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SCI/TECH: Harvard Pres: Men Are Smarter Than Women

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posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 12:41 AM
Speaking at a private conference the President of Harvard, Lawrence Summers, made several remarks on the innate biological differences between men and women. These remarks have sparked quite an outrage in the academic world. During Summers' tenure at Harvard the hiring of women has dramatically dropped.
In a lengthy address delivered without notes, Dr Summers offered three explanations for the shortage of women in senior posts in science and engineering, starting with their reluctance to work long hours because of childcare responsibilities.

He went on to argue that boys outperform girls on high school science and maths scores because of genetic difference. "Research in behavioural genetics is showing that things people previously attributed to socialisation weren't due to socialisation after all," he told the Boston Globe yesterday.

As an example, Dr Summers told the conference about giving his daughter two trucks. She treated them like dolls, and named them mummy and daddy trucks, he said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Being no stranger to controversy one has to speculate that Dr. Summers made these remarks simply to stir the drink up a bit. As economist Dr. Richard Freeman, who asked Summers to speak at the conference said in his defense: "It does not seem to me insane to think that men and women have biological differences." I tend to agree with that.

Many women in the academic community took great offense to his remarks (from the NY Times article):

When he started talking about innate differences in aptitude between men and women, I just couldn't breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill," Dr. (Nancy) Hopkins said. "Let's not forget that people used to say that women couldn't drive an automobile."

Summers is standing by his remarks (also from NY Times):

"I'm sorry for any misunderstanding but believe that raising questions, discussing multiple factors that may explain a difficult problem, and seeking to understand how they interrelate is vitally important,"

Related News Links:

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 12:50 AM
Some men are smarter than women.

Some women are smarter than men.

Logic statements are fun.

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 05:11 AM
A rather important point to quote from the article that might shed more light on where DAWKTAH Summers is coming from:

During Dr Summers's presidency, the number of tenured jobs offered to women has fallen from 36% to 13%. Last year, only four of 32 tenured job openings were offered to women.

I had to read the whole damned article because I was trying to find out what his kid named her trucks had to do with the intelligence quotient or capabilities of women versus men.

I didn't find the answer.

As a woman who out-performed almost every man I ever attended a math or science class with I'd like to say that if law permitted I would take my big-wheeled mummy truck and run over his sorry arse. It's pompous egotistical attitudes like his that force women like me to have "play" their successes like a cheap violin to make sure none of the swinging dicks dancing on the glass ceiling get their egos bruised.


posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 05:22 AM
Oh heavens forfend! Someone actually made the mistake of saying there might be Gasp
biological differences between men and women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How ridiculous we all know that men and women are biologically identical.
Surley this man must be a sexist to imply that just maybe men and women might be biologically predisposed to different areas of human endeavour!
I mean If I were to say that women were biologically predisposed to be better at child rearing I must be anti male right?
Nevermind the fact that a predispostion or lack of one doesn't mean that any particular individual can't achieve the same level of success.
I mean If I were to say that maybe women were biologically predisposed to be better at child rearng I am obviously also saying that there is no way a man can be a good care giver right?

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 05:30 AM
Apparently I need to re-state the DAWKTAH's record:

During Dr Summers's presidency, the number of tenured jobs offered to women has fallen from 36% to 13%. Last year, only four of 32 tenured job openings were offered to women.

I think the DAWKTAH's statements speak more for why he has concluded men are better than women at math and science. I also think that his little story about his daughter's toy trucks is probably indicative of how he performs his research.

There is a predisposition to assume girls will not excell nor enjoy math or science. The attitude with which they are taught in these areas, both at school and at home, has a lot to do with the percent of females who eventually pursue careers in areas of math and science.

Yeah, if you stack the deck - by drawing some type of conclusion based on naming your toy trucks, and then you make sure those areas of education are relegated to a secondary position for the teaching of liberal arts - you'll get just what you assumed a priori...

especially if you're the one hiring and you make damned sure they don't get the job.

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 05:43 AM
Women are genetically different from men. Let's get that out of the way first. It's foolish to think otherwise.

Dr. Summers is using his authoritative stance to make a bogus statement about the aptitude of women vs. men. Richard Herrnstein (also a professor at Harvard) published 'The Bell Curve' in 1994 which claimed that black people have lower and more fixed IQs than white people. The book was obviously devoid of serious facts and was just a manifesto of conservative ideology.

Don't believe the hype.

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 06:12 AM
What an idiot, sounds like something a woman would say.

If there is any outperformance in either direction, I believe it is more due to nurture, and not nature..

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