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Post Reply Why don't women like science?
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Posted 1/16/16
Yes, women aren't barred from STEM fields and have more female science role models now but a few decades isn't going to fix the societal pressure against it or discrimination within the fields itself.

Just take a moment and think about popular tv shows or movies that have scientists/engineers as women. Ok, now think about how many of those are NOT portrayed as off-beat/geeky/social outcasts. Very few. We have a culture that tells women it's ok to be into science but it's going to be at the expense of social status. So if I'm a teenage girl and I like nursing and engineering equally, nursing is the more socially acceptable way to go. Whereas with males, it's the opposite.

Within the engineering field itself, I can't tell you how many times I've been not taken as seriously because I'm female. Everything from small things like a male automatically being addressed first to snide comments. It's gotten a lot better but it's still an issue and will continue to be until at least another generation retires. Note that this does exclude when I was in college. That was probably one of the best environments that I've been in even though we were 5 females out of 60 people in my class.

So no, I don't think it's that women aren't interested in science. If we weren't, there wouldn't be so many women in science now.
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21 / M / Missouri
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/16/16
A lot of women like softer sciences rather than harder ones and make up arguably the largest portion of STEM females. I'm a microbio major, and my biology classes are filled with pre-med students. Setting those aside, the women:men ratio of those not going into the medical field are probably 2 women: 3 men. This disparity is greater as you get into hard sciences and especially mathematics. In technology it's probably the worst. In my entry level programming class, out of 30 students, there were exactly 2 women. One was the TA.
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Posted 1/16/16

gabuhaha wrote:



The stereotype is applied the same way to men in the field. A lot of people in computer engineering are off-beat/geeky/social outcasts. Not sure what's so wrong about it though. If they care about something fuckin' stupid like social status then I'm not sure why they're in even considering engineering.

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Posted 1/16/16

PrinceJudar wrote:

The stereotype is applied the same way to men in the field. A lot of people in computer engineering are off-beat/geeky/social outcasts. Not sure what's so wrong about it though. If they care about something fuckin' stupid like social status then I'm not sure why they're in even considering engineering.



It's definitely there but not quite the same from what I've seen. My experience in real life is mostly with mechanical/civil engineering but I've known a fair amount that were popular and athletic, far from the stereotype. I've also seen more representations of that with males in the media.
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79 / M / Hell, Michigan
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Posted 1/16/16
Well, biologically, women have a severe disadvantage to manual labor. That's just how it is, because of the lack of testosterone and naturally curved bodies, women have a disadvantage in strength. They are also usually shorter than men, and therefore have less leverage. Not much we can do about that short of genetic modification.
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Posted 1/16/16
Compared to IT and Meteorology, engineering on a ship is dirty work unless your in a control room or an office space. I think most women do not want to deal with grim associated with it.
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/16/16

gabuhaha wrote:
It's definitely there but not quite the same from what I've seen. My experience in real life is mostly with mechanical/civil engineering but I've known a fair amount that were popular and athletic, far from the stereotype. I've also seen more representations of that with males in the media.


Ah that explains it. Mechanical is more like that around here as well. Especially with the auto industry so prevalent. Mechanical engineering is more hands on after all. The fields are very different, even personality wise. Electrical, but especially computer, is quite different. More like the stereotype portrayed. I'm not aware of the other fields, I've only worked around ME,CE, and EE's.

Eh, I don't really see the representations in media. I've seen as many attractive nerd types (male or female) as I've seen ugly. You're probably perceiving a bit too much.




UnknownNelson wrote:

Well, biologically, women have a severe disadvantage to manual labor. That's just how it is, because of the lack of testosterone and naturally curved bodies, women have a disadvantage in strength. They are also usually shorter than men, and therefore have less leverage. Not much we can do about that short of genetic modification.


Yeah science = manual labor.

Lolfuckin'wut.
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28 / M / USA! USA! USA!
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Posted 1/16/16
Because the law and civil society is already established to privilege them over men, thus allowing them to get into other fields because the incentives to go into STEM fields are not greater than what they can get in less demanding fields?
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Posted 1/16/16

UnknownNelson wrote:

Well, biologically, women have a severe disadvantage to manual labor. That's just how it is, because of the lack of testosterone and naturally curved bodies, women have a disadvantage in strength. They are also usually shorter than men, and therefore have less leverage. Not much we can do about that short of genetic modification.


The US Seals are opening up to accept women in to their training course, and they are not dropping their standards. The first women to pass training will make your statement invalid.
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Posted 1/16/16

Jackalope82 wrote:

The US Seals are opening up to accept women in to their training course, and they are not dropping their standards. The first women to pass training will make your statement invalid.


I also like how people don't understand evolution. "Evolution, therefore it cannot change!"


Evolution is change in the heritable traits of biological populations over successive generations.


Dumbasses.
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33 / M / outer wall, level...
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Posted 1/16/16
well im throw in my 2 cents here. its seems most women have a hard time assocating with objects. not really sure how to put this.
i fly rc. most rc pilots are men. when flying rc, i feel like im the plane, to the point of crying out in pain when i hit something. i know a lot of guys who do the same with cars. they dont just drive the car, their mind accepts the car as part of them. you can feel where the car is, very much like you can feel where you shoes are in the dark.
it seems like this is a mostly male trait?
maybe there is something in the female make up that make them less inclined to certain fields. men and woman are after all different, proably down to way our brains are wired.
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Posted 1/16/16

PrinceJudar wrote:


Jackalope82 wrote:

The US Seals are opening up to accept women in to their training course, and they are not dropping their standards. The first women to pass training will make your statement invalid.


I also like how people don't understand evolution. "Evolution, therefore it cannot change!"


Evolution is change in the heritable traits of biological populations over successive generations.


Dumbasses.


I fail to see how evolution applies to hard work.
Bavalt 
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/18/16
Why even address it? People are interested in what they're interested in. There's no need to push groups of people into careers they might not want to pursue just because that group isn't well-represented in that career; isn't that just as bad as trying to bar them out of it? As long as we keep as level a playing field as possible, there's no need to interfere with anyone beyond that.

I'm not the type that likes to generalize. If you're making a claim, a fuzzy correlation is no good. There's no such thing as an exception to a rule, because that exception proves the rule isn't a rule at all. While there's nothing inherently wrong with acknowledging this sort of statistical trend, it's not worth much in the end, and giving it more weight than it merits will end with people thinking that the outliers are somehow strange and different, when there's no reason to think of them as anything but normal, since they've been there all along.

Basically, I'm saying that claims such as "women don't like science" - especially without a qualifier like "generally" or something - can be dangerous. People are logical by nature, and the premise there is equivalent to "If you like science, you must not be a woman," which, while logically sound from that statement, is obviously ridiculous. There's no reason to separate women who don't like science from men who don't like science. If you want to know what causes people to avoid STEM fields, consider everyone who does, rather than trying to push a hypothesis right off the bat. You don't want confirmation bias messing with how you interpret the information you get.
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31 / M / L'Étoile du Nord,...
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Posted 1/16/16
Because of this:

One thing I heard about was that women are discouraged from entering STEM and similar scientific fields due to it being "too nerdy" and "unattractive". That's hilarious, because that's an issue MEN face, because "Men aren't supposed to be nerds!" or some BS. Times have changed, but some people just can't let go of the stigma of being a nerd or a geek, and I doubt it's that much of a problem for women as it is for men. Whatever the case, to discourage women from entering STEM due to backlash of being a "nerd" is practically infantile, and reinforces the stereotype that women are delicate little petals that must be protected at all costs by accompanying white knights.

Seriously, though, I don't know why there aren't a lot of women in STEM. Most job fields are dominantly (but not exclusively) male. Maybe most women just aren't interested in pursuing such careers. People have different interests in what careers they want to pursue, and quotas shouldn't be a big deal.
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Posted 1/16/16 , edited 1/16/16

Jackalope82 wrote:

I fail to see how evolution applies to hard work.


Well that's the thing now isn't it? It is related. People make the argument that we are set in stone--because of 'biology' we simply cannot go beyond limitations. However, that's exactly what evolution is.

That's why his argument had been so profoundly faulty. Exceptions, breaking limits, progressing is exactly what humans are made of. Hard work is exactly what has put us into places we never would have dreamed of otherwise.

You can't go to outer space!
Well, fuck it, we did it anyway.

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