Why girls avoid science and math?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Plazma Inferno!, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Sciencelovah Registered Senior Member

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    4,349
    The title of this thread got me wonder, is math not science?

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    More or less I agree with Kadark:

    I got my bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering, the total students enrolled
    in my class was 90, with the ratio male:female = 2:1.

    Next to our building is Petroleum Engineering dept, and in the same batch with
    me, there was only 1 girl out of about 70 students in that major. She joined
    the same extracurricular with me. When that girl once decided to quit the
    study (to move to another major), all guys in her class joint together to buy
    her one bicycle. She canceled the quit.

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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    My reply to your post was also based on missing that key aspect of it.

    The more abstract argument about brain differences is too often used to defend what are as far as anyone can tell purely societal influences on "proclivity".

    The current societal influences suppressing male involvement in reading, writing, and 'rithmetic, are not defended by reference to specifically male brain development, AFAIK. Unless race is also involved, anyway.
     
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  5. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    Ok...we can arm wrestle and then solve differential equations

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    You bring the beer.
     
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  7. Sciencelovah Registered Senior Member

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    As for why girls avoid science and/or math, imo not only girls, many guys also
    avoid hardcore science like math, and that's why it has never been in the top
    10 list of favorite major (at least in my country). I noticed that there are more
    guys than girls in the math dept during my years, but I supposed that has
    something to do with the percentage of overall enrolled students as well. There
    were more male than female students in my Uni.

    Hardcore science like Math is also known as boring or difficult (according to my
    observation). Math is exact, it's not like social sciences like philosophy, economy,
    etc, which are more down to earth; everyone can learn the 'language'. Math has
    its own 'language'. Even if the discussion is in English, I don't have a single clue
    wth this people talk about over here:

    :runaway: It takes really dedication and intellectuality to pursue that type of stuff.

    On the other hand, there are just so many more interesting fields for girls, in
    and out of science. As far as I concern, girls favorite science are more into
    medical, biology, environmental eng., or social sciences. There are also so
    many fields of profession which are preferable for girls like secretary, banker
    (you know, the outfit is cool

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    ), stewardess, entertainer (acting, modelling),
    nursing, and anything related with people's daily life. Perhaps in general girls
    are more interested into stuffs related with people or life instead of numbers,
    machines, rock layers, and that type of stuffs.
     
  8. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    3,485
    lol. I hate beer. And you can declare yourself the winner at arm wrestling, I'm bad at it. I even lose to young children. Maybe women avoid math and science because many aren't interested. That's why I avoid English, philosophy, and art like the plague. I hate math too, so I also avoid it. I'm happiest when I do things I enjoy. Which are the sciences and anything athletic. So those are the classes I move towards. It has nothing to do with being the only girl, even though I don't like being the only girl.
     
  9. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

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    This is the point. The question is, why are they disinterested? As I mentioned before, some sciences (like biology) tend to do much better than other sciences (like physics) when it comes to gender equity. To me, this doesn't suggest that there are some societal hurdles to women entering the field of physics, but something else.

    I'm no sociologist, though, and am mostly talking out of my ass.
     
  10. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    7,721
    It's nerdy ...and it's a lot of work and...it can be hard to do well.
     
  11. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

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    3,112
    Math and science in themselves are not boring, but the careers that follow are. How fun is it to be an accountant? A physics teacher? Not much fun. Who here wants to be a string theory nut? That's why. Many guys shy away from such careers as well. It's more fun and realistic to be a lawyer and argue. Guys like to argue. That's why there's an abundance of lawyers in U.S. and a general shortage of engineers (not only female engineers, but male engineers as well).
     
  12. hypewaders Save Changes Moderator

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    12,061
    BenTheMan: "I'm no sociologist, though, and am mostly talking out of my ass."

    Look what you've sank to- pwned; a pitiful, broken wretch. Next time I warn you to run, remember...

    RUN AWAY!

    -Or maybe just avoid challenging the understanding of our fairest ladies- they can eat you for brekkies.
     
  13. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    23,049
    actually to a sociologist all difference between the sex's are concidered cultural except the ovious physical ones relating to reproduction. ie parents are the main reason there is a diffence in how boys and girls develop. ever gone up to a new mum and delbratly implied the baby is the oposite gender?
    seen how quick she is to correct you?
    the fact is that its parents who cause the gender differences and they do them from the time the baby comes home, they cut there hair differently, they send them to different activities, they dress them differently and they give them different toys.

    its facinating to watch fretenal twins of oposite genders growing up like i did and how they are treated
     
  14. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    12,461
    Sociologists may believe that (that's their stock in trade, after all), but that doesn't make it true. Males and females are different from the moment they leave the womb. To claim otherwise is a politically motivated attempt to ignore reality. This issue was discussed at length at a Harvard debate between Steven Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke.

    THE SCIENCE OF GENDER AND SCIENCE
    PINKER VS. SPELKE
    A DEBATE

    STEVEN PINKER is the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. His research has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and he is the author of six books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, Words and Rules, and The Blank Slate.

    ELIZABETH S. SPELKE is Berkman Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, where she is Co-Director of the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is cited by Time Magazine as one of America's Best in Science and Medicine.
    You can watch the debate, read the transcripts, see the slides, whatever. It's a good website and they are discussing exactly what we're discussing here. Here's a relevent quote:
    Check out the link.
    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/debate05/debate05_index.html
     
  15. whitewolf asleep under the juniper bush Registered Senior Member

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    3,112
    So, if I say they are different even within the womb, that'll also be a politically motivated blahblahwhatever? I am going to follow the trend and ask you, where did you learn this?

    I have always said this and I say it again: Men only claim to have a grasp of logical thinking, but they don't really have a grasp of it!

    :m:
     
  16. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    2,985
    I think it's probably because of social factors. You know teens want to be popular, and I think that the social pressure that teenage girls experiance is far greater than that of teenage boys. I mean you can still be popular as a boy if you are good at maths, you just have to be a bit social. For girls that may be harder, as maths are socially deemed (often) a boys interest.
     
  17. s0meguy Worship me or suffer eternally Valued Senior Member

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    1,635
    It's probably worth noting that my 3 math teachers were all (hot) young women. I think that in general more men go into careers where math is more dominant, because of

    1) social status... girls are more social than men in general and math is associated with nerdiness, which lowers the social status.
    2) its presented as boring... and it is probably pretty difficult to make learning math enjoyable.
    3) there are already way more men into math than women, which makes it so that women can identify with it less
    4) women in general... to say it bluntly, generally suck at things like math (the emotional side of their brain is more dominant than their 'calculating' brain, unlike men)
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  18. OilIsMastery Banned Banned

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  19. CheskiChips Banned Banned

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    3,538
    This thread needs to be renamed to Topics men who will never get married bring up.
     
  20. Letticia Registered Senior Member

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    300
    Or you might pursue it because it is beautiful.

    Seriously. I think math is beautiful. Once I understand a proof it is like looking at a work of art. I did not make a career of pure math because I am not creative enough -- I do not come up with proofs, -- but I can and do appreciate them. The example you gave does not make much sense out of context, but I could follow most of it, and it seemed elegant. I do not know anyone who studies math out of stubbornness. They study math because they love it.
     
  21. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    I'm a girl. I passed an Open University module in mathematics when I was 15 years old.

    Wait, now you mention it....My ovaries are badly shrivelled. Motherfucker.

    Oh wait, this is coming from someone who insists that he wouldn't cry if his girlfriend went into convulsions and died in front of him. Pardon me if I don't give you much credence.
     
  22. s0meguy Worship me or suffer eternally Valued Senior Member

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    1,635
    men and women are different, whether it is politically correct or not... different brain functions are more dominant at a specific gender, that is a fact. the emotional side of the brain being more active with women, means that they generally are more empathic, have better social skills, and a larger vocabulary.

    I never said that no women do stuff like math..... i actually said that all 3 of my math teachers ever were young women. but you sound like the kind of person that would lie just to feel like you're right.
     
  23. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

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    7,913
    Yes, they're different, but they're not that different.

    Read the papers once in a while. Girls are increasingly doing better at ALL subjects, not just the ones where they are allegedly more able.

    I could scan the certificate and post it, but to be honest, I could care less what you think of me. I know I've got it upstairs. I don't need to prove anything to you.
     

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