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Post Reply Why don't women like science?
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23 / M / New York
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Posted 1/16/16
A few decades back we (Western countries) had actual institutional discrimination, but we fixed that. Women are free to do what they want, but they still weren't going into STEM fields. Then we started saying that they needed more female role models, early motivation in childhood and what not. More women apply to STEM fields today but the disparity is still there. You can observe this if you're a STEM major. In my school's engineering/physics/chem/math departments alone (Northeast USA aka liberal capital) it's rare to find more than 5 girls out of like 40 students in a classroom. I'm sure we can all agree that women generally go into teaching, nursing, and all that jazz. In women-related fields however, gender disparities are socially acceptable and are rarely ever discussed as a problem.


Do you think that there's something that actually impedes women to be more interested in science? Is it social, biological (sexual dimorphism) or both?
Why do people find this to be a problem and why are they incessant on "solving it?" Why is it so hard and taboo to accept that maybe, just maybe, women in general aren't interested in science?


if thread like this exist let me know, by the way i found this at online forum.
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18 / F / Everywhere
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Posted 1/16/16
Most of my friends and i are computer/science nerds. Don't know what you're talking about.
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20 / Cold and High
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/17/16
I think there was something similar, and problem? -___-
you wearing problematic glasses?
now nothing to really discuss is there?..

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21 / M / U.S.A.
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/19/16
lol
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24 / F / West
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/17/16
It's not enough to remove educational, financial etc. barriers that may have held women back in the past. It's the attitudes and the avenues that must change as well. Not only is it possible that there is a lingering social stigma for women to be in STEM but there could be other factors that are preventing them pursuing a particular career that have yet to be discovered.

Whatever the issue is, I highly doubt it is biological. Even if you are inclined to believe that most women are soft and cuddly nurture-bots, no amount of evidence will show that a stoic and stereotypical masculine disposition is more inclined to be innately better at STEM subjects. I think we can all agree that despite the freedom of choice we all have, we are still strongly encouraged to go down certain paths based on things like gender, age, race, and class.

The changes you speak of need time to actually take effect before we can give answers that aren't based on speculation and bias.
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24 / M / San Francisco Bay...
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/17/16
I wouldn't say that all discrimination in STEM fields is gone. E.g., the recent cases--most notably but not exclusively Geoff Marcy--of sexual harassment cases, some a decade or more old, only now coming to light. That said, what happens during college is minor compared to what goes on before college--since the number of men who enroll in STEM compared to women is a drastic difference. Some good data can be found here: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2015/nsf15311/tables.cfm

I'd imagine the reason by this has a lot to do with media when children are growing up--there really aren't a lot of women science shown on TV, ads, and so on. Of particular damage might be the whole "women are bad at math' stereotype. Look at table 2-8 above: notice that the more math heavy disciplines (Computer Science, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics proper) have more men than women (biology, social sciences). This has to do with enrollment, mind you; so it's not that college mathematics scare women (how could people possibly be scared by a class they have yet to take?), so keep that in mind. For graduation, Table 5-7 is best. Look at bottom where it shows percentages; it's the most readable part of the table. Interestingly, a majority of science degrees are awarded to women--although social sciences and psychology are carrying a lot of that weight. And there again, the math heavy fields are the ones taking the hit.

But, at the same time, whenever I cite media as a reason, I always feel that's a shallow response. At the very lesat though, I'd imagine someone can better use out of this data than I can, but I'm almost certain the reason is entirely social and has to do with a failure to have women be engaged with science K-12.
Posted 1/16/16
They do like science, they just tend to not like engineering
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Posted 1/16/16
There are women that do, at some like science now. Maybe it's some type of awakening or recent development we've never heard of.
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33 / M / Atlanta, GA
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/17/16
Women are interested in science. It's not 100% but nothing is 100%. Additionally, you don't bar people from something for centuries and then expect like a couple of decades of changing the legal environment (not what people think, nor the actual work environment, just the legal environment) to fix everything and put all numbers at a 50/50 split.
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24 / M / USA
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/18/16
As a female computer engineer in the field, there is hardly any discrimination. If anything, women have a disgusting advantage getting hired over their male counterparts. 2-1 based on a University of Michigan study: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/17/5360.full.

Women actually exceed or equate men in certain fields within STEM. Specifically fields like medical, biology, and chemistry. It's not that they lack ability to perform such jobs (it's more a matter of interest--perhaps even personality type). The same goes for men who often do not take to female dominated occupations--it's not due to a lack of ability.

Honestly, my experience with other women in Engineering hasn't been pleasant. Most of them would much prefer writing reports, making pretty little presentations, and bossing the guys around ("managing"). I've had shit experiences with them. There are some decent ones, obviously, but they are far and few in between.

Considering all the pushing for women to get into STEM, you'd think there would be more in engineering and math. There just isn't.

Some fields women take to more than men. They also take more to certain personality types. Women and men do have trends of difference (not boundaries).

Part of it is perhaps evolutionary and another part societal conditioning. It doesn't matter however, since neither is embedded or unchangeable. It could change. So long as there is equal opportunity, outcome doesn't necessarily matter.

Is it wrong that women don't prefer certain types of fields? Construction? Aborists? Miners? I could flip it as well--is it wrong there aren't as many male nurses? Social workers? Caretakers?

No. Why does anyone give a fuck about preferences?

The only ones who give a shit are those bitching that women aren't at the top of the bracket. Forgetting the risk taking low bracket fundamental to our society's infrastructure.

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34 / M / Off the map.
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Posted 1/16/16
I know one coworker who got her geology masters. She has not used it yet because she does not want to work in the oil industry. You have to look past the degree and at the types and number of job availabilities. They just might not be interesting enough to draw more people from different backgrounds.

Why do people want to fix this? They want more diversity in those job fields. More people with different points of views can come up with more approaches to the same problem. That breaks up any stagnant status quo and helps that field of research and backing industry move forward.
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34 / F / In a van down by...
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Posted 1/16/16

Sagenaruto68 wrote:

A few decades back we (Western countries) had actual institutional discrimination, but we fixed that. Women are free to do what they want, but they still weren't going into STEM fields. Then we started saying that they needed more female role models, early motivation in childhood and what not. More women apply to STEM fields today but the disparity is still there. You can observe this if you're a STEM major. In my school's engineering/physics/chem/math departments alone (Northeast USA aka liberal capital) it's rare to find more than 5 girls out of like 40 students in a classroom. I'm sure we can all agree that women generally go into teaching, nursing, and all that jazz. In women-related fields however, gender disparities are socially acceptable and are rarely ever discussed as a problem.


Do you think that there's something that actually impedes women to be more interested in science? Is it social, biological (sexual dimorphism) or both?
Why do people find this to be a problem and why are they incessant on "solving it?" Why is it so hard and taboo to accept that maybe, just maybe, women in general aren't interested in science?


if thread like this exist let me know, by the way i found this at online forum.


...I believe there's been quite an increase in women entering STEM fields so..not sure where this info came from.


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31 / M / Seattle
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/17/16
I have plenty of theories about this very topic. My first is that STEM is precise. STEM does not care if my theory hurts your feelings or makes you angry. We all use the same methods to come to the conclusion. So you can be as angry at it as you want to be, but at the end of the day STEM is very black and white and I have noticed females only like black and white when it favors them. My sisters love being black and white if their boyfriend cheats on them. However, I have sat through numerous rationalizations from my sister talking about how it is not her fault she cheated and how her boyfriend has no reason to be so mad. So I feel that scares away the females to a degree. After all, we have plenty of jokes out there about how females are never wrong. Well in STEM you can be wrong and there is no way to wiggle out of being wrong.

Another theory is that feminism does fear-mongering about STEM. They run around telling all the girls who it is a horrible boys club where the girl will be marginalized and how all the boys will not include them. Anyone who has completed a STEM major and works in the field knows that is 100% false. However, that is the narrative that females push. STEM is not female safe because males have dominated it for so long. All the boys will harass you and make said female feel like she is just eye candy. It is kind of sad that such an agenda is pushed. From what I have heard the days where they have special female only workshops for STEM females show they are more than capable of doing the job. However, once a male enters the scene she shuts down.

Those are the two main theories that I have about this subject. I understand and accept that female and male brains are wired differently and therefore different things make us tick. However, that is not to say that outside forces cannot effect our choices as well.
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24 / M / USA
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/17/16

anti-freeze wrote:


Your first theory is way too generalizing. Women occupy a number of precise fields (medical) and many occupations they are wrong nearly all of the time (hello customers!). Also I'll refrain from making heinous comments about your sister.

There is certainly fear mongering from feminism though. That's definitely a problem. A guy draws a dick on my worksheet, no big deal. To other fuckin' women, they're suddenly on the floor gurgling like they've been attacked by a demon (personal experience). They overreact because they've been taught to take offense to often innocent, although perhaps childish, behavior.

Female and male brains are actually wired minimally different. Estimated around less than 1%. The differences between individuals is actually much greater. Not that aren't trends, but there's a ton of overlap. It is more correct to say that 'different things tend to make women and men tick differently'.

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20 / F / Kalos
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/16/16
I'm a female computer science major and when I'm in a lecture hall with a couple hundred other students, I swear the ratio of girls to guys is around 1:30ish. Also, most of the girls are asian for whatever reason lol. I honestly don't know why more girls wouldn't be more interested in science. In my opinion, programming is much more interesting than nursing or teaching would ever be.
It might just be because of social trends. Oftentimes, girls are friends with other girls and guys are friends with other guys, and people's interests can oftentimes come from their friend's interests. If, from generation to generation, girls are only friends with girls(for the most part) and vise-versa, then maybe it also makes it more difficult for interests to spread in a gender.
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