Thursday, October 10, 2013

Science Ladies

Science is a guy thing. For every genuine female scientist, you can name a hundred or so male scientists.  Partly, this is because a scientist pretty much has to be a lot more intelligent than average, and when it comes to intelligence, the male bell curve is flatter, that is, a given number of males will have more geniuses and idiots than the same number of females. Females tend to be average in comparison with males.

Another thing is inclination. Lots of males, and I'm a good example, are interested in science, even when their careers have nothing to do with science. Boys tend to take things apart to see how they work. Girls seldom do. Boys are interested in abstractions and logic, while girls are interested in people.  When girls are interested in science, it's usually in less logically rigorous things like medicine, biology in general, and linguistics. Boys want to be Edison or Einstein, girls want to be Jane Goodall, if they want to do that sort of science thing at all.

And, finally, a science career calls for a lot of single-minded devotion, and females notoriously are not single-minded, and tend to devote a lot of their energy to marriage, families, children, that sort of thing — The kind of stuff that feminists think is just awful.

And speaking of feminists, probably the least scientific self-selected human group that has ever existed, they're now making pronouncements about the hideous fact that there are damn few female physicists and other hard-science scientists out there. And they're contradicting themselves like mad — a common feminist trait — about whether sexiness is a sign of female superiority or a sign of male oppression.  Hint: it can be both, depending on the point they want to make.

Steve Sailer is great on this subject.  This is from his column at Takimag:

In Search of Sexier Scientists

Continuing its blanket coverage of the problems of people who don’t really have problems, The New York Times turns from the plight of female Harvard Business School students to the tribulation of female Yale physics majors.

In “Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?,” Eileen Pollack, head of the creative writing MFA program at the U. of Michigan, devotes 8,000 words to the churning passions that accompanied her return to Yale, where she was a physics major in the mid-1970s before losing all interest in science and math. Why, she cries out, did society not persuade her to pursue “the prospects, prestige, intellectual stimulation and income” that come with attending grad school in astrophysics?


Together, these Harvard and Yale articles make informative reading because they show how protean feminist analysis has become. Feminism rationalizes a culture of complaint no matter how contradictory the gripes.

For example, the Harvard article recounted a lesbian dean’s struggle to prevent heterosexual women students from coming to class on Halloween dressed up in “sexy pirate costumes.” In contrast, the Yale tale told by Ms. Pollack, a middle-aged girly girl with an ex-husband and a son, protests how our culture discourages women scientists from wearing sexy clothes such as fishnet stockings in the laboratory.

Similarly, while the HBS women are oppressed by a lack of time to finish their homework because future Jack Donaghys keep asking them out on exciting dates, the Yale women in STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are oppressed by a lack of exciting beaus because they find the boys in their classes to be immature Sheldon Coopers.

Nationally, female students have come to comprise a majority in almost all venues of higher education, except the most exclusive. Even the student body of mighty Yale Law School, alma mater of two of the last seven presidents, is now 49.3 percent women.

Among the few remaining academic institutions where men outnumber women are elite MBA schools such as Harvard’s and elite STEM programs such as Yale’s. So they receive an inordinate amount of attention because a male majority facilitates traditional feminist critiques of men as the suffocating mainstream. (Of course, there are also unmentioned advantages to being in the minority sex. For example, would dowdy Hillary Rodham have snagged handsome Bill Clinton if the gender ratio at Yale Law School four decades ago had been more equal?)

1 comment:

  1. To top it all, the father of genetics (and thus HBD) was not only a guy, but a celibate monk who didn't have women in his life.

    BTW, calling Clinton "handsome" is Sailer's biggest error since he called Obama's cracker grandmother a "Yankee".