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Inside Higher Ed has more on the Yale study:

Female scientists were as likely as male scientists to evaluate the students this way. For instance, the scientists were asked to rate the students' competence on a 5-point scale. Male faculty rated the male student 4.01 and the female student 3.33. Female scientists rated the male student 4.10 and the female student 3.32.
Even I still catch myself thinking of a stereotypical doctor as a guy with a stethoscope, despite the fact that I've had female doctors for my entire adult life. It's harder to get rid of these biases than we think.

The statistic about the decline of women studying computer science is taken from this NY Times op-ed by Stephanie Coontz.

Get a signed print of this cartoon from the artist.

Originally posted to Comics on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why isn't "y = (xx)2" reduced to "y = x4"? (0+ / 0-)

    Is this to imply that "ladies" can't do basic math, or mocking those that say this?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:04:21 AM PDT

  •  yes its easy to fall into that. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, JeffW, mungley, DSPS owl, Tamar

    "Even I still catch myself thinking of a stereotypical doctor as a guy with a stethoscope"

    yes and a Nurse as a white dress wearing Female

  •  Man (8+ / 0-)

    When I got my Computer Science degree back in the early 80's, there were about 1/3 girls in my classes.

    I don't know what happened.

    Romney economics: Feed our seed corn to the fattest pigs and trust them to poop out jobs.

    by blue aardvark on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:05:12 AM PDT

    •  Fatbeards? There were a LOT of em in my classes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not trying to say that women go to college for the dating pool, but the ODOR in that classroom... well it was one of the major reasons I switched back to english.

      Plus, I really loathed getting paired up with guys in every class who were just gonna "Pull an All Nighter, it's what the Pro's do"  on the project That's Due tomorrow.  I have kids, and I can't DO that.

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:16:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well, also (5+ / 0-)

      Computer Science is no longer as well paid as it used to be before the tech bust.  It's long hours for mediocre pay unless you're at the top of the management chain, and often employees are seen as interchangable.

      If I was steering a child going in to college looking for a degree right now I probably would hesitate to recommend Computer Science, unless she truly loved coding.

      •  Software developers get no respect (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark, greengemini

        At first it was because they were viewed as a necessary evil to make the things developed by "real engineers" work.  The maxim was about hardware flaws was "don't worry, we'll have them fix it in software".

        The rise of Microsoft seemed to open a new era for software developers, but the Gates wasn't a long-term professional developer and the company was later turned over to his business major crony.  MS has been leading the charge in the use of temp workers, H-1B visas and offshoring.  Over that same period they ceased to be the "cool" place for top talent: coincidence?

        Lots of other companies have followed their lead.  Marginal developers go into management and propagate the commodity view of developers; after all, these newbie managers truly were dime-a-dozen developers —I want to know who the hell keeps providing all the dimes—and were too unobservant to realize it.  Another pox to lay at the doors of these promoted mediocrities is their incompetent scheduling which leads to the famous software death march/spiral.

        It does seem like a dubious future, but it appears that we're heading towards a world where no one except the bankster/robber-baron types and a few of their select retainers can get any respect or a decent standard of living.

        My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
        Give 'em hell, Barry—Me

        by KingBolete on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:50:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gates was as professional as anybody at the time (4+ / 0-)

          Yes he can code, and quite well too.   Famouse quote is that Microsoft was going to be the best damn C compiler company in the world.   However, his true genius was business of course.

           Hard to believe, but there was a time when "computer science" was an esoteric field related to mathmetics and it had little to do with getting a high paying job.   (That is how I got into it.)   There was also the field of electrical engineering where (from my impression on the other side of the fence) was that you were an engineer who knew how to code.

          Then there were the guys who labored over JCL, Fortran, and COBOL.   Not the thing at all, really.    A scientist would know how to code fortran but many were quite proud of what lousy coders they were.    Being a coder was like how dentists used to be considered.

          It took a lot of work for people it to get recognized as a design field, like engineering or archichecture, but alas it looks like that didn't stick.    We are back to being code monkies.

          •  We're letting them do this to us (0+ / 0-)

            It's part of the broader devaluation of work and workers that the upper classes in this country have engaged in for, what, thirty years?

            Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

            by rbird on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 02:07:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  my daughters (6+ / 0-)

        I'm just a dad trying to steer my girls into STEM career path.  I find the cartoony math websites, iPad flashcards, and even KahnAcademy have helped make the learning more fun.  They're not easy subjects.

        But knowing there's a cultural bias against them to start really peaves me....

        bonzo goes to bitburg should be required listening...

        by decitect on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:23:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Part of the problem (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jen Sorensen, JeffW, rbird

          (I swear I'll talk about this in my diary today)

 that they don't see any role models and the ones they encounter are inaccessible.  What we women scientists need to do is go out into the public and MEET people -- show the what science is about and when a girl has a question, sit down with her and give her some advice.

          Girls have lots of role models for teachers and homemakers and store clerks and hairdressers and nail salon techs and vet techs and reporters and singers... (the list goes on)  But there's very few models of women as "the warm hearted professional" or the "warm hearted scientist doing science" or the "cheerfully fun mathematician" (if you watched "Numb3rs", Amina was probably the ONLY role I've seen for a perky personality-plus female mathematician.)

          If you want to tread a path but there are no road signs, you get lost a lot and you can easily miss your way.

          •  Get out there and show 'em (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jen Sorensen, rbird

            TOTALLY agree with your comment to gain exposure for female scientists.  I can't tell you the number of times my female students told me they were skeptical that I was a "real" scientist because I am approachable, told interesting stories and cared about professional appearance.  Maybe I wasn't smart or something.  Maybe it is easier to get doctorates than they thought!

            Working across both academe and corporations, I can tell you that it is kind of a "no-win" situation in the work world for female scientists.  If you are too nice, then people are shocked by your competence (when they are finally exposed to it) OR if you are too excellent and achieving then you threaten others.  It is very frustrating and I am looking for the exit door.

            When I take "early retirement" I plan to get out into classrooms and other places to show kids what female scientists do.  We must show alternative versions of our profession than the typical, nerdy stereotypes.  We must expand the number of creative, contributions from BOTH female and minority scientists.  I am both and it has not been a cake walk.

            •  It's a wonderful life! (0+ / 0-)

              You'd be surprised at the amount of social power you can wield as a retiree when you volunteer for organizations like museums and zoos and Audubon, too.  I ended up being part of an Important Birding Area project that saved a farm from being turned into a limestone pit -- and helping prep out the largest dinosaur in Texas.

              It's rewarding.  You get some appreciation for who you are and what you can bring to the table, and after a few years (it takes time to build trust and find the right place) you find that people listen to you and act on your recommendations and that you really CAN be far more effective than you were as a cog in the machine.

              I'm looking forward to the day when you join me as part of the "women who are the public face of science to the community."

              •  Encouraging future (0+ / 0-)

                Wow!  What you said is inspiring.  I am about 2.5 years away from becoming independent of these large "systems" that take away power from people like me.  Thanks for this point of view.  Can hardly wait!

      •  Don't believe the hype (0+ / 0-)

        Talented software engineers are in higher demand than they were during the tech bust.  People without strong skills less so.

        This may change over time as China and India continue to produce large numbers of skilled software engineers.  But my opinion is that it's still a good field.

    •  I took stat in undergrad sociology thinking I'd (5+ / 0-)

      barely get through it. Loved it from moment one until this day (spent my career doing research and numbers). And that first stat class, in 1970, was taught by a guy who was very forward thinking. He had us learn basic fortran and that really hooked me. (I took another class in fortran just for fun, in which my piece de resistance was instructing the computer to draw a picture). That professor valued my talents and drive and I never felt that the fact that I was female made the slightest difference to him. He really started me in my career.
      I didn't end up in programming but used statistical computer programs (3 different ones) all through my career, and became sort of a local expert on SPSS which I taught myself when it was fairly new program -- and that was possible because it was based on fortran so the logic made perfect sense to me.
      I've been married more than 35 years and my husband is intuitive, very verbally oriented, while I'm logical and the family techie. If it weren't for my first stat professor and the women's movement, I might have ended up in a career I hated because I wouldn't have even thought to learn the things I ended up loving.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:43:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: Man (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      You said:

      When I got my Computer Science degree back in the early 80's, there were about 1/3 girls in my classes.
      The individuals that were 1/3 girls; what were the other 2/3?


  •  Interesting and disturbing findings... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, JeffW, mungley

    ...especially since the women I've met in both science and in the legal profession have been some of the most competent scientists and lawyers, respectively, I've met.  I would never discount an applicant just because she was female, not with the women in both fields I've seen.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:05:21 AM PDT

    •  After the infamous Larry Summers comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman, livingthedream, greengemini

      at Harvard on women in science, I heard an interview on an NPR talk show. The woman being interviewed (don't remember her name, but I think she was on the Harvard faculty) had done a fair amount of research on women and math/science careers. One of the things she said is that on math college boards, males tend to have both higher and lower scores than women -- that is that they're on the top or are much lower, while women score more in-between those extremes. However, according to her, for any given SAT score in math, women do better in college classes. So, for example, women who scored around 650 on the SAT in math will do better in college math classes than men who score around 650.
      I also have a theory (with nothing but anecdotal evidence to support it), that women peak later in math. I know lots of women, myself included, who either didn't much like math or didn't do that well in high school and in the first few years of college. But with age, our math conceptualization matured. I could run a multiple regression as an undergraduate, but I couldn't picture it mentally until I was in my late 20's -- and then suddenly it became so very clear and I couldn't figure out why I ever had trouble picturing it.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:53:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm wondering if your observation about (0+ / 0-)

        "peaking later" represents not so much a difference between male vs. female but rather autistic (Asperger's) vs. neurotypical, with a confound due to the fact that males are much more likely than females to be autistic. IOW, it's possible that the apparent earlier peak for males is accounted for mostly by Aspies and the comparison you're making is really between autistic males and neurotypical females, a classic "full-confound comparison" (the illustration I like to use is the hypothetical study that found that teenagers with working mothers commit more crimes than toddlers with stay-at-home mothers).

        I'm a (non-autistic) male who also experienced the same effect of stats making more sense as I got older.

        In a dog-eat-dog world, rabies is an advantage in the short term.

        by ebohlman on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 01:11:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  interesting. I don't have any stats on my notion (0+ / 0-)

          in any case, but it would be interesting to know if this is a confounding factor. But first we'd have to know whether I'm right about women.

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 01:28:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding women and computer science degrees (5+ / 0-)

    Could it be that, given all the interesting areas of science now open to women, computer science is just a little on the boring side? Maybe it's just me, but given the choice, marine geology or marine biology look a lot better unless you just don't like beaches, oceans, scuba diving, fresh seafood, great companionship. Hmmm.

    Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

    by RJDixon74135 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:12:30 AM PDT

    •  That could be part of it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, greengemini

      Several women I know do take computer science classes, but find them overly abstract in comparison to life sciences, physical sciences or, in the case of my sister, electrical engineering.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:38:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The boring side???? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Friend in Miami, JeffW, rbird, MrCanoehead

      As a retired computer scientist, I wasn't aware that we were excluded from beaches or sushi bars.  

      I'm not sure what's boring about new languages, new applications, new user interfaces, artificial intelligence, self-recovering systems, robotics, voice recognition, and so on.  It's a rapidly evolving field, so why are sediments so much more exciting?

      Must be the great companionship. Hmmm.

    •  No, it's not boring... (5+ / 0-)

      A big part of it is that earlier, the field was wider in terms of what was being done. Then it went through a very visible video-game stage (that wasn't all programmers were doing, but it was the very visible, very public part), and the subculture that developed around that was really unfriendly to women. From game content to the understood memes of the subculture itself, it was a place where generally speaking men were welcomed and supported while women contended with constant headwinds.

      We still struggle with that subculture today. You can love computer science but not want to spend every day of your life pushing back against ignorant people or bigots. There will be supporters, but there will always be the other kind too, and you just get sick of dealing with them for years on end. They never seem to get any better, and there never seems to be any fewer of them. And your male co-workers don't have to deal with it, the perception that they're incompetent by virtue of their sex and must start over and prove themselves from scratch every day. You just get sick of it.

      Many women can see this right from the outset in computer science degree programs and they avoid it. Many others haven't spent their early years playing with programming and that puts them at an immediate disadvantage in CS programs that start from the assumption that you've spent years tinkering with computers and already know the basics. (Fortunately, educators have become aware of this and have started adjusting their programs so that beginning classes are for actual beginners. This has helped boost female enrollment.)

      Also, when a basic comp sci class is required at a college or university, more women enroll in the degree program. Clearly, part of it is exposure. In the main, though, you may dream of computer science but not also want to spend your professional life as The Girl.

      I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

      by LaraJones on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:03:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My daughter is a Yale grad student in science (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystal eyes, JeffW

    and her lab lead, looking for tenure, is male.  I forwarded this cartoon and told her to ask him if he participated in this study.

    We shall see.

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect -- Mark Twain. Ode to Social ME-dia: Sweets and tweets, self indulgently fed. First widens seats, second fattens heads -- Dcrolg

    by dcrolg on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:13:14 AM PDT

  •  If you are true blue Democrats woman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, JeffW, Calamity Jean

    You should be motivated too vote   especially against male republican and hand them thier testicle too them  on a silver platter on election day

  •  a colleague of mine (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, 417els, JeffW

    was at a computer science convention.  She's an older returning grad student and went to the student social at the convention.  Younger female students are already stereotyping females' work -- they said that they give less attention to published peer-reviewed articles by female authors than male authors.  My colleague now publishes under her first and middle initials and not her full name.

  •  Jen, you're unique in that your great cartoons (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joealan, koosah, quill, JeffW

    are generally great diaries as well!

    Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

    by Seneca Doane on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:18:48 AM PDT

  •  Well, it's a a hard sterotype to break- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, LaraJones, JeffW

    How many Female doctors were on the hit show ER, or Chicago Hope or even Scrubs?

    Going back how about St. Elsewhere, or even going back furhter to MASH?

    Now think on how male nurses there were on those shows- they seemed to have more male nurses than female doctors.

    "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

    by skyounkin on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:19:46 AM PDT

  •  Is that Comp Sci Degree graph really accurate? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I work in Technology and have since 1993.  I can DEFINITELY say that the workforce at all levels is 1,000 times more gender-diverse then the first flannel-clad beard-a-thon industry I got into as a young man.

    I would say that for actual software engineers (code-writers), I do see much fewer female applications so the hiring I witness is reflective of that.  But else where on everything from the engineering, DB, Security, Support, Software Analyst all the way to Tech Writing, the in-roads are undeniable to this relative old-timer.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:21:02 AM PDT

    •  I can recall the first IBM PCs (0+ / 0-)

      And I distinctly remember that only executives (male, of course) were allowed to have one.  Secretaries, technicians, and other lower-paid workers--who did the bulk of computer work--had to make do with old technology. In the 1990s, access to the best technology extended to lower-ranking males, but not to females, even when the females out-ranked the males and had higher levels of scientific training.  How can things like that not send the message to women that they aren't supposed to do well with computers?  Nevertheless, I know many women who are whizzes with computers.

      Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

      by Deep Harm on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:41:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My first CS prof was a woman, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Harm

        and a damn good teacher as well. She was British, and enthusiastic, and funny, and totally knew her stuff. It was like being taught to program by Julia Childs.
        Okay, statistically speaking that has no bearing on the original post. I just wanted to give a shout-out.

  •  Todd Akin is the lady science expert (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, koosah, Calamity Jean, greengemini

    of our time.
    The Akin Principle:
    The rights of women are inversely proportional to the number of Todd Akin types in congress.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:21:35 AM PDT

  •  As one who teaches science (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fearlessfred14, Jen Sorensen, Tamar

    on the undergraduate college level, I can hereby attest that women do not suck at science.  In fact, I would go so far as to say, in thinking about our best students over the past decade, that it's about an even split between men and women, with the women perhaps having a slight edge.

    This discrimination against women in the sciences is bullshit, and it needs to end.

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:28:02 AM PDT

  •  I got my degree in Biology back in 1990. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill, JeffW, Tamar

    One of my advisors (a very remarkable woman who recently  lost her battle with cancer) told me the story of how the rest of the (male) faculty reacted to her when she started teaching at the school.  They left the coffee tray outside her office door every morning with all the dirty cups from the day before.

    Because, y'know, she was the supposed to like cleaning them.  

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:36:50 AM PDT

    •  What did she do about that? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Tamar
      ...the story of how the rest of the (male) faculty reacted to her when she started teaching at the school.  They left the coffee tray outside her office door every morning with all the dirty cups from the day before.

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:58:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She just took them back to the staff room. (0+ / 0-)

        Unwashed, of course, and left them there.  

        I asked her how she could still work with those guys.  She said she got on fine with them, but that they weren't her best friends and never would be.  She knew she was paving the way for women like me (and younger ones today) and was very conscious of being "above" their pettiness.  She pretty much concluded that they weren't as evolved as the rest of the world.  

        She was the nicest woman you could imagine and it still makes me furious on her behalf that those clods could treat her like that.  But she proved that she was a far better person (and educator, too, BTW) than them, ultimately.  

        Metaphors be with you.

        by koosah on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 12:40:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I studied computer science in 1981. Left the field (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, JeffW, greengemini

    by 1989. Tired of being patronized and mansplained and treated as a potential sexual commodity. ("prettying up the team", as it were.)

  •  It is much the same with engineers... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, greengemini

    Retired AFSCME Steward and licensed gun carrying progressive veteran.

    by old mark on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 07:51:35 AM PDT

    •  Tell me about it! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamar, greengemini

      The best engineer in my old section is a woman. She would have been great as the section head, but the deputy commissioner at the time was a male chauvinist pig, and didn't approach her. Oh, and she had another strike (in his book) against herself: she's Indian.

      She's taking early retirement next year, and the section will be down to 2 people to deal with the traffic engineering for Chicago's 2,904 signalized intersections.

      Drive carefully!

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:49:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is the old mindbender (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, JeffW, Tamar

    A father and son are in an accident and the father is killed.   The son goes to the emergency room. When it is time for surgery, the surgeon comes in and says "I cannot operate on him.  He's my son"

    How is this possible?

    Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

    by Mindful Nature on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:08:47 AM PDT

  •  I'm curious if the chart is just (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, JeffW, ebohlman

    referencing US citizens or if its reflecting the percentage of people going to college.  The reason I am asking is that my first attempt at college - 1988-1990 - the CS field had a higher percentage of Americans in it than my second attempt - 2000-2005.  If it's not taking US citizens into account, then it could be influenced by the culture of other countries.

    Occupy the voting Booth!

    by anonevent on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:21:00 AM PDT

  •  Male doctors? Things are changing... (6+ / 0-)

    Our kids have a female pediatrician and a male nurse.  A few years ago at a well child visit, my then-five-year-old son leaned over and asked asked me "Dad, can boys be doctors?"

    •  Love that! nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, JeffW

      Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

      by Deep Harm on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:32:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Our first pediatrician was an African-American (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      woman and she was chair of the department, and the nurse in charge of the department's nursing staff (in the old-fashioned leftist and wonderful and no-longer existing group health plan) was also African American. My older daughters grew up thinking that powerful health care people are African American women. I didn't disabuse them of the notion.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:04:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I recall in the 1970s (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, JeffW

    confiding to male coworkers (all geologists) that I had changed my college major from journalism to geology  and being told by one of them, "Well, we can't all be geologists."

    Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

    by Deep Harm on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:31:27 AM PDT

  •  My field is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    anthropology. These days at most universities women outnumber men in grad programs by a lot -- at my current grad program it is probably at least 65% women. And yet look how far we have to go: just a quick perusal of the Harvard (not my school) anthropology faculty shows that only 6 of 27 professors are women.

    "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

    by Lost Left Coaster on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:43:48 AM PDT

  •  It's something I address at Audubon centers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Tamar

    I have begun introducing myself as "a real scientist" and talk about some of the science I'm doing on the property.  At the Free Days at each site, I lead folks on walks of the property and talk about science and they help in observations.

    And I think I'll write about this in my diary today.  I realized I had a lot to say on this issue.

  •  ARGH...This discussion reminds me of a professor (0+ / 0-)

    We were a class sitting out of the classroom in the sun having a lecture back in the '70s as a college sophomore.  The professor decided to go around and ask people about their aspirations.  When it was my turn, he ridiculed me in front of 20 people for wanting to get my doctorate in the social sciences. gets in the way.  You will get married and have babies so that will derail your overly ambitious aspiration!  Tee-hee said the other students.

    Six years later, doctorate in hand, I went looking for him to tell him that he was wrong and to never shame another student like that again.  He was nowhere to be found but I heard through the grapevine that he knew I was looking for him and all he could say was, "good for her."  Jerk.  Oh yeah, and also, I remember all this 35plus years later!  Positions of power should be used to encourage, not put up barriers.

  •  Anecdotal... (0+ / 0-)

    I was at the bar the other day in Chapel Hill, and ended up conversing a bit on and off with a table of medical students.

    Eight people, I'd estimate... all male.  Maybe it was just a lad's lunch out or whatever but it is interesting.  Even social aspects to that sort of endeavor can promote or inhibit success, I suppose.

  •  Women students have outnumbered men in many (0+ / 0-)

    colleges and universities for years now. And the women are often the better students. That is definitely the case at the college where I teach. I wonder if the family/career struggle is still derailing women, as well as the glass ceiling, prejudiced perceptions, etc.

    Some women have to sacrifice career for family if they don't have a supportive work environment-- women are still the people who are supposed to care for the kids when sick or take off to deal with elderly relatives. And women who make it to the top are still likely to be single and/or without kids.

    I am lucky not to face that struggle, but I am not that high powered, either.

    Non-profit single payer health care. Next question?

    by terran on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 12:45:07 PM PDT

  •  This is why there was a Black Power movement (0+ / 0-)
    Female scientists were as likely as male scientists to evaluate the students this way.
    "Black is beautiful!"

    I remember all of it.  I was just a little white kid watching the news back then, but I understood - partly because Black Power advocates explained it.  Harmful stereotypes infect not only the in-group but the out-group as well.  To affect real change, the out-group must realize they are just as infected with oppressive memes as the group oppressing them.

    The most powerful evocation of this idea was a film by Bill Cosby encouraging African-Americans to abandon hair-straightening for natural hairstyles.  I can't find it on youtube, unfortunately.  I did find the clip of another documentary about black and white children, it's at the bottom.

    All through my life I've seen the same thing in other groups.  It's a common human failing for the out-group to accept the judgments of the the in-group.  I've seen it in computer nerds, academics, athletes - everywhere.  I was fortunate to have enough people in my life who were contradictions of this rule to know that what in-groups thought was irrelevant to my own thinking.

    We need more feminism, not less.  By the way, I practice what I preach, even in matters of romance.  I'm inordinately attracted to female computer programmers, female members of the military (most of the women I date are or were in the military), women in science, and talented, smart women as a general thing.

    Smart is sexy

    Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

    by rbird on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 01:55:49 PM PDT

  •  As to number 2 (share of comp sci degrees) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Women are smart enough to realize that the field was crashing and there were far fewer jobs available that hadn't been outsourced, so went into fields with better outlooks at a guess.

    Heck, by 2004, even a clueless type like myself could see things were heading downhill in computers, and had applied for nursing school, despite having a masters in systems analysis.

    So my guess as to #2 is that it is showing that women are smarter than to go into a shrinking field, not that they're being held back in the field.

    •  No, I don't buy that. (0+ / 0-)

      Some branches of science, like biology and psychology, have much higher proportions of women, but those fields don't have better job outlooks than physics or chemistry, and none of them come close to computer science and engineering.

      Indeed, despite what you've heard about crashing fields and outsourcing, CS grads are still among the highest paid graduates, along with Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer engineering.  

      My head says "No" but my heart says "Yes". And then my liver says "What?" and my butt's all like "Farrrrrrt" --jbou

      by Caj on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 05:26:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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