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posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 09:01 AM
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Women Lack 'Natural Ability' In Some Fields, Harvard President Says
Comments Came At Economic Conference

POSTED: 4:06 pm EST January 17, 2005
UPDATED: 4:19 pm EST January 17, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass -- The president of Harvard University prompted criticism for suggesting that innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers.
whole story here

why? why does the world have to be so PC all the time? its not like he pulled the data out of his, um hat, and its not like he makes any far fetched claims. I have the utmost respect for women, and women of science and technology, but this takes the cake.




posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 09:25 AM
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it's funny, I saw that and a few pages later in the same paper there was an article about how breakups are evident in women's mri's. seems that there is less activity in the part of the brain associated with motivation and attention span and more activity in the area linked with sadness.

between pms and overly emotional states as a result of being dumped, it's a wonder women ever make it out of bed to make us breakfast in the morning.

disclaimer: I am joking. the mri story is real (www.nydailynews.com...) but the comments about getting out of bed to make breakfast were made in jest. I love my wife. she doesn't wake up and make me breakfast, nor does she do my laundry or clean up after me. she does, however, correct me when I'm wrong (seemingly all the time) and she does help me with my apparently awful driving and directional skills. without her I'd probably be forever driving in circles, missing exits and getting into crashes.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 09:37 AM
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Well I personally think he is right on the mark. There are very distinc differences between the sexes like for one, men are naturally stronger and can focus better, while women are naturally hardier in that they can stand more G-Forces then men can(making them potentially better fighter pilots etc.) and they can multi-task better then men as well(ditto for the fighter pilot comment they would be able to track more targets simultainously then men usually could). Now with that said, these are not written in stone as natural vairiability will gift some men with the ability to multi-task extremely well, and it could aslo give a women is emmense strength(look at Mohommed Ali's daughter...)

[edit on 18-1-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 09:43 AM
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The problem I see many having with his comments is the fact that in claiming woman to be naturally inferior in academic subjects such as maths and science, opens the way to go back to claiming woman has a natural, bioloigically determined place within society. Such as at home, in the kitchen or whatever.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 03:44 PM
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Well, think-the UN decides on education worldwide thoughout time worldwide, everyone is taught in the same manner, testing emphisases math skills v. reading/writing skills, making the "average" worker, even with above average IQ, harder to get a degree, and therefor enabling those on top control.

Women naturally tend(most often) to have more problems after they reach purberty. The opposite is true for the guys, they have more problems in english and social studies. Math is taught too difficult in schools for all students to get. But the schools aren't corrected, but b/c math has too much emphasis in education! They're treating kids in public schools in their curriculium like chimps. It's discusting! YUCK!


Ironicly, Havard is math heavy school, so you have to be able to do a lot of mathatics. Anyway, why do we put too much emphasis in public schools on reading, when students need more math? I know people who can do Calculius math, I can't , but I can do history, geography, and Mythology in my head! So why not allow students to go to a school where they can advance from there high school level "hobby"(i.e. history, mythology, etc.), and become teachers,etc.? And just have everyone take business math, and 3 science classes, for good measure to make up for the lack of math classes in these students? And then if you want to go into science or math. you get a 6 level science degrees?



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 06:38 PM
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I'll trade all my knowledge of electro-magnetism for all your knowledge of fashion sense, hehe.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 09:29 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia
The problem I see many having with his comments is the fact that in claiming woman to be naturally inferior in academic subjects such as maths and science, opens the way to go back to claiming woman has a natural, bioloigically determined place within society. Such as at home, in the kitchen or whatever.


if we used the word statistically instead of naturallyin this scenario it would be much better somantics. that way it shows that it is a true phenomenon, and does not bias it with a reason as to why it occurs, only that it occurs.



posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 10:19 PM
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there are so many othre reasons why women are underrepresentated in those fields. Many of those fields are controlled by men, by male teachers who are threatened by women in their discipline.

I think the teacher's comments were irresponsible because they'll be used to keep women down, like they are already being used on this thread.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 04:26 AM
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post something intelligent then. especially post a thread that shows women succeed more than men in these feilds and disprove the statement althgether. post math and science scores from national tests that show women have the ability but arent using it. you can argue that men conspired to keep women down in the career but you ant fudge test results.

"mary do bad on your national tests or ill fail you in my class."

if you feel this thread is meant to keep women down, please go get some fresh air and re-evaluate.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 08:34 AM
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Women naturally tend towards fields where they can find an even playing field. By the time they get to high school and college, they have already figured out that they will have an uphill battle in those fields.

Men are underrepresented in the field of teaching elementary school. Does this mean that they are incapable or teaching it, or that it is socially awkward for them to do so?

Until about 15 years ago, men were never nurses. Same deal, was it because they are not capable? No, it is because our society was still laboring under the thought form that nursing and care is womens work.

As time goes by, sexists like you will have to search harder and harder for something that women aren't good at.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 09:33 AM
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Women naturally tend towards fields where they can find an even playing field. By the time they get to high school and college, they have already figured out that they will have an uphill battle in those fields.


you sterotyped women, nice. and im the sexist.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 09:47 AM
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I don't think there is any predisposition by sex to math and science abilities. My family is a good example. I suck at math, my wife sucks at math. My son is great at math, my oldest girl sucks at it BUT my youngest girl is great at it. So much for that theory.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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I find this thread to be very curious and interesting.
I understand that the lecturer in question was making a general statement, not saying that ALL women are behind in certain skills/area, just showing what the author thought to be a general trend.

With that in mind I want to share with you my story. I am a woman and I have always exelled in math and science. They were not my favorite subjects, (my favorite was English Lit.) so it isn't as if I focused on Math and therefore became good at it. I never focused on it at all really, it just came naturally. So, I think it is safe to say that I had natural talent in these areas.

I am a "butch" lesbian. There is much controversy in the gay and lesbian communities over what the word butch means. No one can seem to really define it, yet everyone knows it when they see it. One of the things that I run into time and time again is that people see me, and based on my looks, they assume that I am good at math and science. They assume also that I know how to work on cars, and build things (activities related to math, science, AND masculinity).

Their assumptions are absolutely correct.
Both men and women make these assumptions. After watching people jump to conclusions for over 30 years I can tell you that some of the same women who don't want to be told that they might belong to a group who does not tend to have natural talent in math - are the same women who see how I dress and assume that I am great at math.

Just like the lecturer's comments which prompted this thread, I am not speaking for every individual woman - I am merely pointing out what I see as a general trend.

Edit: spelling - and I still probably missed some (no natural ability there!)

[edit on 1/19/05 by wellwhatnow]



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 02:51 PM
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Thanks for coming out, with all due respect, I may not understand your lifestyle, but my philoshphy is live and let live and don't break kant's rule of humanity and I won't mind.

Anyway, can you all smell the media brain washing in here. People remember it's ATS, so please consider every possiblity even the "impossible".
I know; Bad chezzy. Bad chessey. Bad!

Now, let's think of it this why, men mostly run the world and for whatever reason those at the top of the ladder are threaten by women with ambition. period.
Obviously, the UN deligates what "counts" as X or Y, so A =X, and B=T. That's what's they've done with education, college=lots of math, HS(usually)=lots of memorizaton(reading&writing). There allowing those in power to keep a "good status quo" with few(only 20% of americans(55 million as of 1999) are "Conspiracy Theorists"(ufos, aliens, JFK, TFK, Lincon) didn't count in the History Channel survey.) question them; and then are "discredited" though hollywood and the media. Even though we are right about political, social, and economics about 77%(also from HC).

The whole idea of suppression of women is to some extant true, but they haven't really change things for us even with NOW in the picture as a UN PAC. The whole idea is to keep women dependent on gov't, not on themsleves or a guy or even controdic the public education. Because most women shape their opinion off of other female concenus.

The whole reason this article made the paper was just to keep women believing they can't be "Elle Woods" or whatever. Of chorse, I say do what comes naturally, just think about pros and cons some first, and if your a man think about all women do. Even with working, cleaning, cooking, raising kids, while young men like my younger sibling are taught to sit on their butt, do whatever they want, patrionize their elders, and then get someone else in trouble if they benefit from it.

That's what crap like that article teaches people. If women who can't get into a field without a college degree, then darn let's use my system and say "Screw THE UN", b/c it all starts with an education. I don't know about you, but I wanna be a writer. Mark Twain and Thomas Paine were and they didn't have a college degree, so why do I need one? I can understand computers, math, and science needing one. But for writing c'mon!


[edit on 1/19/05 by BSB2005]

[edit on 1/19/05 by BSB2005]

[edit on 1/19/05 by BSB2005]



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by jprophet420
Women Lack 'Natural Ability' In Some Fields, Harvard President Says
Comments Came At Economic Conference

POSTED: 4:06 pm EST January 17, 2005
UPDATED: 4:19 pm EST January 17, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass -- The president of Harvard University prompted criticism for suggesting that innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers.
whole story here

why? why does the world have to be so PC all the time? its not like he pulled the data out of his, um hat, and its not like he makes any far fetched claims. I have the utmost respect for women, and women of science and technology, but this takes the cake.


Actually, he did pull the data out of his hat -- and there are plenty of studies to prove it. These are farfetched claims. It is much harder for a woman to advance herself in almost all the scientific fields -- not because she can't do the work, but because the work of a man (even if inferior) will be accepted over hers.

Here's one (the English translation of the Scientific-ese says basically that women who see themselves as "very feminine" do worse in math and science. Those of us who don't see ourselves as "very feminine" perform on an equal par with men:
www.ingentaconnect.com...;jsessionid=35dknsu4rwall.henrietta

And another...
www.kluweronline.com...

I'm not going to list the rest of them, but there are 469,000 references in the academic literature that say basically the same thing. You can hunt them up on scholar.google.com

Google for "women in science."

His statement was pure bunk, and it's just reprehensible that an educator wouldn't know this.

[edit on 19-1-2005 by Byrd]



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 03:55 PM
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It is so tiring listening to the "myth of equality" brigade...

Understand that people are different, men are different to women, as people of all races are different to each other also.

The challenge is not to try and force everyone to be the same, the challenge is to learn to appreciate and respect our differences.

My wife is an higly qualified artist, I can't draw for toffee. I am a very experienced Musician, she is tone deaf...

Men tend to underthink things (aggressive), women overthink things (indecisive), the net result is usually that as a couple both points of veiw result in the best decision possible.

So what if women outnumber men in remedial math, men outnumber women in prisons, and I'd prefer to spent my summer at school doing math than watching my back in the big house.

Evolution has designed us to compliment one another, not compete against each other.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 06:07 PM
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Being a woman who has a high aptitude in math & science and who has excelled for almost 17 years in a field that is predominately male (quant research/Wall Street), my personal experience defies the statement that this Harvard professor has made.

Also from my personal experience, I believe that women aren't given the same opportunity as men, which has lead to inequality in knowledge gained from experience. I have had to work much harder and had to continually prove myself to get where I am, whereas men in my field haven't faced as many obstacles. I can cite many instances, especially earlier in my career, where I was treated as the secretary because I was the only female in the room. There were times when I was given stellar reviews and tons of praise, only to be passed over for a promotion in favor of a man who was less qualified and ill-equipped for the job (and then I was expected to do his job when he inevitably failed.) I have been subject to unequal pay for the same job. I have been literally chased around desks and shut out of client meetings that took place as strip clubs. And when I raised objections, I was accused of "being on the rag." Since several big lawsuits made brokerage firms crack down on blatant discrimination, the industry has become much more hospitable to women, but until that happened, these common events kept women from retaining long careers on Wall Street.

However, on the surface things seem different, but many of the senior managers began their careers when the only positions women held were administrative. Although female roles have evolved, these men still harbor outmoded mindsets and continue to view women in a subordinate way--and I think that a lot of this stems from the competitive aspect. They are aware that a woman can do their job just as good as they can, but if they keep their "boy's club" intact, women won't become a threat.

This prevents women from obtaining the same work experience and knowledge, but it goes even deeper. In the not-too-distant past, girls were not given the same opportunities in school as boys were. In the late 70's/early 80's when I was in elementary and junior high school, I remember being shuffled off to home economics while the boys went to drafting. The boys got an introduction to architecture, while I had to make a dumb prairie skirt and participate in a fashion show.

I also remember the math team only being open to boys--I could do long division in my head and got the highest grades in class, but they didn't want me. Supposedly they were going to fund a girl's math team, but it never materialized. When I got to high school, I could finally join, but I found that I was at a disadvantage because my male counterparts had been participating in meets for years and were used to it. I didn't have that experience, so it took me a few months and lots of practice (again working much harder) to catch up.

I think that this is true in many areas--women may be at a disadvantage because men have had a long head start. There was a time when women weren't even encouraged to go to college, much less study math and science. The lack of breadth and depth of females in many fields as mentors and role models is because women have only recently broken out of traditional roles (and by recently, I mean the 70's) to pursue careers, and these kinds of changes don't occur overnight. This doesn't represent a lack of 'natural ability'--this is a lack of opportunity and experience, which will grow in time.

I cringe when I hear reports that make claims that women are bad in math because it is a generalization designed to keep women from having these skills and inevitably to keep women "in their place."

I am also tired of listening to men pat women on the head and proclaim that we should just accept the roles that we have been assigned in life. Being given the same opportunities is important--if you have never been held back because of what you are, perhaps it is difficult for you to understand what that means. It is one thing to choose your role in society, it is quite another to have it decided for you.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 06:12 PM
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hmmm, the women that do get into science do get discriminated against, im sure. so do a lot of the men, although not for the same reasons. but in schools testing shows w/o a doubt that they are behind the boys in science in jr high and high school. if you say this is because of some male oppression factor then at least youre already on a conspiracy theory website coz thats where you need to be.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 07:01 PM
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"If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater & lesser persons than yourself." Desiderata

I think its really up to the individual to decide for themselves what career path they choose. It's not the sex, its the person.

Now, another quote, one of my favorites:

"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should." Desiderata.

Love and light to each of you,

Wupy




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