[FoRK] Women With Both High Math and Verbal Ability Appear Less Likely to Choose Science Careers Because Their Dual Skills Confer More Career Options

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Mon Apr 8 15:30:25 PDT 2013


On 4/8/13 2:06 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 08, 2013 at 02:01:27PM -0700, Joseph S. Barrera III wrote:
>> On 4/8/2013 1:52 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
>>
>>> http://www.news.pitt.edu/women_STEM
>>>
>>> Women With Both High Math and Verbal Ability Appear Less Likely to Choose
>>> Science Careers Because Their Dual Skills Confer More Career Options
>> Is this not also true of men who have both high verbal and math skills?
> Probably. I would like to see similar studies done on that.
>
>> I wonder what careers in particular they choose instead of science. I
>> assume they are careers that pay better.
> Probably.

Careers that seem to "pay" better: More prestige, flash, popular imagination, excitement, etc.  Look at sports, musicians, artists: 
A few make a lot, most are doing something else to make a living, possibly having failed to prepare for another career.

The core problem is the perception vs. reality vs. probability gap, coupled with the technology, cultural, and economic trends.  
People make poor choices.  The government and other organizations make poor choices too, canceling research and development while 
not otherwise supporting people in those fields who then scatter to some other pursuit, therefore being unavailable when the next 
need arises.

>
>> In that case, why are we trying to convince women to choose lower paying
>> careers?
> Probably because we want to insult their intelligence.
>
>> Maybe the problem is actually whether this society (in particular US
>> society) values science as it ought to?
> Indeed. Unfortunately, feedback to that is considerably delayed.
> And the culprits will lack the mental wherewhithal to make the
> connection, or, rather, they expect that nobody else will make
> the connection, in time.

sdw



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