sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 01:22 pm
Let's separate out two things, as Panzade mentioned:

1.) For whatever reason NOT limited to genetics, are men currently better than women at science?

2.) Are men better than women at science because of something inherent, not plausibly culturally determined?

The latter is what Summers said and is being taken to task for, remember.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 01:24 pm
Another excellent read on this subject.

http://chronicle.com/free/v51/i26/26a00102.htm
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 01:25 pm
By the way, this is what Summers had to say about his own comments:

Quote:
As I now know better than I did a month ago, the matters I discussed at NBER are the subject of intense debate across a range of disciplines. Colleagues from these fields have taken time to educate me further. My January remarks substantially understated the impact of socialization and discrimination, including implicit attitudes - patterns of thought to which all of us are unconsciously subject. The issue of gender difference is far more complex than comes through in my comments, and my remarks about variability went beyond what the research has established. These are dynamic areas of inquiry, which will no doubt continue to engage scholars in the years ahead.

For now, if any good can come out of the recent controversy, I hope the intense attention on issues of gender can provide us with an opportunity to make concrete progress in the time ahead. It is vital that we aggressively implement policies that will encourage girls and women to pursue science at the highest levels, and that we welcome and support them in our faculty ranks.


http://www.president.harvard.edu/speeches/2005/facletter.html

(Emphasis mine.)

That I agree with.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 01:28 pm
That's a very interesting study about spatial ability and I'm sure that the results of the study are accurate. But again, are women born without the ability to gain spatial skills? Are boys born with advanced spatial ability?

Quote:
Social factors still influence the success of girls in math courses, said Casey and Nuttall, who added that their research has shown girls often continue to be subtly or overtly discouraged from pursuing the traditionally male-dominated studies of math and science.

But Casey and Nuttall say it is highly significant that boys tend to do better than girls on mental rotation tests, noting others studies that found only 16 percent of top female pupils demonstrated spatial skills at the level shown by 50 percent of top male pupils. The boys' advantage on tests, Casey noted, may stem in part from greater exposure to building block games and other pastimes that use spatial skills.

Conversely, in many cases girls with strong spatial skills - Casey estimates that 50 percent of girls have the ability to use them effectively - have not been spurred to discover them or put them to mathematical use.


http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/rvp/pubaf/chronicle/v6/s18/casey.html
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 01:30 pm
Well I have no problem with the questions, as the way I interpreted Summers' speech, he was not making a claim for either, but he was presenting a hypothesis as an invitation to debate.

I would add a third question:

3) If there is no difference in ability between men and women in advanced math and hard sciences, is the reason that so few women choose those fields a matter of genetics or cultural conditioning?
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 01:39 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
Well I have no problem with the questions, as the way I interpreted Summers' speech, he was not making a claim for either, but he was presenting a hypothesis as an invitation to debate.

I would add a third question:

3) If there is no difference in ability between men and women in advanced math and hard sciences, is the reason that so few women choose those fields a matter of genetics or cultural conditioning?


... or career choice? Summers himself brought forward a very likely theory having to do with what kinds of people choose the high-powered jobs and how women who did succeed at those levels overwhelmingly did not have children and/or husbands.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 05:24 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
Joe writes
Quote:
Or, in your case, unreasoned, baseless conjecture.


Oh well. I suppose you would consider anything I posted to be unreasoned, baseless, conjecture, so have a good day.

Given your past record, that would not be an unwarranted assumption.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 05:38 pm
Thank you, joe, for saying the obvious about our fox.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 05:39 pm
Fox was foxed again. Wink
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 05:53 pm
FD wrote
Quote:
... or career choice? Summers himself brought forward a very likely theory having to do with what kinds of people choose the high-powered jobs and how women who did succeed at those levels overwhelmingly did not have children and/or husbands.


I think this is true. Until we figure out some way for the guys to get pregnant, their sole mandatory duty in procreation is to be a sperm donor and the rest is pretty well left up to the woman. I think only a small percentage of women are comfortable with leaving their young children for prolonged periods or, if the kids are sick or in need of a parent for whatever reson, women are reluctant to leave them at all. Leaving children in care of the wife or other caretaker seems to be less emotionally wrenching for men. Women I think are usually natural nesters and once mated, are not comfortable leaving even the mate for prolonged periods.

So here we have the phenomenon of the gifted/talented woman who has chosen to be married and have a family and this usually means she is less free for impromptu meetings and business trips, less inclined to accept temporary assignments in another state or on another continent. She is likely to want extended maternity leave to bond with her new infant and is less likely to tolerate very long hours while she is likely to miss more time from work to attend parent/teacher conferenes, get a kid to school who missed the bus, take care of sick kids, or take care of herself when she catches every bug the kids bring home.

Many employers are more than willing to accommodate female staff who are juggling work and home, but the fact is she is simply not going to be as valuable to the employer as will a man or a single woman unencumbered by all those things and she is not likely to advance as quickly. Most women I think feel the trade off is well worth it.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 08:26 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
Thank you, joe, for saying the obvious about our fox.


cicerone imposter wrote:
Fox was foxed again. Wink


Looks like C.I. has his cheerleader outfit on again.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 08:31 pm
Ain't it purty?
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 08:32 pm
It fits you well.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:04 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
Most women I think feel the trade off is well worth it.


Not the ones I know. A lot of women are annoyed that they have to make the trade... why does it have to be a trade? Why not both? It's been the subject of a whole lot of recent press, including the article that Panzade mentioned.

To me, and I've said this many times before in many contexts, the key to all of this is encouraging parents to parent, whether they are men or women. The parent I've been closest to through most of sozlet's childhood so far is a man, and he does a great job. He's every male stereotype, you'd never ever look at him and think "that's a stay-at-home dad", but he is. His wife works and is the primary (well only) breadwinner, and that situation works great for them. She gets the benefits long accorded to men, though she's probably much more involved then most men in "traditional" families. She has a wonderful family AND a wonderful career. She doesn't have to make the trade.

Now, not all men want to be stay-at-home parents. But men can be a lot more involved than most of them are these days (though that trend continues to shift.)

This is another area where gender roles are more confining than anything else -- it's not just women's gender roles. I've spoken before about how it's not just about men doing the diapers, it's about women relinquishing some control and supremacy when it comes to babycare.

That's not going into things that companies could (and usually are not) doing to make things easier for any parent.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:09 pm
There always exceptions to the norm Sozobe.

I would gladly be a stay at home dad.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:13 pm
McG, We know you're always in the "minority."
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:15 pm
That's cool, McG.

I'm not really saying that it's not the norm for moms to provide the overwheming majority of childcare -- I'm saying that it doesn't need to be that way, and could solve a lot of problems. Not just stay-at-home dads (though I think there are a lot of great things about that), but just men being more involved than they usually currently are. If the kids are school-age and both parents work, who takes them to the doctor? Who picks them up if they get sick at school? Etc.
0 Replies
 
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:17 pm
sozobe wrote:
By the way, this is what Summers had to say about his own comments:

Quote:
As I now know better than I did a month ago, the matters I discussed at NBER are the subject of intense debate across a range of disciplines. Colleagues from these fields have taken time to educate me further. My January remarks substantially understated the impact of socialization and discrimination, including implicit attitudes - patterns of thought to which all of us are unconsciously subject. The issue of gender difference is far more complex than comes through in my comments, and my remarks about variability went beyond what the research has established. These are dynamic areas of inquiry, which will no doubt continue to engage scholars in the years ahead.

For now, if any good can come out of the recent controversy, I hope the intense attention on issues of gender can provide us with an opportunity to make concrete progress in the time ahead. It is vital that we aggressively implement policies that will encourage girls and women to pursue science at the highest levels, and that we welcome and support them in our faculty ranks.


http://www.president.harvard.edu/speeches/2005/facletter.html

(Emphasis mine.)

That I agree with.


So because he was forced to appoligize due to Political Correntness you are ok with that. Are you ok with a forced appology from anyone? Should Ward Churchill be forced to appoligize or does what he said fall under freedom of speech?

Why the instance on it only going one way?
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:23 pm
Nobody can make Summers apologize if he doesn't want to. As far as I've read, the Harvard aristocracy likes the job he's doing so far. I believe he apologized for not being precise enough, not because he had uttered a politically incorrect mantra. He was definitely surprised at the hoopla.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:36 pm
Yes, but in his second statement of apoliogy he added a comment to the effect that he should not have offered any speculation on the subject, no matter how qualified it might be. He said he should have left that to the "experts in the field" i.e. to the feminist harpies themselves. That was a full grovel in my book - in the mud, belly down, ass in the air.
0 Replies
 
 

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