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Not Everything Is Due To Bias, Including All-Male Physics Departments
Science 2.0 ^ | July 19th 2013 | News Staff

Posted on 07/21/2013 2:39:23 PM PDT by neverdem

If a physics department has no women, does that mean there is hiring discrimination?

Only if your job in sociology is to find discrimination. Simple statistics shows that is not true or there would be claims of discrimination in psychology, where lots of departments have no men. Yet when it comes to gender equality advocates, physics is always mentioned and psychology never is.

A new analysis by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Statistical Research Center debunks the claim that the existence of all-male departments is evidence of hiring bias. Labor statistics have backed that up; not only are women hired equally for faculty and tenure jobs in science academia, they are over-hired based on their representation. 

Statistical models insead find that the actual distribution of women in physics means there are more departments than expected with at least one female faculty member, and concludes that the real reason for the lack of women in many departments is the small number of women in physics overall -- currently only 13 percent of all physics faculty nationwide, though obviously much higher in graduate school and undergraduate levels.
What it means is that there once was bias, and a lot of men were not immediately fired and replaced with women. Bias would be if women were not hired to replace men who died or retired. The statistics show just the opposite.

"We do not mean to imply that there is no discrimination against women, that hostile environments do not exist, or that issues of gender representation do not need to be continually addressed in American universities," said Dr. Catherine O'Riordan, ocean scientist and AIP vice president of Physics Resources. "But we should no longer point to the absence of a woman in a physics department as evidence of bias."

Discrimination happens, even in liberal academia. The lack of conservatives is evidence of that. But if faculty must match the population, every field in science is discriminating against Hispanics, black people and the handicapped, along with Republicans. Discrimination is instead more often invoked  by people to mask other shortcomings.

Why some departments have no female faculty

"We wanted to evaluate whether the absence of female faculty members in physics departments is an appropriate measure of women's progress in physics," said Susan White, research manager in the Statistical Research Center (SRC) at AIP, who conducted the study with Rachel Ivie, associate director of the SRC.

If a hiring bias did exist, White said, one would find women in fewer physics departments than would be expected if all women in the field were distributed randomly across the academic landscape. White and Ivie found, however, that more departments than expected have at least one woman. It follows that many female faculty members will be the only woman in their department.

While it is true that over one-third of physics departments have no women among their faculty, White points out that this is the result of the low number of women among physics faculty and the fact that many departments have fewer than five faculty members. Even if half of all faculty members were women, she notes, we would still expect to find over 100 departments with either all-male or all-female faculty.

"We believe the issue of gender equity in physics is complex and nuanced," said Ivie, "It is unwise to try to simplify it by examining whether or not a department has a woman among its faculty."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bias; physicalscience; physics; science

1 posted on 07/21/2013 2:39:23 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

You have to be smarter than a “Math is hard.” Barbie doll to get a degree in Physics.


2 posted on 07/21/2013 2:42:28 PM PDT by reg45 (Barack 0bama: Implementing class warfare by having no class.)
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To: neverdem

There is no emotion or opinions in Physics, therefore women don’t like Physics.

QED


3 posted on 07/21/2013 2:42:59 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: neverdem

Geez Louise... What a waste of time and energy this subject matter is. I was always good at math and sciences, but when it came to physics, I struggled to get A’s, and mostly got B’s. The thing is, I was fine in all other science matters except when it came to electricity. For some reason I always struggled with watts, ohms, and amps. When I think back about it, it is nearly fifty years since I took physics, and I still recall my aversion to that part of the subject.

So, if men are better than women at physics, so what? I appreciate anyone who does well in physics.

To this day, I have enormous respect for electricians!


4 posted on 07/21/2013 2:49:39 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: neverdem

Talk about work bias and injustice shall we?

* Equal pay? Why do women get to do less work for same pay? Wimbledon? 5 sets vs 3. Why do women get to work less? Hmm?

* Deaths on the job, no one ever talks about that do they...let’s look at deaths per capita. You know which sex dies on the job like 100 fold more often.


5 posted on 07/21/2013 2:54:15 PM PDT by CincyRichieRich (“To learn who rules over you, simply find out whom you are not allowed to criticize.” ~ Voltaire)
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To: neverdem
Bias would be if women were not hired to replace men who died or retired.

No, bias is when you hire someone because of their gender or race over their knowledge/ability, or to meet a quota.

6 posted on 07/21/2013 2:56:25 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: neverdem

The missing gals in physics usually test the theory that a tantrum can repeal the law of gravity.


7 posted on 07/21/2013 2:57:19 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: neverdem

Maybe if they could get some of the guys to self identify as female it would help the imbalance. If it’s good enough for grade school restrooms, it’s good enough for this. They could self identify as a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.


8 posted on 07/21/2013 3:00:46 PM PDT by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: neverdem

I teach probability and statistics as an adjunct in the Psychology Department at a local junior college.

All of the full-time Department employees are female.

None of them teach probability and statistics.

Never really thought about it too much before.

Now I’m going to have to ask someone about that.


9 posted on 07/21/2013 3:26:38 PM PDT by Arm_Bears (Refuse; Resist; Rebel; Revolt!)
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To: neverdem

I’ve worked with 4 women physicists, all of whom were pretty sharp. This is in the defense industry. None were interested in academia mostly due to the politics involved, and that they did more interesting work at better pay in the private sector.


10 posted on 07/21/2013 3:33:14 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: neverdem

Come for the breast, stay for the brains

11 posted on 07/21/2013 3:46:46 PM PDT by School of Rational Thought
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To: Gumdrop
I was always good at math and sciences, but when it came to physics, I struggled
I had a similar situation. I was great in math, grammar school through high school and especially algebra and trigonometry - straight A's.
Took Geometry and it might as well have been Greek. To this day I have no clue why.
12 posted on 07/21/2013 3:57:29 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: neverdem

Liberals don’t complain about the fact that 99% of kindergarten teachers and pre-school teachers are women.


13 posted on 07/21/2013 4:13:11 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: neverdem
Simple statistics shows that is not true or there would be claims of discrimination in psychology, where lots of departments have no men. Yet when it comes to gender equality advocates, physics is always mentioned and psychology never is.

What percentage of "gender equality advocates" are liberal feminists, AKA female supremacists? Would claims of discrimination made by the tiny number of genuinely non-sexist gender equality advocates be well publicized? Would those advocates be brave/foolhardy enough to put their careers at risk by complaining about sexist hiring practices in the typical Ruthlessly Politically Correct University?

Labor statistics have backed that up; not only are women hired equally for faculty and tenure jobs in science academia, they are over-hired based on their representation.

There is a phrase to describe that, I just know there is. Let me think. It's back in my memory somewhere... I've got it! It's "discrimination against men." How odd that the phrase does not appear in the article.

14 posted on 07/21/2013 4:24:24 PM PDT by TChad
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To: neverdem

Leslie Winkle would disagree - and let you know in no uncertain terms.....


15 posted on 07/21/2013 4:51:59 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Gumdrop
The thing is, I was fine in all other science matters except when it came to electricity.

You might as well say, "I was fine in math except when it came to numbers."

Recall what Dirac said of his equation describing the relativistic dynamics of the electron:

"This explains all of chemistry and most of physics."

16 posted on 07/21/2013 5:01:52 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: neverdem

It’s true that many women have less of an inclination for the hard sciences. However, women who do, should be treated without discrimination. My SIL has been a professor in aeronautical engineering at a well-known university for some time, and is a tenured faculty member. She hobnobs with astonauts and has brought in many, many grants for her department. But when an Iranian was promoted to Dean, she suddenly started having all sorts of problems there. He simply couldn’t stand a woman being successful in her position, and did all sorts of things to make life difficult for her.


17 posted on 07/21/2013 5:17:33 PM PDT by Hetty_Fauxvert (FUBO, and the useful idiots you rode in on!)
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To: oh8eleven
Took Geometry and it might as well have been Greek.

Funny thing about that ...


18 posted on 07/21/2013 5:24:30 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: neverdem
There are certain college departments where there are few women. Even in my major, geography, there were few female students. And all the tenured professors were males. There was one visiting instructor who was a female. Since her husband was one of the geography professors, she might have gotten a break. But she was very good...in fact in her specialty of ground water, no other male professor could match her.

But I remember talking to one of my professors who related to me that the college was strongly urging his department to hire a female geography professor. This was twenty years ago. But they couldn't find any who were qualified. I think that goes back to the lack of interest in the subject of many females compared to males.

19 posted on 07/21/2013 5:56:23 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: neverdem

Can women do the hard sciences? Yes. But, the hard sciences are difficult. Men typically do better in them because there are major differences in how male and female brains work and process facts. It is biological and not discrimination. Get over it people.


20 posted on 07/21/2013 6:29:15 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: dr_lew
Before there was GPS ...

21 posted on 07/22/2013 5:31:24 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven
The diagram illustrates the defining angles of the (angular) sides of a spherical triangle, and the angles betweeen them, which are dihedrals.

These definitions were unknown to Euclid, as trigonometry was a much later development.

However I did learn recently that the "law of cosines" of plane trigonometry is to be found in essence in Euclid Book II Prop. 12, so I think we can give the cartoon a pass.

22 posted on 07/22/2013 2:54:45 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: MasterGunner01

There are a lot of women in geology, earth sciences and planetology. I would think that a lot are also engineers on one tract or another. Chemists I bet, too.

Though academic physics tends even more toward specialization, which can really pigeon-hole a scientist; reading only your colleague’s papers, attending conferences only within your field, etc. Add that physicists - and mathematicians - tend to live in that mathematical world. Pretty abstract. Though there are those women who the field attracts i.e., Lisa Randall at Harvard. Tomboys. Gggrrrrrr....


23 posted on 07/22/2013 3:06:18 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: onedoug

Male or female, hard sciences are usually not the choice of your average college student. Most want to do as little as possible and party for four or five years on their other people’s money.

That one can do the work required by hard sciences, I commend those people. They are learning something of value. The same cannot be said of any degree with “studies” as part of its title or much of the liberal arts.

Math, science, chemistry, geology — sciences — require a lot of thought, study, and demonstration you have mastered your subject. In science 2+2=4 and no other answer is acceptable; neither is any other answer considered “learning in progress”.


24 posted on 07/22/2013 3:25:15 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: dr_lew
so I think we can give the cartoon a pass.
Whew, I was worried there for a minute :)
25 posted on 07/22/2013 5:22:56 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: EEGator
There is no emotion or opinions in Physics, therefore women don’t like Physics.

Hogwash. I am a woman and I like physics. In fact, I majored in physics as an undergrad.

26 posted on 07/24/2013 9:09:18 AM PDT by ELS
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To: KrisKrinkle
Maybe if they could get some of the guys to self identify as female it would help the imbalance.

Most (darn near all) of the guys involved in physics don't buy in to that garbage ... and most (darn near all) of them are too interested in actual women to waste their time with it.

27 posted on 07/24/2013 9:13:31 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ELS
Hmmm ...

In your four (?) years as an undergrad, you got to observe 7 graduating classes: Yours, the three ahead of you, and the 3 behind you. Questions:

1) What was the average size of a graduating class in your department?
2) How many women students were there?

In my case, the average graduating class size was nine, and during my time there were a total of 3 women: two in my class and 1 two years behind me. Women in the "hard" studies seemed to prefer engineering disciplines to science disciplines.

28 posted on 07/24/2013 9:27:50 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ELS

My post was a joke to pick on women.

Don’t get so emotional about it. :)


29 posted on 07/24/2013 6:13:04 PM PDT by EEGator
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To: reg45; neverdem

This thread suggests that someone thinks ‘bias’ is ‘important’. Total BS. Bias is what we see on the part of colleges that tend to hire only leftist elitist stereotyped faculty members. Bias is a term that Leftists use for anything that does not suit them. Leftists are biased in so many ways that a thread addressing that bias would become biased. :)


30 posted on 07/24/2013 6:32:25 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders)
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To: EEGator
There is no emotion or opinions in Physics, therefore women don’t like Physics.

You clearly have not watched Big Bang Theory, LOL

31 posted on 07/24/2013 6:34:01 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: Teacher317

32 posted on 07/24/2013 6:38:30 PM PDT by EEGator
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