Anorak News | Stop Trying To Turn Women Into Scientists And Engineers Says Expert

Stop Trying To Turn Women Into Scientists And Engineers Says Expert

by | 15th, July 2014

Health - Common Cold Research Unit - Salisbury


GIVEN the way that the entire society seems to agree that we should have roughly equal numbers of men and women doing the same sort of jobs it’s a bit of a surprise to find an expert insisting that this is all codswallop. But that’s what we’ve got, an educational expert insisting that as most women don’t actually want to be scientists or engineers then why in hell is everyone insisting that there should be more of them?

Attempts to encourage more girls to study the sciences ‘completely deny human biology and nature’, an academic has claimed.

Schools should stop trying to close education gender gaps because innate differences between the sexes mean they will always be drawn to certain subjects and careers, according to a Glasgow University psychologist.

Dr Gijsbert Stoet argued that Britain ‘probably needed to give up on the idea that we will get many female engineers or male nurses’.

Efforts to tackle gender inequalities were wasted because pupils with an aptitude for subjects such as physics, computing and engineering would choose them anyway, he claimed.

He does actually have a good scientific point too. This isn’t just some patriarchal old fool shouting that girls can’t do difficult subjects or anything.

The basic research comes from Simon Baron Cohen (cousin of Sasha, the Ali G bloke) at Cambridge University. There really is something called the “female” brain just as there is a male one. That female brain being better at empathy, the male on at systems and engineering and the like.

But that’s not at all to say that all women have a female brain nor all men a male one. There is a spectrum and people are distributed along that spectrum from “very female” to “very male” and at the further end of that very male bit we wander off into Asperger’s and autism.

Any specific man and or woman can be anywhere at all along that spectrum. But just as autism is more prevalent in men, so is that male brain and so is that female more prevalent in women. It’s a matter of odds in the whole population, not a statement about what any one individual can do or would be good at.

Given this truth about us human beings we really shouldn’t be surprised at there being more men in those engineering and science trades and fewer women and at the other end of the scale, more women in nursing than men. It’s just how we’re built as a species.

Yes, of course, women who want to do science should be welcomed and encouraged: but the idea that this, or any other, profession should be 50/50 is simply ridiculous. Men and women are and should be equal but that’s simply not the equal statement to saying that they’re the same.


Photo: Health – Common Cold Research Unit – Salisbury: Laboratory Technician Beverley Ridgwell (left) closely examines cultures under a microscope whilst her colleague Pamela Brown draws virus for inoculation into a long pipette during research work on the common cold at Harvard Hospital. Date: 18/01/1962

Posted: 15th, July 2014 | In: Technology Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink