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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 29, 2010 / 14 Nissan 5770

Women in science: The news isn't bad

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "The number of women in science and engineering is growing, yet men continue to outnumber women, especially at the upper levels of these professions."

So begins a new research report, Why So Few?, published last week by the American Association of University Women, a Washington-based advocacy group that describes itself as "the nation's leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls." The report claims that "social and environmental factors" — negative stereotypes about girls' math skills, for example, or an unconscious bias that deems science and engineering as "masculine," or the hard-driving culture of many science and technology workplaces — contribute significantly to the "striking disparity" between the numbers of men and women in the so-called STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and math.

That disparity, says the new publication, is reflected in statistics like these:

  • The Labor Department reports that women account for only 10 percent of the nation's civil and aerospace engineers, 8 percent of the electrical engineers, and 7 percent of the mechanical engineers.
  • In 2006, women made up less than 14 percent of the tenured faculty in the physical sciences in four-year colleges and universities.
  • Among PhDs who work in the field of computer and information sciences, 79 percent of the full-time positions are held by men.

If the AAUW's goal was to sound an alarm about the distressing state of women in scientific careers, it appears to have succeeded. "Bias Called Persistent Hurdle for Women in Sciences," a story on the new report was headlined in The New York Times. The message was the same at AOL News ("Report: Stereotypes, Bias Hurt Women in Math and Science"), while The Washington Post's education blog mournfully asked, "Why aren't there more women in STEM?"

But don't break out the sackcloth and ashes just yet. For if you look beyond the report's gloomy title and its call for a jihad against "stereotypes, bias, and other cultural beliefs," you discover a determined effort to miss a forest of good news in order to rail against some atypical trees.

The AAUW report acknowledges, for instance, that "today girls are doing as well as boys in math." In high school, not only are girls earning math and science credits at the same rate as boys, but their grades tend to be slightly higher. Though boys continue to predominate among the most gifted math students, their lead has shrunk severely. Since 1980, the ratio of boys to girls among students scoring above 700 on the math SAT has dwindled from an overwhelming 13:1 to just 3:1.

The girls' strong performance continues in college, where "the overall proportion of STEM bachelor's degrees awarded to women has increased dramatically during the past four decades." Women now earn 60 percent of the degrees awarded in the biological and agricultural sciences, a majority of the chemistry degrees, and just under half of the degrees in math. Many go on to earn advanced degrees — nearly half of all biology PhDs are now awarded to women, as are more than one-third of the doctorates in earth sciences and chemistry.

Letter from JWR publisher

In the workforce, too, women are now highly visible in many scientific fields. The new report notes that a majority of the nation's biological scientists are now women, and that even in fields that few women are attracted to, their numbers have jumped. Thus, while women accounted for a mere 1 percent of working engineers in 1960; by 2000, their share was 11 percent.

And in academia? The AAUW report concedes that "when women … apply for STEM faculty positions at major research universities they are more likely than men to be hired." (emphasis added)

Not even "the nation's leading voice promoting education and equity for women," it turns out, can make a convincing case that sexist bias is a serious problem in science, engineering, or math. Its report doesn't refute what common sense and impartial observation already suggest: that women and men may not be equally attracted to every scientific or mathematical discipline, but where women do have an interest, they cannot be kept down.

The predominance of men in engineering is no more a cause for alarm than the fact that most veterinarians are women. The links between gender and vocation are interesting and the subject of much research and lively — sometimes very lively — debate. Finding disparities in the workforce is not the same as finding bias or injustice. When all is said and done, women and men are simply not the same. Vive la différence.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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