I'm a little behind in the news, so I just recently read "The mismeasure of woman" in the Economist
It's interesting to read about research into gender differences in terms of brain function and other 'objective' measures of male vs. female abilities in terms of spatial reasoning, vocabulary, and things like that. The rather detailed article has a rather disturbing ending though. The article concludes that the difference between male and female brains isn't so great, and therefore that female brains could be *educated* in a different way to acquire better skills for succeeding in math, science, engineering. OK.. The article was focused on brain research and not the culture of science, but even so, anyone who has survived the current system of discrimination and harassment knows that it's going to take more than spatial reasoning exercises in elementary school to help females succeed in math/science/engineering. I think it would be great if more people had skills for succeeding in science etc., but can't help but think that the most dramatic changes need to occur in the system rather than in female brains.
5 months ago