UnderGround Forums
 

AcademicGround >> Gender differences and education


1/20/05 10:35 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 20-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 902
 
Harvard's President started quite a row over his speculation that innate cognitive differences may account fo why women are underrepresented in math and the hard sciences. Thoughts? Get the scoop here.
1/20/05 11:25 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Andrew Yao
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 20-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2574
I don't really care, but I will interject this sexist Futurama quote. Lrrr: Surely you know McNeal. She is an unmarried human female, struggling to succeed in a human male's world.
Brannigan: Maybe that's just her excuse for being incompetent.
Lrrr: Silence!
Nd-Nd: It is true what they say; "Women are from Omicron Persei 7, men are from Omicron Persei 9.
1/22/05 12:44 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Dogbert
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 22-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 14644
There's nothing wrong with such speculation, but it may be inappropriate for the harvard president, who happens to be an economist, not a psychologist or biologist. Either way, I think female brains aren't the factor limiting their proportion in mathematics and natural sciences. Larry did the right thing and apologized.
1/22/05 10:12 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 22-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 918
Db, thanks for your participation. Do you, by any chance, believe the limting factor is the subliminal misogyny of white male Christian, heterosexist, bourgeoise patriarchy? ;) By the way, if there was nothing wrong with such speculation then why is it the right thing to apologize?
1/24/05 11:59 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 24-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 922
1/24/05 3:35 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Dogbert
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 24-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 14666
"Do you, by any chance, believe the limting factor is the subliminal misogyny of white male Christian, heterosexist, bourgeoise patriarchy? ;)" I think the roots are less deep. But you are on the right track.. "By the way, if there was nothing wrong with such speculation then why is it the right thing to apologize?" Because such speculation has a strong symbolic efect and should be left to the actual researchers. I think it´s because Larry Summers is a evil clintonite liberal...
1/24/05 10:19 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 24-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 924
"I think it´s because Larry Summers is a evil clintonite liberal..." That he is, but that's no worse than being a crazy, out of control Bushevik.
1/26/05 10:54 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 26-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 928
Hmm, Summers may have been on to something afterall.
1/29/05 3:29 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
striker18
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 29-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 14543
Buddhadev, send me an email when you get a chance.
1/29/05 4:15 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 29-Jan-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 939
Sent to your yahoo address. Is that still your primary email?
1/31/05 10:23 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 31-Jan-05 10:24 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 943
Here's a funny incident that occured after Summers made his statement:
"I felt I was going to be sick," said biology professor Nancy Hopkins of MIT. "My heart was pounding, and my breath was shallow." "I just couldn't breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill." Had she not fled from the room, said Hopkins, "I would've either blacked out or thrown up."
I think all that Dr. Hopkins needed was a stately Southern gentleman to catch her and lay her down on a couch near an open window, while other women in attendance shrieked, "Undo the lady's laces!" and earnest young servant-girls fetched a glass of water and a small hand-fan. The next day Dr. Hopkins could take a lighter workload and instead catch up on frivolous shopping, soap operas, and gossip with her girlfriends. All the while she could think to herself, "Goddamn that Larry Summers and his gender stereotypes!"
2/1/05 10:12 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
striker18
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01-Feb-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 14567
I didn't get the email. I would mail you over mma.tv email, but incoming mail is disabled for you. fixmemypotpie@yahoo.com
2/1/05 11:27 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 01-Feb-05 11:28 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 951
Just gave it another try. Let me know if you got it? Subject line is "2nd try".
2/4/05 4:16 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04-Feb-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 965
John Stossel weighs in with an erudition and reason, as usual. hyperlink http://www.lewrockwell.com/ocregister/stossel-taboo.htm
2/5/05 1:55 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
striker18
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 05-Feb-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 14620
Still didn't get it.
2/5/05 11:38 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 05-Feb-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 966
Weird. Maybe try dropping me an e-mail then? chakraborty@myrealbox.com and/or give me a time frame which works for you and I could call.
2/8/05 12:12 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 08-Feb-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 976
for striker
2/15/05 1:49 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 15-Feb-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 992
Dogbert, I appreciate your sentiment of disagreeing with the overall theory but being ok with such speculation as long as it comes from people trained in the appropriate sciences. However, most of the shreiking chorus that emerges around statements like this or similar statements doesn't hold such a nuanced, understanding position. Here's an excerpt from that Stossel article:
In about one out of every 10,000 pregnancies, a genetic defect causes female babies to be exposed to a bath of androgen - male hormones. They're called CAH girls, short for congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The children are born female. If this is a sexist world, these CAH girls get all the sexist messages other girls get. Yet they don't act like the other girls. There's something in them that's innately male. Psychologist Sheri Berenbaum studied CAH girls. "We found that the CAH girls played much more with the boys' toys than their sisters," she said, "and it showed that hormones affect sex differences and behavior, not just in rats, not just in monkeys, but in people also." Gloria Steinem doesn't believe it. In fact, she says this research shouldn't even be done. "It's really the remnant of anti-American, crazy thinking to do this kind of research," she told me. "It's what's keeping us down, not what's helping us."
And to think, the research that Steinem is attacking isn't even denigrating female capabilities--only highlighting personality differences.
5/16/05 3:28 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Dogbert
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 16-May-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 14805
Here is a nice article from Keith Devlin who adresses the topic. I don´t think Steinem´s position is that wrong. There are surely genetic reasons that make people look like the "evil jews" on Nazi propaganda posters. I don´t think that´s an area genetic research should focus on. And I really doubt that androgenic steroids make women better mathematicians. ;-)
3/3/08 1:44 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 04-Mar-08 11:06 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 3126
Old thread, I know...but I didn't notice Dogbert's reply...
I don´t think Steinem´s position is that wrong. There are surely genetic reasons that make people look like the "evil jews" on Nazi propaganda posters. I don´t think that´s an area genetic research should focus on.
I could address this substantively, but I think I can declare victory by Godwin's Law anyhow.
And I really doubt that androgenic steroids make women better mathematicians. ;-)
Well, with either you or Gloria Steinem in charge, we'd never find out, would we? That is a good article by Keith Devlin, btw.
3/7/08 12:11 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
MssrThibeaux
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 07-Mar-08
Member Since: 09/10/2007
Posts: 1207
I teach 5th graders. It's crazy to see the influence of society on kids. They are trying to figure out 24/7, consciously and unconsciously, how they fit into the world and how to get attention. That is what little kids want: attention, someone to mirror back to them whether what they're doing is right or wrong. Most people past puberty were so busy trying to do the same thing that they forget how powerful the feedback society gives us is in terms of regulating our personalities. That said, "There's nothing wrong with such speculation, but it may be inappropriate for the harvard president, who happens to be an economist, not a psychologist or biologist." ^ exactly correct. There's no branch of the academy that doesn't require a more sophisticated overseeing intelligence.
10/3/08 2:41 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Buddhadev
21 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 3347


10/7/08 9:42 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Seul
22 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/18/02
Posts: 1391
In my experience, economists tend to (by training) disregard politically correct "feelings" during speculation with regards to trends.

Impassionately looking at the data: there are less women in hard sciences than there are men (when compared to the relative proportion of each gender in the population as a whole).

Assuming there is a reason for this, it breaks down to either a innate cognitive tendency (as suggested by the harvard pres) or a developmental atmosphere that discourages young girls from displaying interest/aptitude in science and math.

It's not unreasonable to suggest that there may be trends in the relative strengths and weaknesses of each gender; men being physically stronger and women being able to bear children are proof that each gender has been specialized (to some extent) from an evolutionary/genetic standpoint.

Further, the existence of environmental deterents against female involvement in some disciplines (which unfortunately still exist today) do not necessarily preclude an innate trend; it just makes it impossible to tell whether or not it's there (as both positions manifest in the same way; less women in science/math).

While he certainly could have been less insulting (or at least exercised some social grace by imagining he might offend some ladies), I think his speculation as to the reasoning behind a demonstrated trend is within the bounds of economics as an academic discipline.

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.