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-   -   Women Swarm Onward (http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/showthread.php?t=2065)

James Brody June 11th, 2009 12:02 PM

Women Swarm Onward
 
Life in harsh settings tends to be unisex and less experimental. As rules become defined, male variations become more disruptive...until a meteor falls.

Christina Hoff Sommers:

“This past Tuesday the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a non-political, objective study of women in academic science entitled Gender Difference at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Faculty. The study was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and mandated by Congress. It contradicts key findings of Beyond Bias and Barriers. According to its executive summary:

“Our survey findings do indicate that, at many critical transition points in their academic careers (e.g., hiring for tenure-track and tenure positions and promotions) women appear to have fared as well as or better than men...

“Education Department projections though 2017 show a worsening picture for men with every passing year. If there is a crisis in the academy that merits a congressional investigation, it is not that women Ph.D.s are being shortchanged in math and science hiring and tenure committees, for that is not true. It is that men are quickly becoming the second sex in American education.”

http://www.american.com/archive/2009...new-second-sex

See also http://www.american.com/archive/2008...ore-like-a-man

Parker, Kathleen (2008) Save the Males: Why Men Matter and Why Women Should Care. NY: Random House.

TomJrzk June 11th, 2009 03:07 PM

Re: Women Swarm Onward
 
This is a rather good example of picking-and-choosing data for maximum effect. They could have shown the percentages of math&science degrees instead of all degrees. They could have discussed why only 20% of the math applicants were women.

My thought is still that women prefer not to get into math and science or leave the fields early. The 'why' is what needs to be studied.

James Brody June 18th, 2009 12:35 PM

Re: Women Swarm Onward
 
“This is a rather good example of picking-and-choosing data for maximum effect. They could have shown the percentages of math&science degrees instead of all degrees. They could have discussed why only 20% of the math applicants were women.

“My thought is still that women prefer not to get into math and science or leave the fields early. The 'why' is what needs to be studied.” Tom
-----

I think we know the “why’s” but require time to get used to them.

1) “Female” minds tend to be left-dominated. Verbal stuff matters more than spatial. Inhibition is the rule. (Sometimes you do find an active right frontal above female gonads: I have a township supervisor with this mix. And I have my suspicions about my girl, Sarah Palin!)
2) “Male” minds have a transient skill, perhaps from their right frontal, for noticing and defining patterns.
3) Age shrinks our access to the right side: the vitality of a culture fades as its young males age. (The payoff is, of course, Darwinian: things that worked need to be repeated. It also recalls Toynbee: a culture in trouble first amplifies old solutions before adopting those of a new religion or an invader.)
4) Yes, females sometimes do math but they VERY rarely invent it. Females also follow rules in class in regard to appearance and completing assignments, often in terms admired by their instructor. True in high school, truer in college. True especially in the law and medicine.
5) The integration of females into the power structure is a reflection of resource stability. Males tend not to exist in severe environments that impose restraints that make experimentation too costly. And we are “feminized” in stable, high density conditions. Being “nice” is of more value than being “strong” or even being “right.”
6) Invasions by a meteor, a virus, or a hoard of Cossacks test a different set of skills.

The bigger picture: genes choose environments, they also react to them. Stability leads to stable behavior and such behavior will often stabilize environments.

Further, oscillators, particularly those that respond to environments, have survival advantages that linear systems do not. There may be good sense in our abilities – by whatever means - to move from feminine dominance and back to masculine.

As for picking data for maximum effect, your nose, ears, eyes, skin, tongue, and kinesthetic organization filter data. So does your mind and the simpler your mind, the more it filters. Sex and aggression are more easily noted and tracked than stock averages.

Refer to
Aihara M, Aoyagi K, Goldberg E, & Nakazawa S (2003) Age shifts frontal cortical control in a cognitive bias task from right to left: part I. Neuropsychological study. Brain & Development. 25(8): 555–559.
Brody J (2008) Rebellion: Physics to Personal Will. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.
Burt, Austin, & Trivers, Robert (2006) Genes in Conflict: The Biology of Selfish Genetic Elements. Cambridge, MA: Belknap-Harvard.
Cahill L (2006) Why sex matters for neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 7: 477-484.
Cahill, Larry (2009) His brain, her brain. Scientific American Mind, 20(3) 40-47.
Goldberg, E. (2001) The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind. NY: Oxford University Press.
Goldberg, E. (2006) The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Brain Can Grow Stronger As You Grow Older. NY: Gotham.
Goldberg E & Costa LD (1981) Hemisphere differences in the acquisition and use of descriptive systems Brain Lang 14(1): 144–173.
Goldberg E, Podell K, & Lovell M (1994) Lateralization of frontal lobe functions and cognitive novelty. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 6:371-378.
Goldberg, E, Harner, Richard, Lovell, Mark, Podell, Kenneth, & Riggio, Silvana (1994) Cognitive bias, functional cortical geometry, and the frontal lobes: laterality, sex, and handedness. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 6: 276-296.
Hausman, P. (1999) On the Rarity of Mathematically and Mechanically Gifted Females: A Life History Analysis.
Hausman, P. (2000) A tale of two hormones. Presentation at the National Academy of Engineering, SE Regional Meeting, Atlanta, April 26. Also summarized in Pinker (2002), pp. 352-353.
Hoff-Sommers, Christina (2001) The War Against Boys; Touchstone
Hoff-Sommers, Christina (ed.) (in press) The Debate on Women and Science. American Enterprise Institute.
Hoff Sommers, Christina (April 2008) Why can’t a woman be more like a man? The American. http://www.american.com/archive/2008...earchterm=Hoff Sommers
Hoff-Sommers, Christina (June 2009) Baseless Bias and the New Second Sex. http://www.american.com/archive/2009...new-second-sex
MacArthur R & Wilson EO (1967/2001) The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
Pinker S (2004) Why nature & nurture won't go away. Daedelus. 133, Fall, 5-17.
Pinker, S. (2002) The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. NY: Viking.
Parker, Kathleen (2008) Save the Males: Why Men Matter and Why Women Should Care. NY: Random House.
Turner, J. Scott (2000) The Extended Organism: The Physiology of Animal-Built Structures. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Turner, J Scott (2007) The Tinkerer's Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


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