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  1. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35898
    15 Dec '18 11:52
    @great-big-stees said
    "Boys consistently have lower scores in the humanities, girls consistently have lower scores in the scientific subjects". Is this, maybe, due to Venus and Mars? 🤔
    I'm not a fan of the 'Venus and Mars' myths. I'd say that it has more to do with societal conditioning.

    Advertising is one avenue. TV shows are another. How often do we see role models for women in STEM fields? It's because men's dominance in these fields must be maintained. If women were actively encouraged to go into STEM fields, men just might not maintain their dominance in those fields for long. This is why the power structure doesn't encourage women to stray from their well-established 'household engineering' roles. Even so, those women who do pursue these fields usually succeed in spite of this. Go figure.
  2. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    15 Dec '18 20:101 edit
    @suzianne said
    I'm not a fan of the 'Venus and Mars' myths. I'd say that it has more to do with societal conditioning.

    Advertising is one avenue. TV shows are another. How often do we see role models for women in STEM fields? It's because men's dominance in these fields must be maintained. If women were actively encouraged to go into STEM fields, men just might not maintain their d ...[text shortened]... oles. Even so, those women who do pursue these fields usually succeed in spite of this. Go figure.
    (Suzianne replied to Great Big Stees.)

    "How often do we see role models for women in STEM fields?"
    --Suzianne

    Two of my aunts (who grew up in a more sexist time) earned degrees in science or engineering.
    Even the most sexist men in my family never doubted that women are capable of
    competent work in STEM fields. The question was whether women are capable of the
    highest achievements in mathematics (where natural talent may be more
    important than in a field like chemistry, which more rewards sheer diligence).

    I have to say that Suzianne has a rather ethnocentric American perspective.
    In fact, many other societies have taken steps to encourage more female participation
    in mathematics competitions by, among other things, establishing separate female
    mathematics competitions (rather like separate female chess competitions).
    This practice began in China and has even spread to Europe.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/04/girls-math-international-competiton/478533/

    "this country [USA] did not have a strong math culture. The European settlers who
    established the first schools were far more focused on literacy for the good of
    one’s soul than on numeracy. Math was seen as necessary only for practical tasks,
    and it wouldn’t be until the 19th century that the U.S. produced its first internationally
    renowned mathematician—the Harvard professor Benjamin Peirce."

    "Benjamin Peirce is often regarded as the earliest American scientist whose research
    was recognized as world class.[4] He was an apologist for slavery, opining that it
    should be condoned if it was used to allow an elite to pursue scientific enquiry."
    --Wikipedia

    To this day, disproportionately many of the top American mathematicians are
    immigrants or from immigrant families (largely non-white).

    "This also appears to be the case in certain populations in the U.S. immigrants
    from China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Iran, to name a few, tend to encourage
    their girls into mathematical professions, like STEM or medicine, particularly if their
    children are first-generation citizens."

    One reason is that these non-white immigrant families hope that their children will
    experience less racism because STEM fields may be more objectively evaluated.
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