Skip to comments.Are Women Genetically Wired To Dislike Math & Science?
Posted on 09/15/2011 8:54:32 PM PDT by nickcarraway
A study found that when it comes to career choices, men prefer things and women prefer people.
If you thought it was sexist to assume that girls aren't good at science, maybe you should think again (though stereotypes are dangerous and there are certainly many, many exceptions).
A recent study in the journal Hormones and Behavior found that genetics play a key role in the career choices we make. In short, men become astronauts and women prefer nursing because of our biological nature, not environmental factors.
In our society, males are more likely to work in fields dealing with "things" like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); whereas women lead the ranks in creative careers and those based on serving people. That's just the way things are but is it based on sexism, which is a social construct, or is there a biological reason? Women Are Choosing Love Over Math & Science Careers
A team from Penn State University studied teenagers and young adults with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) a genetic condition and their siblings without the condition. While in the uterus, those with CAH have more exposure to the male sex hormone called androgen than is normal. Females with CAH are genetically female, but their interests tend to be more "trucks" than "Barbie." So when it comes to choosing a career, these women prefer jobs related to "things" rather than "people," as opposed to most females. Win $550 Worth Of Luxury Goods From Henri Bendel!
"We found there is a biological influence on that interest toward things, so maybe women aren't going into STEM careers because what they're interested inpeopleisn't consistent with an interest in STEM careers," researchers said. "Maybe we could show females ways in which an interest in people is compatible with STEM careers."
Other research shows that women, on an unconscious level, steer away from STEM careers because they think it will make them unattractive to men. So which one is it: Genetics or environmental conditioning?
Do you think it's important to encourage more girls to go into the sciences? How do you and your partner differ on career preferences?
I’m sixty-eight years old. At this moment, I am teaching myself algebra.
Stop screwing around on FR, and get back to work! ;)
Yes, I think so. These are disciplines based on data and logic. Women are wired for feelings and emotion. And a good thing to, say I.
Yeah yeah I know. Chicks are good at all of this and the study is BS. I just saw an excuse to slam Rachel Carson.
I'm loving it too. I am beginning to understand the old saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," because I'm still struggling with it like I did when I was a kid in jr. high, but I have made up my mind I'm going to keep reading and practicing until it becomes OBVIOUS. I spend a couple of hours a day with it.
People with "language" brains struggle with math, while those with "math" brains have a more difficult time with languages and spelling. What goes around comes around.
It may be true. Women let a credit card do the math for them while shopping. The only science women nowadays know is “if I get to Macy’s at 8 am for a sale, what are the odds more women will be in front of me?”
Read it when it first came out. Pure poppycock.
More power to you! Good luck with your math studies. Keep at it!
Science was always easy for me, but math went over my head like a pigeon. English, spelling, reading, etc., were super easy, on the other hand. As I got older, I learned more of the difficult stuff and less of the easy stuff, and it is still going on.
I guess all those nuns who pounded math and science into my brain were just loaded up with testosterone. Who knew?
We should join the comments (not the article which is quite interesting) with the Michele Bachmann comments. Maybe we should just ban women altogether from Free Republic! Too dumb and emotional for the genuises here. LOL.
Can’t speak for all women, but personally I get sick of being told I’m “not supposed” to be good at math and science. And it’s usually coming from the people preaching PC-ism.
Don’t know who concocted the STEM stuff. I studied Mechanical Engineering at Syracuse University in the early 60s — from my experience, the genetic hormonal thing is bogus. Girls are TAUGHT they do not have the skills, so why bother.
And I see a large number of guys being all feely-touchy.
I chalk this up to single mothers bringing up their girls to compete. And bringing up their sons to be more “in touch with their feelings.”
Not in all cases, of course. Just based on personal observation.
My daughter started taking algebra in third grade...and thought it was fun.
Actually, I did poorly in Algebra in HS but after returning to college 15 years after the fact, got straight A's. As to science, I took 5 years of subjects in HS and did quite well.
I still like art, music and theater better!
I’m wired to dislike girly men, commies, libtards and islamics who want to kill me. Oh, and usurping little girly islamic commie libtards who take over our White House.
Opps, that’s gonna need to be reported to Der Fuhrer!
Total Garbage. I am Post Graduate in Mathematics, came 2nd in University in Mathematics.
Grammar was difficult for me , Mathematics was just fun.
Gee—I always thought geometry was the jumping off point for the rest of mathematics.
Oh, wow. Let me catch my breath!
Right on, right on, right on.
People become what they are taught to admire. The Romans did not have a problem with strong, logical women.
But a generalization doesn’t prove anything.
Every advancement in mathematics was preceded by generalized ignorance.
On the other hand, the generalization that women are superior is indeed a fact of life.
Actually did very well in math and sciences and majored in arts - architecturally related - thankful for the good PUBLIC education we were blessed with in post 1970’s USA.
While nursing in times past used to be a people person job, times have changed. Nursing is now science and math based job with human psychology thrown in for good measure.
Rabble rouser :p
And indebt look at the indisputable differences between Mens Brains and Womens Brains.
Guess I’m not a woman (don’t tell FrogDad!), I excelled at and love both math and science.
What annoys me is when people think that what *typically* is the case must therefore *always* be the case — or something is wrong. Okay, okay, maybe a majority of women are not super-keen on math. That doesn’t mean *all* of them are that way. My SIL teaches rocket science at a well-known university, and to the best of my knowledge she is not afflicted with any condition where she was exposed to too much testosterone in the womb. She simply likes math. And building rockets. And she’s good at both of them.
[ Are Women Genetically Wired To Dislike Math & Science? ]
Some may be.. as well as some men..
By Jessica Cruel? LOL. The president of Harvard is forced to resign for pointing out this same discrepency. But Jessica Cruel can address it - as long as she puts you on sharp notice that extreme limits are to be observed.
Feminist totalitarianism - don't try this at home, folks, these are professionals!
The boys are drugged.
Face palm. Not this again. My father was an electrical engineer and seemed to feel he had to beat math into his 4 daughter’s heads. He left me absolutely traumatized after so many sessions at the kitchen table with me sobbing. He couldn’t teach his way out of a wet paper bag. I finally learned to love math when it was put in the framework of a puzzle. I love puzzles. Somehow, 2 of my sisters ended up becoming engineers anyway. I became a “stereotypical” nurse (lol) working in newborn ICU, knowing how to program every piece of high tech equipment and disable every alarm permanently. Not exactly like programing a vcr. I also had to preform life saving med calculations in my head. A female, math major relative was told by a major university that they’d never let her get her Ph.D. because she was a woman. True story.
Now, as for my daughter- she’s 16, a sophomore at the local university, taking math this semester. Her professor didn’t know the name of the “brackets.” She was proud to inform him they were curly braces.
I can see only one reason women are ‘crap’ at math- it’s been a bastion of men and it hasn’t been taught in a way women can understand. It’s not that difficult- Filenes is having a 50% off sale. You have a coupon for 10% off that can be doubled..... You have a recipe for Death by Chocolate. It’s for 6. You only want one serving.... Common sense, people!
I'm trying to relearn algebra, too. Can't believe how much I forgot. Have you tried KhanAcademy.org? Thousands of free video lessons including 50 or so for pre-Algebra and Algebra.
I've found them to be quite good.
This sounds like one of the examples covered in the book Women Becoming Mathematicians: Creating a Professional Identity in Post-WWII America by Margaret Murray.
Now, as for my daughter- shes 16, a sophomore at the local university, taking math this semester. Her professor didnt know the name of the brackets. She was proud to inform him they were curly braces.
Ah, that's also something a programmer would have been taught: those curly braces are ignored at one's peril!
I can see only one reason women are crap at math- its been a bastion of men and it hasnt been taught in a way women can understand. Its not that difficult- Filenes is having a 50% off sale. You have a coupon for 10% off that can be doubled..... You have a recipe for Death by Chocolate. Its for 6. You only want one serving.... Common sense, people!
I think that could be broken down into two separate problems: the context of feminine interests, and the context of encountering a real-life application for a problem. Danica McKellar has produced a number of math books aimed at piquing the interests of the young female student--and I say that's wonderful.
Great thread, wish I could post more, but I have to go to bed now.
I have to second khanacademy.org What an amazing website!
Actually, lately I see a large number of females excelling at math and related subjects.
And I see a large number of guys being all feely-touchy.
...”I chalk this up to single mothers bringing up their girls to compete. And bringing up their sons to be more in touch with their feelings.
Not in all cases, of course. Just based on personal observation”...
We have yet to see how a switch in gender roles, brought about, I believe, through political correctness, rather than personal preference, in most cases, will effect our society. I have been in a work situation with 17 men for the past 14 years..I am the only woman. These are accomplished and very kind gentlemen..salt of the earth types..However, the difference in our thinking is very obvious, though I am good in science and math..The other thing is that I could never compete with the men in my group who are good in science and math and, for me, that is the issue..Our world needs to find the best in any field and to showcase those people, whether they be men or women. And, that choice should not be based on our society’s politically correct view of gender neutrality where men and women are the same. God set up nature to meet all the parts of human existence and when we deliberately refuse to recognize the obvious differences between the hormonal influences of men and women, we write our own epitaph.
Nursing isn’t based on science? Ha! Go out and get a BS in nursing and see what I mean.
Just TRY to get into a BS Nursing program in New England. They are pretty selective n
I hear you. There is a two year waiting list at my local college.
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