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Tue 19th September 2006

Study finds bias against women in science

Filed under: General — tonyf @ 9:27 pm

1.00pm Tuesday September 19, 2006
By Maggie Fox

Women are being filtered out of high-level science, maths and engineering jobs in the United States, and there is no good reason for it, according to a National Academies report released today.

A committee of experts looked at all the possible excuses — biological differences in ability, hormonal influences, childrearing demands, and even differences in ambition — and found no good explanation for why women are being locked out.

“Compared with men, women faculty members are generally paid less and promoted more slowly, receive fewer honours, and hold fewer leadership positions,” the Academies said in a statement.

“These discrepancies do not appear to be based on productivity, the significance of their work, or any other performance measures.”

“We found no significant biological differences between men and women in science, engineering and mathematics that could account for the lower representation of women in academic faculty and scientific leadership positions,” said Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami and head of the committee that wrote the report.

The study was compiled by all the National Academies — the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine — which advise Congress, the federal government, and various institutions.

Many arguments have been made to explain why women do not excel in maths and science — that they are not as good as men in mathematical ability, that female brain structures are different or that hormones affect performance.

Lawrence Summers resigned as Harvard University president after he made widely disparaged remarks in 2005 suggesting that women were biologically less able in maths and science, and that women chose to pay more attention to their families and thus failed to put in enough effort to succeed at work.

The experts looked at many different studies on the issue.

“The committee found no sound evidence to support these myths and often good evidence to the contrary,” said Ana Mari Cauce, Executive Vice Provost at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“In fact, female performance in high school mathematics now matches that of males. If biology were the basis of that, we’ve seen some major evolution in the past decades.”

Urgent change is needed, said Cauce, if the United States wants to compete internationally in science.

“This is about more excellence. This is not about changing the bar or lowering the bar,” Cauce said.

– REUTERS

NOTE: The comments expressed in these articles may not reflect that of the post author

9 Responses to “Study finds bias against women in science”

  1. Intrepid says:

    Did you read the report Tony? The quotes you placed are opinions. I looked over the report for the science. Could find much.
    It went like this:

    First, more women are reaching higher levels of higher education so they should get more positions in companies and profesorships. They touch on many women not liking the lifestyle , but don’t include that in the slogan at the end at all.

    Second, the science on biological deferences are no good(in their opinions) so they won’t include any of that science in their report. This means its a PC paper. It doesn’t want to see anything it doesn’t like. That means its politically correct BS.

    This is propaganda! Don’t you have any honor, or didn’t you bother to read any of it, but the title which confirmation of your already stated agenda? Either way you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Science is now political, bravo, we now sink still further into the effeminate fox world of tony!

  2. tonyf says:

    Hello Intrepid,
    No, I havn’t read the report. I posted this so it can be discussed, maybe even critiqued. Can you provide a link to the report?

    Either way you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Not really. Refer first statement.I didn’t write this so please don’t shoot the messenger. Also, I made absolutely no comment on this article, so I believe that your opinion of what my agenda might be is somewhat presumptuous.

    Science is now political, bravo, we now sink still further into the effeminate fox world of tony!

    Wha…….. Huh?

  3. Stephen says:

    tony f,

    I thought this site was for

    ‘promoting a clearer understanding of men’s experience’

    (at least that’s what the website banner reads)

    Not for pushing feminist ideology dressed up as ‘research’ about women’s issues in my face.

    Where to draw the line?
    Will we now get more gynocentric twaddle touting itself as feminist ‘research’ bemoaning women’s lack of job status which conveniently overlooks HOW WOMEN STEP OUT OF THE WORKPLACE FOR YEARS YET EXPECT THE SAME JOB STATUS on a site to promote MEN’S EXPERIENCE?

    Wake up man.
    Your brothers are suffering allot of pain because of instutional misandry which this shite seeks to extend further and you’re pushing it onto this site sans critique. Don’t you see how suspicious and provocative that looks?
    It’s like me going to an Black American website and posting a KKK article without critiquing the KKK, then saying I only did it to “promote discussion”!
    That’s inflamatory when it needn’t be.

  4. Intrepid says:

    Tony your reputation proceeds you. You and Kent are big on this kind of stuff. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but the link is darwin.nap.edu/books/0309100429/html

    I will save any apologize until you give a reason for placing something as science that you haven’t bothered to read? Are you not Kent with Zeal’s sidekick? You know Kent the deconstructionist extrodinaire?

    Politics masked as science is something that gets me extremely angry for it stops any future attempt as a solution for it leads to polarization and eventual inevitable violence. When science goes it becomes a question of will, and how low will one side go for its desires.

    This site is the worst kind of science for it is politics. If you don’t like my reaction then read what you put up, or if you are playing at poltics you deserve more of the same.

    I only became angry when I began to read it, for I had never heard of NAP, but it does seem they were napping when it comes to science class, and decided to apply politics to everything in its place. Put up more unread agenda pushing work and expect more of the same from me.

  5. tonyf says:

    Stephen,
    I no longer put comments in the posting as this is just adding my opinion. I was hoping the likes of you fine gentlemen would have assisted here. I could have commented until the cows come home, but I no longer feel comfortable putting my 2 cents in here and there in the article. Reeks of bias to me.

    I thought this site was for ‘promoting a clearer understanding of men’s experience’

    Good point. Intrepid commented:

    Politics masked as science is something that gets me extremely angry for it stops any future attempt as a solution for it leads to polarization and eventual inevitable violence.

    Is that not the goal stated? He also provided the link which is very useful.

    Wake up man.
    Your brothers are suffering allot of pain because of instutional misandry which this shite seeks to extend further and you’re pushing it onto this site sans critique.

    Can you provide a link to a site that does critque this article and others I have posted? I thought this was the place for that. Also, there are many, many of my brothers out there who havn’t read the report, but have read the NZHerald article, many of them take it as being gospel because it was in the all knowing Herald. It was my intention, that they see the posting, see the comments, follow the links and formulate their own opinion.

    It’s like me going to an Black American website and posting a KKK article without critiquing the KKK, then saying I only did it to “promote discussion”!

    Point taken. So what is it that you find inflammatory? Was it the fact I didn’t comment? What if I commented, but agreed with the article? Can’t have that right? So really I have one option: critique. Is that whats expected?

    Intrepid,

    Tony your reputation proceeds you. You and Kent are big on this kind of stuff.

    Reputation? Didn’t realise I had one. Again I suggest you are jumping to conclusions.
    Kent who?

    This site is the worst kind of science for it is politics. If you don’t like my reaction then read what you put up, or if you are playing at poltics you deserve more of the same.

    I hear your anger. Clearly you feel strongly about this. As for deserving, well, you are entitled to your opinion; just like the women in the article.

    Put up more unread agenda pushing work and expect more of the same from me.

    Looking forward to your comments in future, just please remember to supply links to references on any assertions of fact that you may make. Also, I would like to point out that I posted about the NZHerald article, not the report, and yes Intrepid, I read the article.

    It seems that you guys are offended, which was not my intention. I will make one comment on the posing.

  6. julie says:

    Hi Tonyf,

    The reason employees in America and possibly else where are not interested in hiring these women is because they don’t want to be sued and they don’t want to be hiring expensive lawyers to fight the case or pay out compensations or have their workplace turned upside down to make women safer and happier in it. A male is preference in educated jobs because he gets on with the job and understands he is a part of the profit as an asset. An educated female knows her rights and proceeds to change her environment to suit herself. Women are dangerous to business because they bring about expenses and loss through thier rights. They are making themselves become discriminated against. They are reaping what they sow.

    Check out how much damage women’s rights cause business.

  7. wendy says:

    Oh, I agree with Julie. Women are in-effect becoming their own worse enemy. Not just this type of situation but other areas as well.

  8. Intrepid says:

    Here is someone with a little more knowledge than I on this bogus study. For those of you who think I may have jumped the gun in actully reading the study before presenting it a science.

    Sorenlerby said Men’s Daily News,

    Did anyone expect that this kind of committee, headed by a doctrinaire feminist and a former Clinton cabinet member Donna Shalala, composed overwhelmingly of radical feminists (17 of 18 members were women), WILL NOT conclude that discrimination was a reason for dearth of top female scientists and engineers? Said Donna Shalala, “nothing was a foregone conclusion,” yeah, you’re right. The selection of chair, composition of members and the title of the report, everything single element of this committee-think, committee rubber-stamp report is geared to arrive at one, and I mean only one conclusion – women face discrimination in the science field.

    Trying to give a benefit of a doubt that, or hypnotizing yourself hard to believe the charade that this committee was not biased in its approach to the subject matter is already a monumental task in its own right. Looks like even the most hard-headed feminists type in the committee was at least vaguely aware of what they were actually doing so she was already being a little defensive and had to qualify that the study was not meant to “lowering bars”.

    The article citing the report doesn’t even bother to explain how US science field is facing global challenge or bad (or good) it is doing as compared to its past, but cited only the political slogans that are music to their ears, such as “we need overarching reform now” etc.

    Global competition against who? Which countries? This argument wouldn’t stand unless the US academic excellence in science and engineering is challenged by those countries whose science and engineering field is dominated by women, or at least make more use of the so-called “female talent” (which doesn’t seem to make a dent even in Scandinavian countries). China, for one, who seemed to be rising in this field lately, is of course, a country known for putting gender quota ahead of academic excellence, ha, ha, ha…

    Another question.. let’s for the sake of argument say that US science field is indeed in trouble – why turn to a group of people who have made very little contribution in this field in the past, and does not have a track record of producing great scientists on a consistent basis? Why don’t you try to tap into a group of people who have made countless scientific discoveries and made our lives so much convenient and made this country so great. Those group of people are waning out because of gender quota policies, gender politicking, mud-slinging of sexual-harassment or sexual-abuse charges, etc., etc..

    Okay, here’s a simple science question or logic question for members of the committee, – when in crisis, should you turn to people with demonstrated abilities in the field in question and achievements in the past, or to people who with no such track record? The latter? Bing! You passed the test to become a member of the Donna Shalala’s committee! The bad news is that however as of today, you are still highly likely to fail an admission test for top universities but it won’t be so for so long, Donna is working around the clock so that logic-deficient people like you can be a part of diverse community of scientific experts that are representative of broader society …translation; (we’re gonna mandate gender quota for science professors and science awards winners).

    If science field in this country is going to be dictated by this kind of committee-think and committee-politicking that are reminiscent of Stalin-era Soviet Union, and heads of science department at universities are going to be held by people who are chosen not on the basis of academic excellence but by their gender, then indeed the future of this country’s science field is in big trouble.

  9. Stephen says:

    tony f,

    You say –

    I no longer put comments in the posting as this is just adding my opinion. I was hoping the likes of you fine gentlemen would have assisted here. I could have commented until the cows come home, but I no longer feel comfortable putting my 2 cents in here and there in the article. Reeks of bias to me.

    First you post inflamatory feminist man-bashing articles on a site for promoting men’s experience then say you have NO BIAS, indeed nothing to say about such ‘research’, but hope others will comment.

    I could do likewise putting up hundreds of feminist articles which demonise men with pseudo ‘science’. That’s a cheap road to travel.
    I expect that if I did so without any critique, but sat on the sidelines that people would righly suspect me of simply being some pro-feminist shit stirrer trolling around on a men’s rights site. I might take some heat about it too.

    In a nutshell you’re not showing the kind of openness I need in fellow Men’s movement travellers.
    I’m not buying the ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ victim line either.
    You deliver a shitty message to your brothers without explaining why, so some folks are going to shoot at you. To me that’s a fact of life.

    There are others I disagree with, sometimes strongly, but at least I know where I stand with them and respect them for their openness.
    With you it’s all a bit too shady for that.

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