Sunday, June 13, 2010

If Women are Scientists, Who Will Be Wives and Mothers?

Lots of people have weighed in on conservative John Tierney's recent article on the inate inferiority of women in science and math, how novel to hear the views of scientists who are women.

Maggie Koerth-Baker provides that at Boing Boing: Yet, he clearly has ignored the fact that this phenomenon is unique to the United States. Indeed, in countries with more gender equal cultural norms, the divide disappears. In Iceland, girls out perform boys in math and science. Japanese girls out perform American boys. Maybe in his next column Tierney will argue some type of evolutionary difference between the boys and girls in these other countries and American boys and girls. Personally, I would find it much more interesting if he would start posting recipes for pies we could make with all the cherries he's picking. . .

We can spend our time discussing SAT scores, but I worry that we are missing the most important thing that keeps women out of science—the cultural attitudes that teach women that if they choose a demanding career, they aren't fulfilling their duties as wife and mother.