Viewpoint on the STEM gender gap: Why women are less represented in most sciences

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[Editor’s note: Scott Alexander is a psychiatrist practicing in the US Midwest.]

An article by [author and management professor] Adam Grant called Differences Between Men And Women Are Vastly Exaggerated is going viral.

Grant says that gender differences are small and irrelevant to the current issue. I disagree.

Men will be more likely to choose jobs with objects, machines, systems, and danger; women will be more likely to choose jobs with people, talking, helping, children, and animals.

Somebody armed with this theory could pretty well predict that women would be interested in going into medicine and law, since both of them involve people, talking, and helping. They would predict that women would dominate veterinary medicine (animals, helping), psychology (people, talking, helping, sometimes children), and education (people, children, helping). Of all the hard sciences, they might expect women to prefer biology (animals). And they might expect men to do best in engineering (objects, machines, abstract systems, sometimes danger) and computer science (machines, abstract systems).

cio GenderGap

Sometimes, in a population-based way that doesn’t necessarily apply to any given woman or any given man, women and men will have some different interests. Which should be pretty obvious to anyone who’s spent more than a few minutes with men or women.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Contra Grant on Exaggerated Differences

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