r/science Oct 17 '21

By early years of school, gender stereotypes from a variety of sources have already influenced children—leading them to aspire to “traditional” male and female vocations. This flows into lower numbers of girls taking STEM subjects, which leads to fewer women going on to work in the sciences. Psychology

https://theconversation.com/caring-or-killing-harmful-gender-stereotypes-kick-in-early-and-may-be-keeping-girls-away-from-stem-169742
84 Upvotes

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80

u/StandardReflection12 Oct 17 '21

They just asked about 300 kids and found they aspired to be in different occupations. They didn't prove whether this is due to Outside influences or inherent genetic differences at all. They would have the exact same results.

39

u/Linus_Naumann Oct 17 '21 Gold

Because biological differences between men and women can not be discussed publicly

27

u/coercedaccount2 Oct 18 '21

They went in with an assumption of causation. this isn't science, it's garbage, at best, and propaganda, at worst.

11

u/DeputyDomeshot Oct 18 '21

Probably be blasted for saying this but I think that social sciences being lumped in with actual physical sciences is a contributing factor to anti-intellectualism. Social sciences have value but they're just not held to the same standard as physical sciences and that's a defining characteristic of the word: science.

3

u/bananaplasticwrapper Oct 21 '21

Yeah I think you're right.

3

u/curiouslyceltish Oct 19 '21

Exactly. Not only that, how many of us actually went into the career we wanted to be at 7-8? This whole study seems to be based on nonsense. This is why people don't trust real science.

14

u/StandardReflection12 Oct 18 '21

Any result would be construed as malign. Imagine if the girls all wanted to be STEM majors. It would be concluded that the girls are being oppressed and once again subject to gender stereotypes.

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u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

[removed]

2

u/goomyman Oct 18 '21

Stem fields pay well and everyone thinks that they should get stem jobs.

I work in stem and the amount of people who think they can waltz intona high paying stem job is insane. I mean yeah in the early 1990s there were young people with high paying tech jobs and you could get a job teaching old people computers but things have changed. Even back then this type of person wasn't that common. Those old jobs are dead and the bar is very high and getting higher.

2

u/RCmies Oct 18 '21

Thank you for taking the time to write this comment. It needed to be said.

1

u/Moonchopper Oct 18 '21

Point of clarification: celebrating one gender != Erasing the other.

-34

u/CrossroadsWoman Oct 17 '21

How about we instead ensure that careers towards which women naturally gravitate pay as well as STEM? Then we don’t have to push anyone towards anything. Because this is exactly why you see initiatives to get women into STEM.

4

u/vtj Oct 18 '21

The female-dominated careers do include high-paying areas, like medicine. I also don't think that chemistry or biology is any worse than physics, pay-wise. Law is (assumed to be) a high paying profession, and has more or less 50/50 gender split, at least where I live. Overall, I don't think it's as easy as declaring that careers towards which women gravitate are necessarily low-paying.

There is also the aspect of social pressures, where boys as they grow up are being made to understant that one day they will have to "provide for their family", which restrict their college choices or even make them skip college entirely and go get a job.

123

u/BrightAd306 Oct 17 '21 Gold

I will say, it can sometimes feel insulting as a woman that articles like this keep pushing that STEM is better than "girly" careers. What even is that? A lot of people in STEM careers work long hours and don't do things they love. My major and career is people driven, I feel happy doing what I am. I trade flexibility in work hours for less than I'd make in STEM, but I have great work life balance.

12

u/asdaaaaaaaa Oct 18 '21

That's what I don't get. If many women are happy not doing STEM degrees, that's okay, so long as they're happy/fulfilled. What's the end goal to all this, have women 100% evenly spread against men between industries? Because that's not ever happening.

Just seems like the initial goal is to complain, not actually "fix" anything. Hell, even IF gender roles pushed women towards different industries/jobs, is that okay if again, the people are happy with that? At what point are they saying "No, you're too dumb and affected by gender roles, we know what's best for you"?

30

u/thrower_wei Oct 17 '21

And not to mention there's a glut of STEM graduates. This whole push to get more people in STEM seems like a ploy to drive down wages.

12

u/Llihr Oct 17 '21

You've got it in one. STEM used to be a large part of labor wages because they are such expensive degrees, so businesses push (via funding and charity (that they get tax breaks for)) the education train towards these to drive down the wages by increasing the available pool.

3

u/EternalSerenity2019 Oct 18 '21

My son was that age where he was pushed into STEM. Loved it in middle school, but college he was done.

14

u/CopsaLau Oct 17 '21

I’ve always thought of it, no so much as a “get a better job” issue, so much as it is a “we have historically excluded a certain demographic and continue to do so in the present” issue

8

u/naasking Oct 18 '21

“we have historically excluded a certain demographic and continue to do so in the present” issue

Do you see comparable pushes to get women into offshore oil rigging or other similarly dangerous but high paying jobs? STEM is specifically targeted because it's higher profile and seen as influential, so it's not just about historical exclusion.

5

u/lynx_and_nutmeg Oct 18 '21

I will say, it can sometimes feel insulting as a woman that articles like this keep pushing that STEM is better than "girly" careers.

Well, it is if you actually need to earn money to survive, which is the reason why most people have jobs...

Not all STEM jobs pay well, though. Actually, only a minority of them do. It's just that at some point everyone writing those articles decided "STEM" only means computer science and engineering, and completely forgot about all the other numerous STEM fields, some of them actually female-dominated.

My major and career is people driven, I feel happy doing what I am. I trade flexibility in work hours for less than I'd make in STEM, but I have great work life balance.

Have you ever wondered why "people jobs" tend to be lower-paid? Or, for that matter, why most female-dominated jobs are lower-paid?

5

u/SamsonFox Oct 18 '21

Have you ever wondered why "people jobs" tend to be lower-paid? Or, for that matter, why most female-dominated jobs are lower-paid?

Honestly - because employees would have fled otherwise, as they couldn't rely on the "main" income to get through.

If "female" fields start paying really well again, a lot of younger guys would be lining up to get a piece of it.

2

u/DeputyDomeshot Oct 18 '21

Nursing is 100% an example of this

2

u/BluePandaCafe94-6 Nov 03 '21

It's just that at some point everyone writing those articles decided
"STEM" only means computer science and engineering, and completely
forgot about all the other numerous STEM fields, some of them actually
female-dominated.

This is such a pet peeve of mine.

I'm a guy working in STEM, and my entire department is like 75% women. Nationally my field is a strong majority of women. There are multiple scholarships specifically meant to get women into my department and degree program, but none meant specifically for men.

I usually bite my tongue when I see articles like this, but lately my tongue has been bleeding a lot.

1

u/Exod124 Oct 20 '21

Because they require fewer qualifications?

14

u/ghaldos Oct 17 '21

yeah this article is bs, there was a study done that the more egalitarian we are the more women and men go into the more traditional gender roles. Men like things and building stuff, women like people and caring, which is great because anything we build can't take care of others which is more important.

3

u/Siluisset Oct 18 '21

Could you cite the specific paper? I heard that from JBP, but I could never find the published paper.

2

u/crusadingAquila Oct 18 '21

women like people and caring

I don't like people. :p

3

u/grunkey Oct 19 '21

The data says that, on average, this is correct. Women tend to be more social. Which I suppose you could translate to ‘liking people’. They also have higher agreeableness on average. This lubricates social interactions.

1

u/ghaldos Oct 18 '21

there's going to be exceptions to the rule, but overall women like people

1

u/grunkey Oct 19 '21

Anything that starts with “I …” isn’t science.

It is a data point though.

→ More replies

1

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

Based on a quick review of the available research it looks like the gender equality paradox has very little scientific basis.

A follow-up paper in Psychological Science by the researchers who discovered the discrepancy found conceptual and empirical problems with the gender-equality paradox in STEM hypothesis. Another 2020 study found that the underrepresentation of girls in STEM fields could be more properly explained by gender stereotypes.

If I were you, I would stop regurgitating this hypothesis right about now.

8

u/naasking Oct 18 '21 Wholesome

The trend is mostly true though, see graph 2.1. Computer science is generally the worst. Last I checked, the Nordic countries had among the lowest rate of female CS graduates in the world, slightly higher here in the Americas, and almost gender equal in places like Iran.

Also, the summary you cited basically assumes that gender stereotypes actually causes the disparities. This is not established fact at all.

-1

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

The trend is mostly true though, see graph 2.1

Thanks for the report. If you see a convincing trend in the scatter-plot that is Graph 2.1 you are fooling yourself. The uncertainty in the coefficients would be huge if anyone actually attempted to get this through peer-review and prove the trend. Maybe irrelevant since the trend says nothing about causality anyways.

Also, the summary you cited basically assumes that gender stereotypes actually causes the disparities.

That's from the wiki page. They also provided a link to actual peer-reviewed science, as opposed to the report you posted.

3

u/naasking Oct 18 '21

If you see a convincing trend in the scatter-plot that is Graph 2.1 you are fooling yourself. The uncertainty in the coefficients would be huge if anyone actually attempted to get this through peer-review and prove the trend. Maybe irrelevant since the trend says nothing about causality anyways.

Some thoughts:

  1. It says nothing of causality, but it undermines the narrative that all such gender disparities are necessarily the result of oppression if oppression has little to no effect on gender ratios. If you claim there is no consistent association apparent, or if the effect is opposite as in the case of the alleged gender equality paradox, then this counts against sexism being a dominant driver of observed gender disparities.
  2. Of course, a big reason the uncertainties are large is because "STEM" is a loosely related groupings of disparate subjects that have only some measure of overlap. For instance, biology and chemistry gets the lion's share of women in science and engineering disciplines (and some people include "medicine" as well), so STEM numbers almost always over-represent gender ratios we see in physics, math and other engineering disciplines.
  3. The self-sorting into these disciplines in these low ratios is cross-cultural, and men and women also self-sort within a discipline in analogous ways, ie. family law is overwhelmingly dominated by women, corporate law by men, surgery is dominated by men and obstetrics by women, etc.
  4. This self-sorting trend agrees well with the hypothesis of "things vs. people", which I linked in another comment to which you replied. You expressed some skepticism that interests can be biologically driven, but the fact that this self-sorting happens cross-culturally is one data point consistent with that hypothesis. No one studying these topics would deny that biology plays some role, the question is only how big is this role? To deny that biology plays any role in this doesn't seem justified. Both claiming that it's definitely culturally-driven or biologically-driven, or that the other is not the case, requires evidence which so far is inconclusive.

1

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

Good answer!

  1. Strawman. No one has claimed that "all such gender disparities are necessarily the result of oppression". From the paper you cited:

    These results indicate the existence of other factors that escalated the gender disparities in these STEM careers. A few potential factors suggested by the literature include preference for work-life balance (e.g., Ferriman et al., 2009), gender stereotyping and gender role schema in individuals' career decision-making (e.g., Konrad et al., 2000), and implicit bias in employers' selection process (e.g., Moss-Racusin et al., 2012).

  2. One of many reasons. Another paper suggests that the disparity would be much greater in gender-unequal countries if not for lack of life-quality, once again bringing into question the scientific merit of this so called "paradox":

    A mediation analysis suggested that life-quality pressures in less gender-equal countries promote girls’ and women’s engagement with STEM subjects.

  3. Probably, see point 1 for list of possible reasons.

  4. Like all things nature/nurture it would be unwise to rule out that there may be a biological component. But let's not kid ourselves that on such a high-level cultural and societal issue that there's actually enough evidence to make biological claims while ignoring the obviously important cultural factors, as e.g. listed under point no. 1.

1

u/naasking Oct 18 '21

Strawman. No one has claimed that "all such gender disparities are necessarily the result of oppression".

On the contrary, many people do make this claim. Widely and repeatedly. I'm not strawmanning a claim you made, simply pointing out that a commonly reported claim isn't really on solid ground.

Another paper suggests that the disparity would be much greater in gender-unequal countries if not for lack of life-quality, once again bringing into question the scientific merit of this so called "paradox"

I'm aware, but this would only reinforce the notion that sexism is not behind gender disparities, because when women are free to choose, as they are in developed countries with gender equality rights, they mostly do not choose STEM.

Like all things nature/nurture it would be unwise to rule out that there may be a biological component. But let's not kid ourselves that on such a high-level cultural and societal issue that there's actually enough evidence to make biological claims while ignoring the obviously important cultural factors, as e.g. listed under point no. 1.

I agree that the confidence in concluding the role of biology is dominant isn't there yet. I would say that the evidence that other alleged factors really matter all that much is pretty thin though.

  • Gender ratios in STEM have very stubbornly refused to budge much at all, despite the huge incentives and strong affirmative action thrown that way. Clearly underinvestment is not the main issue.
  • Sexism and harassment is way, way more prevalent in medicine than in any other science or engineering field, and yet medicine has gender parity overall.
  • Doctors do not have work-life balance for many years following their degree, so reports of work-life balance being relevant clearly can't be a dominant factor. Engineers also have a great work-life balance, and engineering is widely considered to be a great career, so why don't women choose that career?
  • The studies for stereotype threat have failed replication, and other associations with gender stereotypes being a dominant factor are also pretty thin.

Clearly gender disparities are a multivariate phenomenon, but the social variables are getting shorn progressively thinner, the interventions meant to address those social factors are failing to change much, so the dominant factor remains elusive. This is suggestive, even if it isn't definitive.

Finally, acknowledging that something might be biologically influenced can even inform how to resolve some gender disparities. For instance, supposing things vs. people did have a large biological component and it was the dominant factor in career choice, some careers may be unfairly stereotyped as, say, 90% thing-oriented, when it may in fact be 60% thing-oriented (I think this is true of CS for instance). This sort-of-but-not-really falls under gender stereotypes, because it doesn't focus on gender at all but on the misrepresentation of the qualities of the work itself. The point being that approaching this with a sexism-first mindset can blind one to more effective interventions.

1

u/curiouslyceltish Oct 19 '21

In response to this whole thread: in summary, we don't have enough solid research to say conclusively whether or not gender is the specific cause of fewer females choosing careers in STEM, and as such, articles that feature titles and studies such as these are misleading in that they convey a level of certainty the larger scientific community has not yet attained.

1

u/naasking Oct 19 '21

Yes, but the research does identify many asymmetric incentives that should be remedied in the interests of gender equality. For instance, maternity leave tends to disadvantage women in hiring, so paternity leave should be treated equally to remove some of that disincentive to hire women.

It's not clear how much of an effect these will have on disparities, but if we believe in the principle of gender equality they should still be addressed. Some people just focus too much on these factors being the cause of wide disparities, but that is not clear.

1

u/grunkey Oct 19 '21

Yes, lions and monkey are also hampered by gender stereotypes.

3

u/CrossroadsWoman Oct 17 '21

Note that society has decided that careers towards which women typically gravitate are worth less and therefore pay much less than STEM, which is part of the reason women are being pushed towards STEM now (pay gap).

19

u/BrightAd306 Oct 17 '21

It's market forces. I'm not complaining. I get a lot of benefits people in STEM careers don't get. I'm tired of money being the prime measure for how worthwhile a career is, or even the most important benefit. I'll trade work life balance for money anytime.

1

u/lynx_and_nutmeg Oct 18 '21

It's nice that you feel happy with your job and its salary, but just because you do, doesn't mean there aren't a lot of jobs that are genuinely underpaid for the level of skill and hardship they require, and their use to society.

2

u/BrightAd306 Oct 18 '21

That's fine, but it's also based on how many people want to fill those roles (aka how time consuming and hard and boring they are) and what customers are willing to pay. Take childcare, the costs are currently astronomical. Asking parents to pay even more is just not possible.

-8

u/CrossroadsWoman Oct 18 '21

“Market forces” strangely always seem to benefit the interests of the male sex.

6

u/hororo Oct 18 '21

It’s more like men value the currency compensation of a job more than women. Probably partly because women value high income in a romantic partner more than men do.

1

u/BrightAd306 Oct 18 '21

It's because men value power that money brings, while women value time with their family and free time more. Obviously, there are brilliant female engineers and great male teachers and therapists, too. My husband is an engineering manager and most young engineers he's hired have been women. They've also been most likely to work hard enough to get the promotions. They almost never want to become partners though, so it makes them plateau in leadership. The men who have working partners are not interested in even becoming managers. They don't want the extra responsibility. The money isn't worth it to them, either.

-4

u/recovering_spaz Oct 17 '21

No ones saying that, but we are saying it isn't good that girls are subtly pushed from these jobs.

22

u/BrightAd306 Oct 17 '21

The opposite is happening in schools now. You get treated like you're irrational if you don't chase a STEM career. Even if you'd hate it.

-11

u/recovering_spaz Oct 17 '21

Are you talking about choosing a STEM career or being scientifically literate? Scientific illiteracy is how we have anti vaxers and climate change deniers.

9

u/BrightAd306 Oct 17 '21

The article was about STEM careers and women. Everyone should be scientifically literate. My first degree is a bachelor of science, I just didn't go into STEM

1

u/BrightAd306 Oct 17 '21

And I definitely think women are just as capable of STEM careers as men. I'm happy for the men and women who choose careers based off their talents and interests.

14

u/JandJgavemegay Oct 18 '21

I think people forget what a society is… it would be completely absurd to expect that you could even approach a time where nobody was influenced by anything. That is literally how the development of every social animal on earth works

19

u/RelocationWoes Oct 18 '21

What’s the nature vs nurture on this? I went to an alternative school called Waldorf growing up. All of our classes were taught by the same 2 people (two women) from K to 8. All classes were held outside most of the year. There were 20 of us, almost 50/50 boys and girls. I cannot stress this enough: we were all focused on arts, sciences, theater, singing, nature, outside exposure, camping, the works. All equally. If anything, I found that the gender differences just emerged naturally in our groups. Even in terms of subject interest. I don’t really know how to explain it. If anything, on paper, looking at the way we were raised and schooled...you’d think the boys would be heavily skewed from the normative interests, but they weren’t.

8

u/crusadingAquila Oct 18 '21

If anything, I found that the gender differences just emerged naturally in our groups.

You did have lives outside the classroom, though. So you were exposed to the expectations of the public and family, entertainment media like children's books and cartoons (there are cartoons about boy builders and girl ballerinas but no girl builders and boy ballerinas), advertisements, etc. So how 'natural' is this difference, really?

-1

u/EternalSerenity2019 Oct 18 '21

Yeah it turns out biology is a really strong motivator for humans. We have brains that can explain things so we believe that our rational mind can be more powerful than biology.

11

u/lynx_and_nutmeg Oct 18 '21

There's no biological difference that makes women somehow repulsed by science and men repulsed by arts or people, etc. Anyone thinking that testosterone or estrogen can single-handedly determine a person's exact hobbies and interests has no idea how hormones work.

4

u/EternalSerenity2019 Oct 18 '21

Thanks for introducing several strawmen arguments!

Do you disagree that biology is a strong motivator for humans?

1

u/naasking Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

There's no biological difference that makes women somehow repulsed by science and men repulsed by arts or people

Maybe you need to look at some data.

Edit: see also this review of the literature on male and female differences in abilities and interests.

4

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

In the current study, we investigated the gender differences in interests as an explanation for the differential distribution of women across sub-disciplines of STEM as well as the overall underrepresentation of women in STEM fields.

The research you cited discusses a difference in interest. It claims nothing about biological differences as such a claim would be silly. Maybe you should read it. Also from the discussions section:

These results indicate the existence of other factors that escalated the gender disparities in these STEM careers. A few potential factors suggested by the literature include preference for work-life balance (e.g., Ferriman et al., 2009), gender stereotyping and gender role schema in individuals' career decision-making (e.g., Konrad et al., 2000), and implicit bias in employers' selection process (e.g., Moss-Racusin et al., 2012).

2

u/naasking Oct 18 '21

The research you cited discusses a difference in interest. It claims nothing about biological differences as such a claim would be silly.

Why would that be silly? It's not only bizarre to claim that evolution would not create sexual differentiation in interests, since sexual differentiation in roles is useful in evolutionary terms, it's very clearly and obviously wrong. This is obvious by the fact that males are overwhelmingly sexually interested in females, and females are overwhelmingly interested in males. Clearly if some interests are sexually dimorphic, then other interests can be too.

4

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

Silly, not because it's impossible, just extremely difficult to prove. You would have to find a genetic propensity towards e.g. STEM fields (way beyond the scope of this survey of interests) and then prove that the propensity gene is so strong that it skews the statistics 70% to 30% toward males regardless of upbringing and environment. Scientifically, it's not easy to justify holding such an opinion.

2

u/naasking Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

Scientifically, it's not easy to justify holding such an opinion.

I'm not sure I agree. For example, some of the citations here and in our other thread list dozens of "barriers" for women in various fields. If those barriers exist in fields with huge gender disparities and fields with gender parity to comparable extents, what other factors do you expect can explain the disparities? Edit: for instance, I pointed out sexism in medicine vs. physics and engineering in the other thread.

If those disparities are also cross-cultural, that also rules out loads of social factors, and so you can be left with innate characteristics as the only plausible dominant factor, without requiring some kind of genetic analysis.

Edit: also, it could be that we can quantify the impact of these social factors and if they do not explain the degree of the disparity we see, and no other social factor can be observed, then what remains must be innate propensities. This is again a diagnosis of exclusion, but the result is the same, in that, the conclusion can be reasonably defended in a reasonable time frame. We'll see how it goes I suppose.

1

u/BluePandaCafe94-6 Nov 03 '21 edited Nov 03 '21

As a neurologist reading through this thread, your comment demonstrates a common intuition that doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

The research you cited discusses a difference in interest. It claims nothing about biological differences as such a claim would be silly.

Where do you think differences in interest and preference come from? These things aren't disembodied magical forces, they come from the physical and chemical makeup of the brain.

Literally all behavior is regulated by the brain and influenced by neural processes. The fundamental purpose of the brain is to regulate behavior in response to sensory inputs. And we've correlated differences in behavior and preference, both within and between sexes, to other biological variables with important sex-based differences, such as hormone profiles, brain nuclei volume and activity, distribution and density of white and grey matter, genes, etc.

2

u/AimAlajv Oct 18 '21

We are more powerful than biology. Humans can learn to enjoy basically anything.

26

u/TiredOfYoSheeit Oct 17 '21

Also, where's the outrage about the lack of female plumbers, electricians, and miners?

8

u/Life-in-Death Oct 18 '21

It's huge. There are tons of organizations to help women get into these careers since they are rejected and even murdered by coworkers.

A typical experience of a woman in these fields

“A lot of them didn’t think women should be in the mines. They didn’t want to work with me,” she admits.

In her first few months underground, the men were relentless. They teased her with rats and refused to teach her how to operate the equipment, a skill necessary for her role as a general inside laborer (G.I.).

In one instance, her coworkers’ obstinacy resulted in serious injury. She and another miner crouched in a low area of the shaft to secure the top of the mine with bolts.

By refusing to teach Pavkovich the skills necessary to do her job, her male coworkers relegated her to menial and back-breaking tasks that mirrored a wife’s duties at home, like cleaning up the beltway or watching men perform the “real work.”

Pavkovich’s belittlement was also dangerously sexual. The company provided bathhouses on site, where most men changed before their shifts. As one of the only women at her mine, Pavkovich was given a separate bathhouse, but she felt uncomfortable using it. Every day, she got dressed for work at home, donning her denim uniform and tucking her hair completely into her hardhat.

https://www.100daysinappalachia.com/2017/02/miner-matriarch-coal-mining-women-west-virginia/

-14

u/CrossroadsWoman Oct 17 '21

Are you personally aware of a lack of outrage in those fields, or are you just making things up? Because I have female friends in blue collar jobs who tell me that they are constantly attempting to recruit women. Unfortunately, the environment is frequently unsuitable (read: filled with sexual harassment and sexism) which leads to women often leaving as soon as they joined.

22

u/TiredOfYoSheeit Oct 17 '21

Your personal anecdote is the statistical outlier, and you know it. There is a huge push to get women into STEM jobs. There are no million dollar ad campaigns running about other, less glamorous fields (which pay fairly well, but are dirty and dangerous).

-12

u/CrossroadsWoman Oct 18 '21

Yes, ignoring the experiences of women again, always such a great way to deal with ensuring equality for women. Sexism is solved!

15

u/l4mbch0ps Oct 18 '21

Anecdotes are not data. This is /science.

-9

u/CrossroadsWoman Oct 18 '21

Yes, typical rhetoric often used by the male-lead establishment to keep us lady-folk in line.

12

u/l4mbch0ps Oct 18 '21

Ah yes, the gender biased scientific theory, my mistake.

1

u/Orgone_Wolfie_Waxson Oct 23 '21

this has nothing to do with you being a woman and us not listening to you because of such. don't pull the idpol card out just because you know you're wrong

3

u/[deleted] Oct 18 '21

[deleted]

0

u/CrossroadsWoman Oct 18 '21

Yes, that appears to be exactly what I’m saying.

8

u/bluemnm93 Oct 17 '21

Can never relate to this. I’ve (F) loved science since I was a little kid, my second grade teacher even noted it on my report card.

When I found out my classmate from high school bio was majoring in business in college I was actually caught off guard! I thought (at the time) that she loved science as much as I did, but turns out she hated it!

You gotta let people like what they like. Life is already hard enough.

41

u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

The most egalitarian societies have shown us: women tend to prefer careers that deal with people, and men tend to prefer careers that deal with things.

There's a huge amount of overlap between the two, obviously.

But where is the outrage that there are not enough men working in daycares? We seem to be losing our minds about the lack of women in STEM.

6

u/Life-in-Death Oct 18 '21

Except most computer programers were women until they specifically marketed against that.

3

u/[deleted] Oct 18 '21

Who is "they?"

17

u/manicpixiedreamhack Oct 17 '21

I'm happy to initiate some outrage at not enough men working in daycares ;)

9

u/JeepAtWork Oct 17 '21

They're one in the same problem. But society has a much harder problem accepting tender men - it would rather steel women into traditional men's roles.

2

u/lynx_and_nutmeg Oct 18 '21

It's funny because many of the same people who keep saying how sexism doesn't exist and it doesn't matter if men and women choose jobs based on gender stereotypes are also very often the same people complaining about the "feminisation of society" and boys not getting enough male role models. But those people don't tend to be smart enough to connect the two...

1

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

The most egalitarian societies have shown us: women tend to prefer careers that deal with people, and men tend to prefer careers that deal with things.

Source please?

3

u/[deleted] Oct 18 '21

It's the gender equality paradox, most notably researched (and debated) in Nordic countries.

4

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

Thanks. Based on a quick review of available research it looks like the gender equality paradox has very little scientific basis.

A follow-up paper in Psychological Science by the researchers who discovered the discrepancy found conceptual and empirical problems with the gender-equality paradox in STEM hypothesis. Another 2020 study found that the underrepresentation of girls in STEM fields could be more properly explained by gender stereotypes.

If I were you, I would stop regurgitating this hypothesis right about now.

3

u/Purplekeyboard Oct 18 '21

Another 2020 study found that the underrepresentation of girls in STEM fields could be more properly explained by gender stereotypes.

In all countries?

If countries across the world with widely varying cultures all have the same gender stereotypes, this ought to tell you that these aren't stereotypes, but instead are based on actual differences between men and women.

1

u/[deleted] Oct 18 '21

stop regurgitating this hypothesis

No. Until ample evidence proves otherwise, it's worth looking at.

4

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

it's worth looking at

By all means, look at what you fancy. But for sure don't claim it as true when the science is sketchy as hell.

Until ample evidence proves otherwise.

Your logical fallacy is burden of proof

2

u/Venaliator Oct 18 '21

Proof is not a science thing.

3

u/CrossroadsWoman Oct 17 '21

Could it be because the “feminine” careers pay a lot less than STEM, therefore contributing to the pay gap?

-1

u/runmeupmate Oct 18 '21

The pay gap does not exist if women don't have kids

1

u/CrossroadsWoman Oct 18 '21

It continues to exist as women continue to work in career fields that value them less than male-dominated career fields value male participation, such as in STEM. Then you get studies like this, and somehow, you people are shocked. Ridiculous

0

u/runmeupmate Oct 18 '21

If you take in to account child rearing, the pay gap disappears; the same pattern can be seen in data going back years.

1

u/2plus24 Oct 18 '21

It might disappear within careers, but not between different careers.

1

u/Life-in-Death Oct 18 '21

So what about when men have kids?

-6

u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

Why would more women take "feminine" careers if they pay so much less?

4

u/hjwood1986 Oct 17 '21

Did you read the article?

3

u/AllowJM Oct 18 '21

Remove absolutely all outside interference and cultural influence somehow. Are you going to get a 50:50 gender ratio in every area? Definitely not. So I’m not sure why that seems to be the goal for some people.

7

u/sved-sh Oct 18 '21

In kindergarten, parents comment on little girls being pretty and little boys being fast. Kids hear that, it starts that early.

4

u/Life-in-Death Oct 18 '21

Before that. People talk to and handle babies different based on whether they are told they are male or female.

1

u/BluePandaCafe94-6 Nov 03 '21

What about the possibility that biological differences play a role?

21

u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

I believe that biology plays an enormous role in the adoption of gender roles. The notion that my parents' influence is what caused me to want toy guns and cars, and my sisters to want Barbie dolls is daft IMO.

The story of David Reimer is very illuminating. Due to a genital deformity, he was raised as a girl on the advice of physicians. He didn't like dresses or doll, and gravitated toward traditionally male interests, and it sure wasn't due to outside influences.

Another example would can be found in this story:

The extraordinary case of the Guevedoces

Guevedoces are biological males, but are born with female-looking genitalia so they're normally raised as girls.

From the article:

"I never liked to dress as a girl and when they bought me toys for girls I never bothered playing with them - when I saw a group of boys I would stop to play ball with them."

And:

We also filmed with Carla, who at the age of seven is on the brink of changing into Carlos. His mother has seen the change coming for quite a while.

"When she turned five I noticed that whenever she saw one of her male friends she wanted to fight with him.

I think it's popular these days to attribute differences in behaviour between the sexes to external influences (and there's probably some merit to the idea), but I'm convinced that differences in gender roles stem primarily from differences in biology.

Boy know they're boys from the get go. Same goes for girls, I'm sure.

13

u/TheEthnicityOfASpoon Oct 17 '21

The story of David Reimer is very illuminating. Due to a genital deformity...

To be clear: David Reimer had his foreskin amputated for so-called "phimosis" at the age of 7 months. Even though all boys are born with their foreskin adhered to the glans of their penis, as this is to protect the glans and the meatus. As the boy grows older, the foreskin naturally separates from the glans.

The doctor used the unconventional method of electrocauterization, but the procedure did not go as doctors had planned, and David's penis was burned beyond surgical repair. The doctors chose not to operate on Brian, whose phimosis soon cleared without surgical intervention.

Moral of the story: Please leave infant boys' penises alone, and don't attack them with scalpels if you can help it. Thank You.

26

u/Cannie_Flippington Oct 17 '21

In nordic countries, which have remarkably equanimous rights and privileges across traditional gender categories they've found that women overwhelmingly choose more "feminine" vocations and roles in society.

12

u/TheEthnicityOfASpoon Oct 17 '21

Exactly. It's called the gender-equality paradox.

But of course it's only a paradox, if you have already made your mind-up, before the science is in.

And note how females seem to have no problem with biological sciences, or becoming doctors or vets. These are sectors that are now majority female.

5

u/manicpixiedreamhack Oct 17 '21

equanimous gender rights tend to correlate with the level of development of a society's social security systems. It's hardly surprising that in countries without social security systems that people regardless of gender prefer jobs that are well-paid & secure (often STEM careers).
Removing this direct economic pressure through improved social security reveals what women preferentially choose IN THE PRESENCE of social conditioning. Show me data for a country with great social security but lacking in gender equality or vice versa (although I'm not sure you can have one without the other)

-4

u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

Not surprising.

I'd wager that women who gravitate toward male roles are probably biologically different than most of their female peers.

9

u/BrightAd306 Oct 17 '21

I dont know, I think that women are more likely to be good verbally and mathematically. In choosing a career, some women would rather make more money and dislike the messiness of working with people. I think men are more discouraged from the arts and teaching than women are from STEM. Schools would do well to have more male teachers. Numbers of male teachers are falling even as pay is rising. Half the kids in school are boys and they could use role models.

-8

u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

Autism plays a role.

Autism manifests itself differently in female brains than male brains, but it may accentuate masculine traits and interests in females.

https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/136/9/2799/292799

0

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

Source please?

3

u/Cannie_Flippington Oct 18 '21

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180214150132.htm

There's lots because it's an unexpected answer but this is just one

-2

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

Thanks! The research you cited in no way agrees with your statement so I took the liberty of revising your claim according to the source you gave:

In nordic countries, which have remarkably equanimous rights and privileges across traditional gender categories they've found that women overwhelmingly marginally choose more "feminine" STEM vocations and roles in society.

The authors also make it clear that the difference is mostly due to cultural and societal factors, as opposed to biology. From the paper:

A mediation analysis suggested that life-quality pressures in less gender-equal countries promote girls’ and women’s engagement with STEM subjects.

4

u/Cannie_Flippington Oct 18 '21

Countries with greater gender equality have a lower percentage of female STEM graduates

Countries with greater gender equality see a smaller proportion of women taking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Dubbed the 'gender equality paradox', the research found that countries such as Albania and Algeria have a greater percentage of women amongst their STEM graduates than countries lauded for their high levels of gender equality, such as Finland, Norway or Sweden.

Using data on 475,000 adolescents across 67 countries or regions, the researchers found that while boys' and girls' achievement in STEM subjects was broadly similar, science was more likely to be boys' best subject. Girls, even when their ability in science equalled or excelled that of boys, were often likely to be better overall in reading comprehension, which relates to higher ability in non-STEM subjects. Girls also tended to register a lower interest in science subjects. These differences were near-universal across all the countries and regions studied.

STEM careers are generally secure and well-paid but the risks of not following such a path can vary. In more affluent countries where any choice of career feels relatively safe, women may feel able to make choices based on non-economic factors. Conversely, in countries with fewer economic opportunities, or where employment might be precarious, a well-paid and relatively secure STEM career can be more attractive to women.

It's important to take into account that girls are choosing not to study STEM for what they feel are valid reasons, so campaigns that target all girls may be a waste of energy and resources

I mean I could go on but quoting the whole article you didn't read won't really help, I think.

4

u/Cannie_Flippington Oct 18 '21

Wow... you should really go see an optometrist. If I were change my statement to that it not only wouldn't be accurate but it would directly contradict the article.

Do you have a browser plugin that swaps words or something?

0

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

Do you have an actual response to my critique or just ad hominem arguments?

In nordic countries, which have remarkably equanimous rights and privileges across traditional gender categories they've found that women overwhelmingly marginally choose more "feminine" STEM vocations and roles in society.

marginally because it's a 10% effect, by no stretch of the imagination should you call that overwhelmingly.

STEM vocations because the source you gave doesn't mention anything called a "feminine"-vocation. It's about STEM fields and not about roles in society.

→ More replies

2

u/itsastickup Oct 17 '21

We all need to be reminded of this old joke:

Engineers are in many ways like normal people.

You've been warned.

2

u/SamsonFox Oct 18 '21

Girls: Vet (18) + Doctor (6) + STEM (3) + Nurse (4) = 31

Boys: STEM (22) + Doctor (3) = 25

Girls: Arts (16)

Boys: Sports (24) + YouTube (7) + Arts (5) = 36

Don't get where the article gets the headline idea; from all the boys going to be pro sports players and famous YouTubers, perhaps?

6

u/alfred_e_oldman Oct 17 '21

Sorry. Other studies have shown that unguided children naturally choose the stereotypes

9

u/StandardReflection12 Oct 18 '21

How could the children possibly be "not guided"?

2

u/crusadingAquila Oct 18 '21

unguided children

Which would only be possible if they were raised in a remote island by gender-neutral robot 'nannies', never exposed to other humans and their media.

6

u/ImJustHereToWatch_ Oct 17 '21

This "pay gap" that I keep hearing about seems to be pretty voluntary.

2

u/Cannie_Flippington Oct 19 '21

Jobs dealing with people tend to be considered less valuable. Probably due to the perceived effort of those jobs.

Ironically, customer service jobs are some of the most dangerous and difficult jobs there are. How many other people have to worry about someone pulling a gun or knife on them because they didn't put an item in a bag properly?

1

u/ImJustHereToWatch_ Oct 19 '21

Sure. Nobody is saying women don't work hard. In terms of workplace deaths though men lead by a fairly large margin. My point is women don't take the same jobs that men do. I've never met a female plumber or roofer but I know women who can do those jobs.

1

u/Cannie_Flippington Oct 19 '21

Yes, I'm agreeing with you. It's the perception of society that makes those jobs less lucrative. Teachers being probably the most famously underpaid job in many places and being predominately female.

0

u/Life-in-Death Oct 18 '21

Yeah, I chose the female sex to be the child-bearers.

3

u/WardenEdgewise Oct 17 '21

My little guy, from day one, was always very “boyish”. How did he know that dolly’s were for girls? From day one my little girl picked up purses and put them on her arm in that “feminine” stereotype way. We didn’t teach them this, or shield them from this behaviour, it just innocently happened. On the other hand, I have friends/family who have little girls who have now let their families know that they actually identify as boys.

The main thing is, it’s all ok. Sometimes little boys feel like girls on the inside, even if that is not predominantly the norm. Everyone is different in their own special way, and everyone has value and deserves love and happiness.

11

u/lynx_and_nutmeg Oct 18 '21

From day one my little girl picked up purses and put them on her arm in that “feminine” stereotype way. We didn’t teach them this, or shield them from this behaviour, it just innocently happened.

She saw it somewhere. Most things children learn aren't explicitly taught, they passively pick it up from their environment.

There's nothing inherently feminine about wearing a purse. Or liking colour pink. Historically in plenty of cultures it was common for men to carry some sort of bags.

5

u/WardenEdgewise Oct 18 '21

To this day, we still don’t know where she saw that. She was too young to have seen it on old TV shows. Obviously, she did see it somewhere, maybe once, but why such a immediate compulsion to imitate that? Why such a strong identification with that?

3

u/lynx_and_nutmeg Oct 19 '21

It just shows how utterly futile it is to treat children as some sort of blank canvas that parents can turn into whatever painting they want. Children live in society almost from day one, and it's simply impossible to have full control over what they're exposed to. Children are strongly drawn towards imitation because that's how they learn, and because of the desire to fit it. Really doesn't take much. Stick a group of children in the same room, give one kid some weird and random thing to carry around, and before you know it, half the kids will be carrying the same thing.

My theory is that men and women have an inherent need to separate and distinguish themselves from the other sex. And this need is stronger and more base in children during the early years when their gender identity is still forming; it needs to be exaggerated in order to let their gender identity form successfully. That's why children seem to be more segregated in their hobbies and behaviour. Young girls overwhelmingly prefer dolls while young boys overwhelmingly prefer toy cars or toy soldiers, but by the time they reach teen years, their tastes become a lot broader and there's much more overlap between men and women.

4

u/craycraxy Oct 18 '21

Dear lord, 330 8 yr olds are asked what they want to be when they grow up and this makes it to r/science?

Hopeless.

0

u/Arno451 Oct 17 '21

I love the r/science sub, its so based.

0

u/HuXu7 Oct 17 '21

Gender identity has no influence over occupational choice. If someone likes something then they pursue it, doesn’t matter of gender and we have a society where if you are a girl or boy you can pursue whatever your interests are, nothing else matters.

3

u/s_00_n Oct 18 '21

Gender identity has no influence over occupational choice.

Bold statement, source?

1

u/Cannie_Flippington Oct 19 '21

I wanted to be a zookeeper, farmer, veterinarian, and I forget the last one. Wound up being a grocery clerk and parent instead.

I would never have thought I'd ever be able to say that I really don't want to work anywhere else.

-9

u/bigoptionwhale777 Oct 17 '21

So either way when women don't succeed at math and science it's always an existential Force.

So this is another one of those things that will never get fixed because there's always something working against them somehow

-2

u/diezeldeez_ Oct 17 '21

Just a thought, but addressing this is the only way to fix the "wage gap".

5

u/donaxi Oct 17 '21

Number of hours worked. Danger of job. Individual salary negotiation.

5

u/diezeldeez_ Oct 17 '21

You have to get the job to get to that point. Learning the trade, getting the degree is more what I meant. Normalizing STEM for everyone at a young age would promote a more co-ed environment. Everything you listed are qualities that we all can possess.

1

u/Malthraz Oct 18 '21

I am glad we can have a somewhat considered debate about this here, since The Conversation has moved towards locking comments for any article one topics that are controversial or articles that show a bias in the author.

It has really become The One Way Conversation.

1

u/Slaviner Oct 18 '21

What kind of science is this? Who threw money at this and what is their agenda?

1

u/Fluid-Dependent-8292 Oct 18 '21

Oh no, not traditional gender roles! Deodorize reproductive organs!

1

u/curiouslyceltish Oct 19 '21

How can they possibly know what is causal? Furthermore, how can they possibly specify just one causal reason ppl choose careers? What if they choose careers based on biological urges rather than sociological ones, how would researchers ever know? This is why ppl rank statistics lower than damned lies

1

u/Jimmywar Oct 23 '21

Why the hell would you not want kids to understand proper gender roles

-8

u/Croc494 Oct 17 '21

And that is the media's fault not parents or societies.