to independently prove whatever it is you're trying to say of them. And if you've independently proven it, then the statistics aren't much use to you anyway.


    Suppose for example, I have a statistical stereotype that says a disproportionate number of blond males have below average IQ. (I have no idea whether that is true or not, but it seemed like a harmless example.) So I give a blond guy an IQ test, and it turns out he matches that stereotype. Ok, so I've established he's not an outlier. But at this point...... why does it matter whether that's statistically ordinary or not? I already know his IQ. I don't need the statistical data for anything now.


    However, statistics can be useful for blind guess situations. I see nothing wrong with a store owner putting extra effort into watching people who fit statistical profiles for people who might shoplift. That's just plain smart. So long as he isn't hurting them by doing it. (So as not to penalize them for something that may be outside their control.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I think you've rather gone off the deep end over what I was trying to convey. Why do you start bringing rude remarks about women into the discussion? All I meant was there there is a certain distance, coldness, perhaps solitariness, a dispassionate quality, about preoccupation with the physical sciences, as opposed to the humanities: language, literature, history, the arts, which are all about the interactions between people. And that it seems to me possible that there might be an intrinsic difference between the sexes as to the proportions of each sex who are attracted to this world.

    Modern management books expatiate at length on the different qualities that women bring to management positions in organisations, compared to men, and how valuable they are to the organisation. So difference in that context is universally accepted and considered to be a benefit. Yet the moment it is suggested that there may be differences in tendency towards various fields of academic study, people jump up, hotly deny that it could possibly be so, and then embark on ad hominem attacks on the person with the temerity to make such a suggestion.

    So it seems to me we have a bit of cognitive dissonance here, related I suspect to the ghastly modern politics of sexual difference.
    No cognitive dissonance - I am pointing out that you are incorrect in relating any personality trait or disposition to gender. I am perfectly happy to accept differences where they exist - in fact I think its ridiculous not to do so but the difference here is not gender. Modern management can expatiate all they like but you I doubt you can find one personality trait that is universal to all women, just as you cant find one that is universal to all men. What people gravitate to is a product of their individual socialising and upbringing and environmental constraints, not a product of their biology.
    You may be right, but mere assertions, unaccompanied by evidence, strike me as being an expression of a political creed rather than a scientific conclusion.


    In other words, you seem to be saying we celebrate and harness sexual diversity, but simultaneously must deny on principle that any such diversity exists. Can you clarify the apparent contradiction?

    Or, if your point is just the mild one that there's a huge spectrum of variety among both women and men, then I don't see how anyone could disagree. Least of all me, married as I am to a mathematician and engineer (Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and MIT) who earns double what I did before I retired.
    She didn't say that at all. She is stating rather, that there is no 'hard and fast rule' when it comes to 'judging' personality traits based on gender differences. She specifically states that she believes there isn't one trait 'universal' to women or men. That is true. These types of discussions sort of make me wonder the reason behind initiating them. Is it to show that men are somehow the 'stronger' sex over women? The 'smarter' sex over women? Women are not these oddities to be studied, yet these discussions sometimes take the framework of that. As though women are to be studied and evaluated as to why they are 'different' than men in 'this or that' regard. While there are fundamental differences biologically between men and women, the roles that women play in society, and in various careers, are largely based on social stigmas, and not on biology at all. Science doesn't dictate what women can or can't do or haven't done, according to some such 'study.' Society has been dictating it for way too long; thankfully, the tides have been turning for a number of years, and the future will only get brighter for women to have the opportunities that have routinely only been afforded to men.
    Far from it wegs. As far as I'm concerned, there is no wish for assert any form of superiority of one sex over the other in any way at all. I am simply open to the possibility that there may be some differences between the sexes that show up in average levels of predeliction towards various types of study. It seems to me not unreasonable to think that there might be, in view of the well-publicised difference in choices of course at school.

    But I have not yet got round to reading the links Adelady has posted on this subject. If someone has been able to rule out any inherent sexual difference in this area by means of solid evidence, I'll very happily indeed accept that there is no such difference. But I'm NOT going to rule it out from pure political correctness.
    If I may, speaking from a social science perspective it is rather meaningless to speculate about the possibility of a sex-linked difference in predisposition toward entering math and science fields at this time, because it is currently impossible to separate the social/cultural factors from any potential biological factors influencing the sex ratio in sciences. However, I would point out that less than a century ago law and medicine were considered essentially a man's domain, and very similar guesses about predisposition were made regarding the sex ratio in both law and medicine. However, the social and cultural landscape has shifted significantly, with the result that applicants to both law and medical schools are majority female at nearly a 60/40 ratio.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    When I started working in IT there was a woman with a maths degree from Cambridge. She was cleverer than anyone else in the department, but she maintained a low profile. Then I worked with a woman with a degree in quantum physics from Oxford. She was little more than a payroll clerk. I can only give a sample of 2 but there was a lack of ambition there somewhere compared to most of the men. So maybe there's such a thing as a confidence gene or an ambition gene to go with the competition gene found in most males.
    Maybe there is such a thing as an illogical gene which you have inherited. You are extrapolating from two examples, neither of which implies inherited rather than learned behavior, nor have you ruled out discrimination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    In that famous photograph taken at the Solvay Conference 1927 there were 29 scientists and only one was a woman (Curie). If you were to hold such an event today, who would you invite and what would be the ratio of men to women?
    When I started working in IT there was a woman with a maths degree from Cambridge. She was cleverer than anyone else in the department, but she maintained a low profile. Then I worked with a woman with a degree in quantum physics from Oxford. She was little more than a payroll clerk. I can only give a sample of 2 but there was a lack of ambition there somewhere compared to most of the men. So maybe there's such a thing as a confidence gene or an ambition gene to go with the competition gene found in most males.
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.

    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    @ exchemist; I appreciate your points. In truth, there's nothing wrong with studies that are done in the name of science to determine a variety of things relating to gender differences. But all too often, there seems to be a disingenuous motive that underpins these types of discussions. I agree about your PC comment...to me, equality should never have become a politically correct standard. It should just BE the standard.
    Sure. But I - at least- am not discussing equality AT ALL. The possible existence of differences does not imply inequality.
    Okay, thank you for clarifying...hard to tell what people 'mean' without tone, via the 'net.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I think you've rather gone off the deep end over what I was trying to convey. Why do you start bringing rude remarks about women into the discussion? All I meant was there there is a certain distance, coldness, perhaps solitariness, a dispassionate quality, about preoccupation with the physical sciences, as opposed to the humanities: language, literature, history, the arts, which are all about the interactions between people. And that it seems to me possible that there might be an intrinsic difference between the sexes as to the proportions of each sex who are attracted to this world.

    Modern management books expatiate at length on the different qualities that women bring to management positions in organisations, compared to men, and how valuable they are to the organisation. So difference in that context is universally accepted and considered to be a benefit. Yet the moment it is suggested that there may be differences in tendency towards various fields of academic study, people jump up, hotly deny that it could possibly be so, and then embark on ad hominem attacks on the person with the temerity to make such a suggestion.

    So it seems to me we have a bit of cognitive dissonance here, related I suspect to the ghastly modern politics of sexual difference.
    No cognitive dissonance - I am pointing out that you are incorrect in relating any personality trait or disposition to gender. I am perfectly happy to accept differences where they exist - in fact I think its ridiculous not to do so but the difference here is not gender. Modern management can expatiate all they like but you I doubt you can find one personality trait that is universal to all women, just as you cant find one that is universal to all men. What people gravitate to is a product of their individual socialising and upbringing and environmental constraints, not a product of their biology.
    You may be right, but mere assertions, unaccompanied by evidence, strike me as being an expression of a political creed rather than a scientific conclusion.


    In other words, you seem to be saying we celebrate and harness sexual diversity, but simultaneously must deny on principle that any such diversity exists. Can you clarify the apparent contradiction?

    Or, if your point is just the mild one that there's a huge spectrum of variety among both women and men, then I don't see how anyone could disagree. Least of all me, married as I am to a mathematician and engineer (Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and MIT) who earns double what I did before I retired.
    She didn't say that at all. She is stating rather, that there is no 'hard and fast rule' when it comes to 'judging' personality traits based on gender differences. She specifically states that she believes there isn't one trait 'universal' to women or men. That is true. These types of discussions sort of make me wonder the reason behind initiating them. Is it to show that men are somehow the 'stronger' sex over women? The 'smarter' sex over women? Women are not these oddities to be studied, yet these discussions sometimes take the framework of that. As though women are to be studied and evaluated as to why they are 'different' than men in 'this or that' regard. While there are fundamental differences biologically between men and women, the roles that women play in society, and in various careers, are largely based on social stigmas, and not on biology at all. Science doesn't dictate what women can or can't do or haven't done, according to some such 'study.' Society has been dictating it for way too long; thankfully, the tides have been turning for a number of years, and the future will only get brighter for women to have the opportunities that have routinely only been afforded to men.
    Far from it wegs. As far as I'm concerned, there is no wish for assert any form of superiority of one sex over the other in any way at all. I am simply open to the possibility that there may be some differences between the sexes that show up in average levels of predeliction towards various types of study. It seems to me not unreasonable to think that there might be, in view of the well-publicised difference in choices of course at school.

    But I have not yet got round to reading the links Adelady has posted on this subject. If someone has been able to rule out any inherent sexual difference in this area by means of solid evidence, I'll very happily indeed accept that there is no such difference. But I'm NOT going to rule it out from pure political correctness.
    If I may, speaking from a social science perspective it is rather meaningless to speculate about the possibility of a sex-linked difference in predisposition toward entering math and science fields at this time, because it is currently impossible to separate the social/cultural factors from any potential biological factors influencing the sex ratio in sciences. However, I would point out that less than a century ago law and medicine were considered essentially a man's domain, and very similar guesses about predisposition were made regarding the sex ratio in both law and medicine. However, the social and cultural landscape has shifted significantly, with the result that applicants to both law and medical schools are majority female at nearly a 60/40 ratio.
    I don't have much else to add, just really like how you worded this.
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    Thank you!
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    I think our friend Pot Raost is just goofing around. I'm giving him a week off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    In that famous photograph taken at the Solvay Conference 1927 there were 29 scientists and only one was a woman (Curie). If you were to hold such an event today, who would you invite and what would be the ratio of men to women?
    When I started working in IT there was a woman with a maths degree from Cambridge. She was cleverer than anyone else in the department, but she maintained a low profile. Then I worked with a woman with a degree in quantum physics from Oxford. She was little more than a payroll clerk. I can only give a sample of 2 but there was a lack of ambition there somewhere compared to most of the men. So maybe there's such a thing as a confidence gene or an ambition gene to go with the competition gene found in most males.
    I wish I knew enough of people in the world of Science to fairly put up some names, but I do not. *S* Theatre arts......different story.
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    Why?...because women make better directors. Just ask Scheherazade. I'm joking...inspired by the article 17 Reasons Why Chicks Actually Make Better Directors. As a newbie, it seems I can't post a link, sorry.

    Seriously, I don't know about other women today, but I never had a deep scientific purpose to prove.
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisin View Post
    As a newbie, it seems I can't post a link, sorry.

    It is a method to reduce spamming.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.
    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
    I understand this is an area still being explored. I have certainly heard the term 'competition gene' mentioned on sci-programs. If you believe the Romans and others they linked genius with the production of semen in young males. When you consider that the great discoveries of maths and science were nearly always made by men in their 20's this makes some sense. Schroedinger was a possible exception, but then he was a womaniser for most of his life.
    Women were certainly perceived as being less ambitious than men up until recently. Possibly they can compete better now with the decline in male fertility and the change to the Y-Chromosone.
    When there is a surplus of males, or females are more promiscuous, then males become competitive at the molecular level.
    http://www.hhmi.org/news/sexual-comp...x-related-gene
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.
    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
    I understand this is an area still being explored. I have certainly heard the term 'competition gene' mentioned on sci-programs. If you believe the Romans and others they linked genius with the production of semen in young males. When you consider that the great discoveries of maths and science were nearly always made by men in their 20's this makes some sense. Schroedinger was a possible exception, but then he was a womaniser for most of his life.
    Women were certainly perceived as being less ambitious than men up until recently. Possibly they can compete better now with the decline in male fertility and the change to the Y-Chromosone.
    When there is a surplus of males, or females are more promiscuous, then males become competitive at the molecular level.
    Research News: Sexual Competition Drives Evolution of a Sex-Related Gene | Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    This study is saying that male sperm alters to become a better product when there are too many males or promiscuous females - it most definitely is not saying that men with better sperm are more clever or more ambitious or more competitive in the workplace. You will also find that other studies like this stipulate that the effects are so small as to not be found at individual level. And the studies I have seen are highly questionable, resting as they do on intelligence testing.

    Do you have some evidence to prove most great discoveries were made by men in their 20's? Or is that a wild assumption? And what does Schroedingers womanising have to do with anything?

    I seriously don't know whether to laugh or cry at your post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.
    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
    I understand this is an area still being explored. I have certainly heard the term 'competition gene' mentioned on sci-programs. If you believe the Romans and others they linked genius with the production of semen in young males. When you consider that the great discoveries of maths and science were nearly always made by men in their 20's this makes some sense. Schroedinger was a possible exception, but then he was a womaniser for most of his life.
    Women were certainly perceived as being less ambitious than men up until recently. Possibly they can compete better now with the decline in male fertility and the change to the Y-Chromosone.
    When there is a surplus of males, or females are more promiscuous, then males become competitive at the molecular level.
    Research News: Sexual Competition Drives Evolution of a Sex-Related Gene | Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    omg, what a gross, insulting post. :/ women were never 'not as ambitious,' as men. men have oppressed women for centuries. why is that? you might find it surprising to know that historians, and the like...have recently pieced together that quite possibly...gender equality for lack of a better phrase, went on during the Paleolithic Era. Yep. So, I'd like to say sexist attitudes like yours went on since the dawn of time, but I'd be inaccurate to make such a statement. this is one such moment, when a 'dislike' button would come in handy on this website.
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  62. #61  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.
    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
    I understand this is an area still being explored. I have certainly heard the term 'competition gene' mentioned on sci-programs. If you believe the Romans and others they linked genius with the production of semen in young males. When you consider that the great discoveries of maths and science were nearly always made by men in their 20's this makes some sense. Schroedinger was a possible exception, but then he was a womaniser for most of his life.
    Women were certainly perceived as being less ambitious than men up until recently. Possibly they can compete better now with the decline in male fertility and the change to the Y-Chromosone.
    When there is a surplus of males, or females are more promiscuous, then males become competitive at the molecular level.
    Research News: Sexual Competition Drives Evolution of a Sex-Related Gene | Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    omg, what a gross, insulting post. :/ women were never 'not as ambitious,' as men. men have oppressed women for centuries. why is that? you might find it surprising to know that historians, and the like...have recently pieced together that quite possibly...gender equality for lack of a better phrase, went on during the Paleolithic Era. Yep. So, I'd like to say sexist attitudes like yours went on since the dawn of time, but I'd be inaccurate to make such a statement. this is one such moment, when a 'dislike' button would come in handy on this website.
    Quite. I think this Ox is just a wind-up artist, actually. It's such a stupid point: if you google "competition gene" you get zilch. I don't believe it has ever been taken seriously, not least because competition is such a loose concept, that can be expressed, or not, in so many disparate ways. Anyway, history shows many famous - notorious even - examples of ambition and success in women. One of my favourites is Eleanor of Aquitaine:Eleanor of Aquitaine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    What a woman! But note that she was lucky enough to be well-educated, a rarity in those days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.
    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
    I understand this is an area still being explored. I have certainly heard the term 'competition gene' mentioned on sci-programs. If you believe the Romans and others they linked genius with the production of semen in young males. When you consider that the great discoveries of maths and science were nearly always made by men in their 20's this makes some sense. Schroedinger was a possible exception, but then he was a womaniser for most of his life.
    Women were certainly perceived as being less ambitious than men up until recently. Possibly they can compete better now with the decline in male fertility and the change to the Y-Chromosone.
    When there is a surplus of males, or females are more promiscuous, then males become competitive at the molecular level.
    Research News: Sexual Competition Drives Evolution of a Sex-Related Gene | Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    omg, what a gross, insulting post. :/ women were never 'not as ambitious,' as men. men have oppressed women for centuries. why is that? you might find it surprising to know that historians, and the like...have recently pieced together that quite possibly...gender equality for lack of a better phrase, went on during the Paleolithic Era. Yep. So, I'd like to say sexist attitudes like yours went on since the dawn of time, but I'd be inaccurate to make such a statement. this is one such moment, when a 'dislike' button would come in handy on this website.
    Quite. I think this Ox is just a wind-up artist, actually. It's such a stupid point: if you google "competition gene" you get zilch. I don't believe it has ever been taken seriously, not least because competition is such a loose concept, that can be expressed, or not, in so many disparate ways. Anyway, history shows many famous - notorious even - examples of ambition and success in women. One of my favourites is Eleanor of Aquitaine:Eleanor of Aquitaine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    What a woman! But note that she was lucky enough to be well-educated, a rarity in those days.
    it's just a sad commentary, that men exist to this very day, with these sexist, archaic attitudes about women. artistotle, one of the great philosophers, was another sexist. yes, we can say...'they were a product of their time,' but they were a product of their own thinking. because we see it happening today, in 2013. sexism is sadly alive and well, and it's the very reason we don't see more female scientists, etc...throughout history. it isn't because men are superior, or women were just not 'as ambitious.' it's because women were considered inferior to men, by men. just really sad to me to see this attitude pervasive in today's modern culture.
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    Y'know, I'm mystified.
    I would have thought that, given the title of the thread, there'd be females posting in this topic.
    But so far I haven't seen one mention of shoes...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Y'know, I'm mystified.
    I would have thought that, given the title of the thread, there'd be females posting in this topic.
    But so far I haven't seen one mention of shoes...
    doh! where's the dislike button?
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    Helen Keller - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -- This woman was phenomenal in every way...what a remarkable human being!
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    If I may, speaking from a social science perspective it is rather meaningless to speculate about the possibility of a sex-linked difference in predisposition toward entering math and science fields at this time, because it is currently impossible to separate the social/cultural factors from any potential biological factors influencing the sex ratio in sciences. However, I would point out that less than a century ago law and medicine were considered essentially a man's domain, and very similar guesses about predisposition were made regarding the sex ratio in both law and medicine. However, the social and cultural landscape has shifted significantly, with the result that applicants to both law and medical schools are majority female at nearly a 60/40 ratio.[/QUOTE]


    I suspect that both conditions were due largely to cultural shift. When a field is a "man's field", that likely means the cultural landscape of the field is male dominated, with "old boy's club" mentality. It's just opposition to women in those environments. It's about cultural behavior that most (though not necessarily all) women would find made them feel uncomfortable.

    Like most women wouldn't feel overly comfortable in a biker gang. Or most women don't go out deer hunting, or work on their cars on the weekend. Some do, but most don't. A woman would only feel welcome in a place dominated by that kind of culture if she herself shared the interests that are common to others in that culture.

    Now last time I visited a doctor's office, I saw the kind of atmosphere that the various women who I know would likely feel comfortable working in. Same goes for law offices these days. A little bit less for offices that focus on computer programming (but it's not too far off). I think as women begin to move into all these fields, the male culture will gradually loosen its grip on them, and once women are feeling comfortable in those places, they'll start earning the relevant degrees and taking those jobs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.
    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
    I understand this is an area still being explored. I have certainly heard the term 'competition gene' mentioned on sci-programs. If you believe the Romans and others they linked genius with the production of semen in young males. When you consider that the great discoveries of maths and science were nearly always made by men in their 20's this makes some sense. Schroedinger was a possible exception, but then he was a womaniser for most of his life.
    Women were certainly perceived as being less ambitious than men up until recently. Possibly they can compete better now with the decline in male fertility and the change to the Y-Chromosone.
    When there is a surplus of males, or females are more promiscuous, then males become competitive at the molecular level.
    Research News: Sexual Competition Drives Evolution of a Sex-Related Gene | Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    omg, what a gross, insulting post. :/ women were never 'not as ambitious,' as men. men have oppressed women for centuries. why is that? you might find it surprising to know that historians, and the like...have recently pieced together that quite possibly...gender equality for lack of a better phrase, went on during the Paleolithic Era. Yep. So, I'd like to say sexist attitudes like yours went on since the dawn of time, but I'd be inaccurate to make such a statement. this is one such moment, when a 'dislike' button would come in handy on this website.
    Quite. I think this Ox is just a wind-up artist, actually. It's such a stupid point: if you google "competition gene" you get zilch. I don't believe it has ever been taken seriously, not least because competition is such a loose concept, that can be expressed, or not, in so many disparate ways. Anyway, history shows many famous - notorious even - examples of ambition and success in women. One of my favourites is Eleanor of Aquitaine:Eleanor of Aquitaine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    What a woman! But note that she was lucky enough to be well-educated, a rarity in those days.
    it's just a sad commentary, that men exist to this very day, with these sexist, archaic attitudes about women. artistotle, one of the great philosophers, was another sexist. yes, we can say...'they were a product of their time,' but they were a product of their own thinking. because we see it happening today, in 2013. sexism is sadly alive and well, and it's the very reason we don't see more female scientists, etc...throughout history. it isn't because men are superior, or women were just not 'as ambitious.' it's because women were considered inferior to men, by men. just really sad to me to see this attitude pervasive in today's modern culture.
    I do not believe there can or should be any barriers for women in any field of endevour. If a women truely wants to achieve something and has the talent & ability and works hard enough then can do so. What is still apparant though is many have to work harder and have more drive to reach the top in a particular field, they have to have determination over and above to achieve their goals. Also we will never see a truely equally balanced workforce of men and women. Descrimination is wrong in any form, the best people should get the best positions and only on merit, certainly gender shouldn't be an issue and where this is still proving so we need to address it. But we also need to be careful how we go about this. We cannot afford to try to tackle descrimination with further descrimination as it will only perpetuate injustice and fuel the belief that certain people are being given an easy ride in the workplace.

    This being the type of belief which then goes on to seriously affect the long term chances and opportunities of others who are often lumped together as being seen as not succeeding on merit. Where ever possible we need to combat all forms of discrimination to really one day achieve a fair and level playing field for all candidates and employees, we will do this by consentrating our efforts on the similarities and abilities with which we all share, so that all people will be seen as the same, we will not succeed by emphasizing differences or treating groups or individuals differently.
    We also need to work towards erradicating negative stereo types like someone is black so that's why they got promoted or someone is a women so that's why they were hired, many people just automatically assume that a minority or a woman has a greater chance of succeeding, but these are negative attitudes that ultimately lead to many discriminated against, again to dispel these myths the only way can move forward is by total fairness and equality, and to reject all and every form of discrimination.

    We also have to accept that not everyone is going to want to have a career and simply let people decide for themselves, there is absolutely nothing wrong is being a stay at home mother or stay at home father. People need to be free to make this choice without pressure for themselves. In this way many women will probarbly choose to stay at home and be happy raising their children without ever having to enter the workforce, but many already are happy to this anyway but are bombarded in todays society by media telling them to want more from life, if people are happy then why not let them remain so. We need to ensure that opportunities exist for people who choose to enter the workforce, not be spending time forcing those who don't to do so.

    As much as we must understand the idea of equality between the genders in terms of ability within the workforce we must also understand that whilst having more women there is a possitive step towards hamony it doesn't have to be and indeed is very unlikely to ever be an equal balance of men and women, simply because the natural order is that that bond between mother and child means many women will want to raise their children, not have them looked after by child minders whilst they go out to work. This being said we still also need to be mindful that many fathers may also prefer to stay at home and raise their children, though the numbers are always likely to be significantly less than mothers.
    But really what this all means for the future is that it comes down to choice, this is what equality is really all about, that everybody regardless of gender has the same freedoms of choice without pressure and that they are provided with the same opportunities in life. This is how we can change the future of the workplace for the better and everyone can know that the guy or girl sat next to them is their equal and got there the same way they did on merit because they deserved it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisin View Post
    Why?...because women make better directors. Just ask Scheherazade. I'm joking...inspired by the article 17 Reasons Why Chicks Actually Make Better Directors. As a newbie, it seems I can't post a link, sorry.

    Seriously, I don't know about other women today, but I never had a deep scientific purpose to prove.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.
    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
    I understand this is an area still being explored. I have certainly heard the term 'competition gene' mentioned on sci-programs. If you believe the Romans and others they linked genius with the production of semen in young males. When you consider that the great discoveries of maths and science were nearly always made by men in their 20's this makes some sense. Schroedinger was a possible exception, but then he was a womaniser for most of his life.
    Women were certainly perceived as being less ambitious than men up until recently. Possibly they can compete better now with the decline in male fertility and the change to the Y-Chromosone.
    When there is a surplus of males, or females are more promiscuous, then males become competitive at the molecular level.
    Research News: Sexual Competition Drives Evolution of a Sex-Related Gene | Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    I know a lot of men with a lot of semen and brains of a turnip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Y'know, I'm mystified.
    I would have thought that, given the title of the thread, there'd be females posting in this topic.
    But so far I haven't seen one mention of shoes...
    I wear "slippers". *cough*
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    If I may, speaking from a social science perspective it is rather meaningless to speculate about the possibility of a sex-linked difference in predisposition toward entering math and science fields at this time, because it is currently impossible to separate the social/cultural factors from any potential biological factors influencing the sex ratio in sciences. However, I would point out that less than a century ago law and medicine were considered essentially a man's domain, and very similar guesses about predisposition were made regarding the sex ratio in both law and medicine. However, the social and cultural landscape has shifted significantly, with the result that applicants to both law and medical schools are majority female at nearly a 60/40 ratio.

    I suspect that both conditions were due largely to cultural shift. When a field is a "man's field", that likely means the cultural landscape of the field is male dominated, with "old boy's club" mentality. It's just opposition to women in those environments. It's about cultural behavior that most (though not necessarily all) women would find made them feel uncomfortable.

    Like most women wouldn't feel overly comfortable in a biker gang. Or most women don't go out deer hunting, or work on their cars on the weekend. Some do, but most don't. A woman would only feel welcome in a place dominated by that kind of culture if she herself shared the interests that are common to others in that culture.

    Now last time I visited a doctor's office, I saw the kind of atmosphere that the various women who I know would likely feel comfortable working in. Same goes for law offices these days. A little bit less for offices that focus on computer programming (but it's not too far off). I think as women begin to move into all these fields, the male culture will gradually loosen its grip on them, and once women are feeling comfortable in those places, they'll start earning the relevant degrees and taking those jobs.[/QUOTE]

    *chuckle*

    I have deer hunted, and I have worked on my car.

    I have installed cabinets (in the garage thankfully as I am not that gifted) and I have also put together furniture, and other things. I know tons of women who have done that and other things also....contractors, foresters, fishermen, truck drivers.

    There are a lot more women out there who do all the things men don't think we CAN DO! You just don't hear about it!

    There are no boundaries of ability by sex. Never have been, except in people's minds!
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.
    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
    I understand this is an area still being explored. I have certainly heard the term 'competition gene' mentioned on sci-programs. If you believe the Romans and others they linked genius with the production of semen in young males. When you consider that the great discoveries of maths and science were nearly always made by men in their 20's this makes some sense. Schroedinger was a possible exception, but then he was a womaniser for most of his life.
    Women were certainly perceived as being less ambitious than men up until recently. Possibly they can compete better now with the decline in male fertility and the change to the Y-Chromosone.
    When there is a surplus of males, or females are more promiscuous, then males become competitive at the molecular level.
    Research News: Sexual Competition Drives Evolution of a Sex-Related Gene | Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    I know a lot of men with a lot of semen and brains of a turnip.
    lmao!!
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    Somewhere back up this thread, someone was taking my name in vain, lol...

    There were only two of us on night crew last night because of scheduling for the holiday weekend and I cut stock like a wild thing. After work, I went by my mother's house and loaded a bunch of scrap lumber from her carport renovation into my horse trailer in the pouring rain. Came home, tended the horses and cooked a meal, and then spent several hours researching a couple of capital expenditures for the near future, rode Caramel 5 km and then tended critters again. Back to research and sending queries to several sources and I think it's about time to shut down as I have been on the go for 24 hours. Later all...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    When I look at the topics on The Science Forum I am led to ask 'where are the women'? I can't think of any female mathematician or physicist, any chemist other than Madam Curie, any biologist other than Rosalind Franklin, and so on. That's not to say there haven't been large numbers of them, but where is the female equivalent of Einstein or Newton or Darwin?
    I find in my classical music collection that I have only one CD by a female composer and that is by an 11th Century nun called Hildegard von Bingen. And where are the great painters or dramatists? Where is the female equivalent of Van Gogh or Shakespeare?
    So can we put it all down to brain size or testosterone or the strange claim that men are from the cooler red planet and women from the hotter green one? But men do daydream more, don't they? While women have more social pressures, the likes of Einstein, Newton and Darwin were much happier being alone.
    When men wake up in the morning have their brains been stimulated more so by lucid dreaming? Men are better at walking apparently because women's pelvises tilt up and down. How many great ideas have manifested when men were out walking?
    Could we put it down to just one or a combination of these and other factors?
    My response is predictable sexist remark. And the only ones to respond harshly to this are too dumb to figure out what I mean and thus won't leave an angry rant.
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    I don't think Ox is much of a challenge really - his whole premise for men being more intelligent is a less "swingy" pelvis and sticky sperm..... there just aren't enough laughing smileys in the world.......
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    I suspect that both conditions were due largely to cultural shift. When a field is a "man's field", that likely means the cultural landscape of the field is male dominated, with "old boy's club" mentality. It's just opposition to women in those environments. It's about cultural behavior that most (though not necessarily all) women would find made them feel uncomfortable.
    One easy way to do this is to look at pay rates for various jobs and any prestige associated with that work and compare between cultures and times. We in English speaking and Western European countries tend to think of doctors as a group attracting both high pay and high prestige. Then you look at Russia during the soviet era (I don't know much about more recent times), doctors were poorly paid, not very well regarded women.

    If you look at the earliest years of computing, programming was initially thought to be a routine, undemanding desk job suitable for women, sort of like a different version of the typing pool. The real high powered, highly paid jobs were in hardware. Those were manly man jobs. Nowadays, with programming being much more highly regarded and better paid, you can find shallow (rather pathetic really) evo psych arguments being put forward that programming is very much a male domain totally unsuited to women's not-so-programming-oriented skills and preferences. The reverse of type writing when you think about it. Typewriting machines were initially the preserve of men. As they became more and more common, this task suddenly became a lowly procedure suitable for women who were paid much less. The only men who did their own typing after that were those in exciting jobs like reporters and police officers.

    Nursing is a good example of visible change. Not many years ago, in this country at least, ambulance drivers/ offsiders were mostly men with a first aid certificate. They were paid more, much more, than registered nurses who were mostly women with one or more tertiary qualifications. (We have another category here called enrolled nurses. They get lower pay and aren't authorised to dispense medication, change burn dressings or perform other tasks that need professional, medical skills.) Nowadays, nurses pay has improved along with the increasing number of men entering the profession. Ambulance officers are now qualified paramedics, and some are actually fully trained doctors and nurses and the men/women mix is more or less random.

    And then we come to teaching. In most countries that I know, you could probably draw a fairly predictable downwards graph for the relative pay rates of teachers as a group as the proportion of women teachers has increased. The start point for that decline would be the various dates that married women gained "the right" to keep their jobs after marriage. Previously, as in most public service areas, women were forced to resign on marriage and, if they wished to work thereafter, were only engaged as temporary staff.

    Basically, for any professional work, the more women in the group, the less pay, the less prestige. The current and changing alignments of ambulance - paramedic - nurse pay and conditions is pretty well the only area where I see a better process and a better outcome.

    Until we are more honest about how we value the work done in various areas rather than looking at the people in the industry first and thinking about what the employer can get away with paying them because of their perceived status, it won't get much better very quickly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    I don't think Ox is much of a challenge really - his whole premise for men being more intelligent is a less "swingy" pelvis and sticky sperm..... there just aren't enough laughing smileys in the world.......
    SO he can't dance and he needs a doesn't use tampax?


    MIND BOGGLING!! *laughing*

    Sorry just couldn't resist!
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    I don't think Ox is much of a challenge really - his whole premise for men being more intelligent is a less "swingy" pelvis and sticky sperm..... there just aren't enough laughing smileys in the world.......
    hahaha!
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    I won't get drawn in to any battle of the sexes, in which the women here seem to want to persist. I was just trying to find the answer as to why Eureka! moments always seem to belong to (usually young) men. If you accuse me of being a wind-up then consider this quote from Einstein:
    A person who has not made his great contribution to science by the age of 30 will never do so
    Perhaps he was forgetting Maxwell who published his e/m field theory at 34, but had probably formed it earlier. Newton at the age of 24 in 1666 had come up with his ideas of calculus, motion, optics and gravitation. Einstein's own Annus Mirabilis was in 1905 at age 26 when he described the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion and special relativity.
    Maybe another clue lies in the undoubted fact that many such great men were sometimes lazy. Einstein himself was referred to a 'lazy dog' by one of his tutors. In 1666 Cambridge University was closed because of the plague and Newton returned home to Woolsthorpe Manor where he could idle his time a bit more. When men have time to dream they come up with the best ideas. In addition they either seem to be unmarried or unhappily married.
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  81. #80  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I won't get drawn in to any battle of the sexes, in which the women here seem to want to persist. I was just trying to find the answer as to why Eureka! moments always seem to belong to (usually young) men. If you accuse me of being a wind-up then consider this quote from Einstein:
    A person who has not made his great contribution to science by the age of 30 will never do so
    Perhaps he was forgetting Maxwell who published his e/m field theory at 34, but had probably formed it earlier. Newton at the age of 24 in 1666 had come up with his ideas of calculus, motion, optics and gravitation. Einstein's own Annus Mirabilis was in 1905 at age 26 when he described the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion and special relativity.
    Maybe another clue lies in the undoubted fact that many such great men were sometimes lazy. Einstein himself was referred to a 'lazy dog' by one of his tutors. In 1666 Cambridge University was closed because of the plague and Newton returned home to Woolsthorpe Manor where he could idle his time a bit more. When men have time to dream they come up with the best ideas. In addition they either seem to be unmarried or unhappily married.
    The answer to your question has, as you are no doubt well aware, been pointed out to you, repeatedly, by many readers.

    You sound like a creationist: a question is posed, an answer is provided that you don't like, so you just carry on asking the question, over and over again. If it's not a wind-up then I don't know what else to call it, except possibly imbecility.
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  82. #81  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I won't get drawn in to any battle of the sexes, in which the women here seem to want to persist.
    It isn't just "the women" you moron. I don't think anyone has agreed with you.

    Perhaps you would prefer it if the "the women" stopped bothering their pretty little heads about it and let the real men get on with agreeing with you?

    I was just trying to find the answer as to why Eureka! moments always seem to belong to (usually young) men.
    They don't. Why are men with 2 letter usernames so dense?

    A person who has not made his great contribution to science by the age of 30 will never do so
    Perhaps he was forgetting Maxwell who published his e/m field theory at 34
    So he was wrong about the sex and about the age. Gosh.

    Also, rightly or wrongly, "he" has frequently been used as a generic pronoun for both sexes. Can you prove that Einstein didn't intend to include women? Or maybe he was just another sexist pig. Who knows.

    Either way, it is not evidence supporting your daft opinion.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  83. #82  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Looking at the pictures of the Muslim brotherhood "protesting" in Egypt and there ain't a woman in sight.
    Where are the women?
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  84. #83  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Looking at the pictures of the Muslim brotherhood "protesting" in Egypt and there ain't a woman in sight.
    Where are the women?
    women protesters egypt - Bing Images

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16267436

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/1...n_1155665.html
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  85. #84  
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    It's the Muslim Brotherhood, sculptor. They're not super supportive of women in public life.

    Opinion: Gang rapes, the dark side of Egypt's protests - CNN.com
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  86. #85  
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    Strange:

    Ok who are they and what were they protesting?

    Any protesting the ouster of Morsi?
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  87. #86  
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    Any protesting the ouster of Morsi?
    That's the Muslim Brotherhood. He was theirs.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  88. #87  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Strange:

    Ok who are they and what were they protesting?

    Any protesting the ouster of Morsi?
    As they are protesting against the army, then obviously they are protesting against the overthrow of Morsi. Some of the most intelligent comments I have heard have been from female protesters. Some have said they didn't vote for or approve of the Muslim Brotherhood but they also thought that democratic means should have been used to change the government.
    The Muslim Sisterhood: Visions of Female Identity in the New Egypt - SPIEGEL ONLINE

    A lot of the current Islamic movements have their roots in the failed modernisation and "westernization" attempts of various leaders early last century (as colonial powers were given back their independence). Much of that was led by women; in particular, the return to (or partial invention of) the traditional Islamic dress we are now familiar with.
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  89. #88  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ox:
    When men have time to dream they come up with the best ideas.
    Now there's an interesting idea...having time to contemplate things other than daily life. In my own experience and that of other women who have shared with me, they are far too busy tending to the immediate needs of others in their life to have time to ponder such matters as the origin of the universe or our species etc. Things need looking after and tending and that's largely what women are very good at doing. Those who choose to pursue other interests generally tend to be quite good at those also.

    As with others in this thread, I would agree that through much of history, the options available to women have been limited by our culture as we still observe in many other countries and cultures where women are not even free to travel in public openly or to drive a vehicle legally.
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  90. #89  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisslbody View Post
    Can you tell me more about this "competition gene" that is only found in males? Perhaps link me to a study? I've never heard of such a thing.
    It seems unlikely to me that women are truly less ambitious or competitive by nature, particularly given that they increasingly dominate law and medicine which are well known for being highly ambitious and competitive fields.
    I understand this is an area still being explored. I have certainly heard the term 'competition gene' mentioned on sci-programs. If you believe the Romans and others they linked genius with the production of semen in young males. When you consider that the great discoveries of maths and science were nearly always made by men in their 20's this makes some sense. Schroedinger was a possible exception, but then he was a womaniser for most of his life.
    Women were certainly perceived as being less ambitious than men up until recently. Possibly they can compete better now with the decline in male fertility and the change to the Y-Chromosone.
    When there is a surplus of males, or females are more promiscuous, then males become competitive at the molecular level.
    http://www.hhmi.org/news/sexual-comp...x-related-gene
    None of this post makes any scientific sense, nor contains any evidence for your rather scattered thesis (if we can call it a thesis), so I'm going to conclude that you have no idea what you're talking about and disregard your input unless compelling evidence otherwise is presented.
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  91. #90  
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    Last edited by wegs; September 3rd, 2013 at 10:26 PM.
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  92. #91  
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    "Where are the women?"

    Who wants to know? Why would they care? Who else knows? jocular
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