Skip to comments.Not Everything Is Due To Bias, Including All-Male Physics Departments
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."
You have to be smarter than a “Math is hard.” Barbie doll to get a degree in Physics.
There is no emotion or opinions in Physics, therefore women don’t like Physics.
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!
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.
No, bias is when you hire someone because of their gender or race over their knowledge/ability, or to meet a quota.
The missing gals in physics usually test the theory that a tantrum can repeal the law of gravity.
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.
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.
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.
Come for the breast, stay for the brains
Liberals don’t complain about the fact that 99% of kindergarten teachers and pre-school teachers are women.
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.
Leslie Winkle would disagree - and let you know in no uncertain terms.....
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."
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.
Funny thing about that ...
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.
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.
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