Bias against Female Scientists???

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by S.A.M., Jul 14, 2006.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    An expert with a different point of view:

    And we should listen to him because....?

    And what is his take on the male dominated science scene?

    So is he talking out of his hat?

    So why does this happen? Is it because....

    But what does science say?

    But then...?

    The million dollar question?

    Why is it that almost all Nobel Prize winners are men today?/

    Comments, please.
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  3. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    I would like to see an actual study showing acceptance rates of papers for men vs. women. One person's anecdotal example of how her acceptance rate went up when she started submitting under her initials doesn't really constitute evidence.

    I'm working on my PhD in chemistry
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    People who are committed to egalitarian principles and believe that they are not biased may nevertheless unconsciously or inadvertently behave in discriminatory ways [HN10] (6, 17-19). When evaluators rated writing skills, resumes, journal articles, and career paths, they gave lower ratings on average if they were told that the subject of evaluation was a woman (6). A study of postdoctoral fellowships awarded by the Medical Research Council of Sweden found that women candidates needed substantially more publications to achieve the same competency rating as men [HN11] (18). On the basis of results in other fields, it might be wise for scientists to consider ways to mask applicant gender. For example, introducing a screen to obscure the gender of musicians auditioning for symphony orchestra positions increased the likelihood that a woman was selected by 30 to 60% [HN12] (20).

    I was surprised to see this research published as a "commentary":
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  7. Satyr Banned Banned

    Didn’t you get the memo?

    Reality is a paternalistic construct and so the female mind has difficulty unraveling its macho laws.

    What we need is a more feminine concept of reality.

    You know:

    Love conquers all.
    Don’t deconstruct beyond a certain comfort level.
    Body odor is but…unless I’m attracted to the one exuding it. Then it’s magnificent.
    We all deserve dignity.
    When I fail it’s, almost always, the other’s fault.
    People disappoint and hurt me because they have gone astray.
    The sanctity of Life.
    Everything turns out for the better in the end.
    Karma rules.
    If life isn’t eternal then what happens to all the energy, that is me, when I die?
    I believe in 'love at first sight'.
    There is such a thing as unselfishness.
    Why fight when we can argue?
    God loves you.
    Believe as truth what suits your interests.
    Wear g-strings with tight clothing.
    Absolute knowledge is impossible, so why bother?
    People are inherently good; fallen angels that need guidance to return to their original self.
    To critique is to hate.
    Arguing a “negative” perspective exposes bitterness and illness.
    Arguing a “positive” perspective exposes contentment and health.
    I don’t care about what you say but about why you say it.
    It’s not that that I have an erroneous view of the real world, but that the world fails to live-up to my reality.
    Abusing nature is like abusing yourself.
    When a position cannot be argued against with reason, argue against it with emotion.
    When attacking an opinion with arguments is impossible, attack the opinion holder with insinuations.
    Never wear socks with sandals.

  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    But research shows that the contribution of women to science is equal or greater than that of men (all other things being equal).

    Then what holds women back?

    If they are capable of getting the result then why are they not capable of getting the recognition for it?
  9. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    Ah, but all other things aren't equal are they?

    1. Home-making
    2. Children
    3. Self-sacrifice

    So far I sort of agree with Satyr...

    4. Familial and social expectations re. 1-3
    5. Sexism - sometimes overt and deliberate, perhaps, but more often invisibility in a male-dominated profession.

    Its not rocket science really, is it?
  10. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Like what?

    What about women who are making a signficant contribution?

    So what should women do different?

    Red are you patronising me because I am a female? :bugeye:
  11. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Hi sam.

    There are clearly differences in the innate behaviors and mental aptitudes of males and females. General intelligence, as far as I know, is found to be basically equivalent. Given the differences between males and females, wouldn't we be more suprised if they all had the same interests, academic or otherwise?

    As for bias, I'm sure there's some, and always will be in a male dominated society, no matter what you do simply because males cannot be objective towards females. My personal opinion is that this is a small effect today, and it is buried in the "noise" of the much larger signal of different male-female propensities. There aren't a lot of female engineers because, well... they hate the idea of doing what most engineers do. Of course this only applies to the typical male or female. There are always exceptions.
  12. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    "There aren't a lot of female engineers because, well... they hate the idea of doing what most engineers do"

    And you know
  13. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    I believe I said it was my opinion only. Based on every female I've ever known, including my EE wife and a rare few coworkers. None of them actually even enjoyed what they were doing and all eventually left to do something else.
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

  15. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Not all of us can access that article...
  16. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    What's the jist of it?
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    Sorry! Hard to tell which ones are academic

    Engineers Marginalized, MIT Report Concludes
    Andrew Lawler
    BOSTON--A 1999 report that documented the plight of female researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sparked a heated national debate about the need to improve the status of women scientists in academia. Now a new study of MIT's School of Engineering cites a host of similar barriers, leaving dean Thomas Magnanti to conclude that "MIT is not a hospitable environment" for many women.

    The largest of MIT's schools, engineering also has the lowest percentage of female professors--fewer than 10% of the school's 357 faculty members. Those hired are subject to "a consistent pattern of marginalization," states the 30-page study, which Magnanti commissioned in 1999 as one of four reviews of individual schools. Women's representation is far less than in the overall student body, which declines from the first to the final degree (see chart). Unlike the 1999 report on the school of science, however, the engineering study did not find significant inequities in salary and space based on gender. But there are "more subtle biases" that may be harder to redress, Magnanti says, including a dearth of women faculty members on Ph.D. committees and in senior administrative posts.

    "Simply put, this situation is unacceptable," he says in a letter accompanying the report, which contains narratives along with some grim statistics. Magnanti also endorses the report's recommendations, which include doubling the percentage of women engineers in a decade, hiring consultants for job searches, and holding workshops to increase gender awareness. "Barriers persist," he writes, "and all too many of us remain oblivious to them."

    MIT engineer Lorna Gibson, who chaired the study, says that much of the exclusion "is not malicious; it's unconscious." Such behavior takes a variety of forms. Gibson recalls that she was typically the one asked to cover for male colleagues on sabbatical. "It was like being a substitute teacher" rather than a valued professor, she says. That attitude changed, however, once she pointed out the disparity. And some women had never been asked to serve on a Ph.D. committee, a situation that Magnanti says he found "stunning."

    The situation is better on the pay front. In late 1995, female engineers requested a salary review, which resulted in significant increases. Additional boosts followed a 2000 review. "The data suggest that salary inequities have occurred in the School of Engineering" but have since been addressed, the report concludes.

    With regard to hiring practices, the engineering faculty has twice as many women as a decade ago, and this year three women accepted faculty positions for 2002. But the growth has been uneven. Between 1990 and 1998, for example, the electrical engineering and computer sciences department, one of the largest, hired 28 men and no women, although it has added three women since then. Between 1981 and 1999, according to the report, nearly three times as many women as men rejected job offers, citing "the difficulty in collaborating with colleagues."

    Hiring women is one thing; keeping them is another. In the mechanical engineering department, for example, only one of the five women hired between 1987 and 2001 is still at MIT. "We need to make this a more welcoming environment," Magnanti says. Toward that end, MIT is modifying its family leave and child-care policies. The dean also has agreed to use consultants to search for qualified women and to examine why women reject MIT offers at a higher rate than men do. But Magnanti concedes that doubling the percentage of women in a decade will be "a stretch."

    Women account for only 15% of MIT's total faculty, and reports from the architecture and management schools found smaller but similar numerical imbalances. There were no signs of salary inequities based on gender in the humanities school, which has the highest percentage of women faculty members.

    Magnanti, along with Gibson and other women engineers, hopes that the report will extend the debate launched by the science report and serve as a model for other academic institutions. "This is not just an MIT problem," says Gibson. MIT officials also hope to lead the way in fostering diversity among female faculty members, although provost Bob Brown did not offer specific proposals at a recent meeting of minority women scientists.

    The fact that "MIT is saying everybody should pay attention" is an important statement, says Evelynn Hammonds, a science historian who organized the meeting and is the only tenured African-American woman at MIT. There are just four women of color among MIT's 94 tenured women, including one engineering professor.

    Science Magazine > 22 March 2002 > Lawler , pp. 2192
  18. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Well then. What this article tells me is that there is a dearth of females in engineering faculty positions and that this is unacceptable for some reason and must be corrected. I notice that one of five female mechanical engineers remain... Salary dosen't seem to be an issue.

    Besides one anecdotal tale, I read nothing that says anything more than typical PC babble about the lack of female engineers being due to "subtle barriers". I already know what those barriers are. Women hate engineering. Some think they'll like it. Some do. Most don't. Tell me, why is there such a gender discrepancy in the cosmetics sales field? Could it be that most men hate the idea of working with cosmetics?
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    Are you talking about department store counters or the cosmetics industry which employs chemists, managers, and marketing personnel; are those all women?
  20. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Department store counters. I.e. "the cosmetic sales field".
  21. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    This must be something in the USA; in Asia and in the Middle East, men (also) work in department store counters for cosmetics; however women still have problems getting equal treatment in science based opportunities.
  22. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Well, I'd need to see a broad cross-sectional study that shows that women, given the same opportunities, would choose an engineering/science carreer. I have no doubt that in most of the world women have a harder time than men in all fields. I'm in no way defending that. I just have a strong impression that most women just plain don't care for technology careers.
  23. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    That is the most chauvinistic thing I have ever heard you say, supe!

    I'm really surprised.

    I guess its true, men just cannot comprehend the effect of the glass ceiling on women.

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