05/02/2015 Jonathan Taylor

Comic – The Gender Disparity in STEM Explained, explained

The Twitter user AntiFemComics (the “Fem” meaning “Feminism,” of course) has posted an interesting comic for us:

Much ado is made by social justice warriors about the disparity between men and women enrolling and graduating in STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) programs. As others and I have pointed out in the past, however, there really is no “STEM” gap; it’s really just an engineering / technology gap.

This comic begs an interesting question: how much of women’s low enrollment is really due to personal choice? And if such is primarily the case, is it ethically wrong to propagate the theory that a culture of evil men is at the root of it all?

I’d like to first point out a misconception that even many men’s advocates have by stressing that very few people in general sign up for Gender Studies degrees. Degrees in “area, culture, ethnic, gender, and group studies” actually rank 27th out of all bachelor’s degrees conferred. And gender studies is actually one of five “disciplines” that occupy that 27th place, which means that if it were singled out it would be even lower.

See the thirty-two most conferred bachelor’s degrees here (click to enlarge):

On a side note, this is good news for us since course content in gender studies is often Feminist propaganda with an anti-male bent.

Let’s keep this in perspective and look at the big picture: women dominate in most academic programs, and of those areas that men are highly represented only a few degrees are awarded anyway. Technology doesn’t even make it into the ten most conferred degrees. To perhaps see this more impactfully, here’s a graph made by yours truly.

Note that women lead in eight out of the ten most commonly conferred degrees and are split with men on the leading degree (business), whereas men only dominate engineering.

Engineering and technology programs often grant affirmative action to women as an underrepresented group. Some might argue that affirmative action creates a catch-22 for women which would lead men to think that women who “succeed” in these fields only do so because they are artificially propped up, rather than making it on their own. And for some men and women that is definitely the case.

Feminists might object to this, but they have no moral authority to do so; it’s hard to convince people to grant you social equality while at the same time demanding privilege.

One of those “backfiring privilege” cases.

Is there some bias against women in engineering and technology? Possibly. I wouldn’t go so far as to say no bias against women exists. But is it the primary cause of women’s low enrollment in these fields? That is the primary question.

Unfortunately, much of the research on “STEM bias against women” has been shabby at best. Further complicating this, one might argue that women have been just as favored by gender bias in technology as they are disadvantaged by it.

Back in the 80s and 90s, being labeled a nerd was a social stigma. It’s the same with video games. While much grievance is manufactured by Feminists of the so-called “bias against women” in the video game community, this in reality is how women and girls have treated that community:

history-women-video-games

Women, moreso than men, are social creatures. If a given hobby or venture requires social isolation or stigma, women are much less likely to engage with it. The same thing holds true in the educational setting as well; the more an activity is “collaborative” rather than “competitive” the more women and girls tend to engage with it.

If you’re interested in technology and gaming, take a look at this video by Johnny Lee below. He figures out a way to use the Wii remote and sensor to create a virtual reality gaming experience.

This is what guys do: they tinker with stuff. And a lot of that requires a lot sitting alone in your room and going through trial and error. But for better and/or worse, sitting alone in your room tinkering with technology and gadgets is not what girls choose to do – unless it’s talking on the phone or being on Facebook. They are “using technology,” but technology is merely a means to facilitate socializing.

It’s one thing to make a claim that an institution with numerous ranks of gatekeepers is stopping women from exploring technology. But what is stopping a woman from tinkering with technology in a room by herself and posting her findings on YouTube?

Only herself.

Now that technology is a normalized part of our lives there is no longer a severe bias against people who are technologically innovative. Women who would scorn a man for saying “lol” fifteen years ago are now the ones who use such colloqualisms the most. Only now that men and boys have born the brunt of that social stigma do Feminists step up and demand “equality.”

And this is very typical of Feminists in almost any issue Feminists bring up. They want “equal” rewards of the system that men had a large part in building, but they don’t want equal risk or sacrifice.

They want the vote, but not the military draft that goes with it. They want the equal right to work, but they don’t want to meet the same hiring standards and instead demand affirmative action. They want to be sexually liberated, but don’t want to deal with the consequences of being sexually promiscuous, instead demanding that others to pay for their abortions and birth control (but I repeat myself), and so forth. They want woman to be empowered to make accusations of rape, but they don’t want false accusers to be held accountable.

If Feminists want to say that there is gender bias when it comes to technology, I wouldn’t object to that basic premise. So long as they acknowledge that such bias runs both ways and can take different forms, that women (as well as men) have been harmed by gender bias in technology just as they have been privileged by it, and both have an equal hand in creating that.

Ah, but they won’t. Why? Because Feminists they are Feminists, and without the narrative of a club of evil men victimizing powerless, innocent women Feminism would not be Feminism any longer. It would be something more like egalitarianism, which allows for greater nuance – not to mention understanding and compassion for men and boys.

Sometimes, being a woman demanding equality requires giving up the damsel act. It requires acknowledging that both women and men are responsible for the culture we live in, and that our institutions are little more than the formalization of that culture.

Also, it requires no longer manufacturing a cultural bias against men and boys by painting a one-sided caricature of a complex social phenomenon.

Jonathan Taylor
Follow me

Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
Follow me
Share and rate this post:
 
Tagged:

About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (12)

  1. MarcusAurelius45

    I hope that the following provides the facts and reasoned logic to dispute that assertion by feminists that both overt and covert forms of sexist discrimination are responsible for their relatively low numbers in the STEM fields. In fact, the following indicates that women are, through extremely misandric discriminatory laws and policies, vastly over represented through out higher education, the professions, and with regard to earnings and wealth. The quote comes from my online blog entitled: “The American Gentleman”.
    “Both genes and hormones affect the formation of human brains before birth as well as the behavior of adult individuals.
    Several genes that code for differences between male and female brains have been identified.
    In the human brain, a difference between the sexes was observed in the transcription of the PCDH11X/Y gene pair, a pair unique to Homo sapiens.
    Men have approximately 6.5 times as much gray matter related to general intelligence as women and women have nearly 10 times as much white matter related to intelligence as men.
    Gray matter is responsible for processing information in the brain and white matter “represents the connections between these processing centers”. These differences might explain why men ” excel in tasks requiring more local processing like mathematics-while women tend to excel at integrating and assimilating information.”
    “Other differences that have been established include greater length in males of myelinated axons in their white matter (176,000 km compared to 146,000 km); and 33% more synapses per mm (cube) of cerebral cortex.”
    Females, generally, have faster blood flow to their brains and lose less brain tissue as they age than males do.
    The amygdala, which is the structure that responds to emotionally arousing information, responds to the environment and reacts with stress.
    The male amygdala is proportionately larger in men than in women causing sex to be a determining factor in reactions to stress.
    The hippocampus is proven by imaging to be larger in women than men. The hippocampus is crucial for memory storage and spatial mapping of the physical environment.
    A difference in behavior shown may be because of this particular structure variation between the sexes. Studies show that women are more likely to navigate using land marks while men are more likely to estimate distance in space or orientation.
    Studies of rats show that males could learn better in the face of stress particularly acute stress.
    Chronic stress is dealt with better by females.
    It has been suggested that the Y chromosome is primarily responsible for males being more susceptible to mental illness. Several psychological studies contradict this, however, as it has been found that women are, actually, more than twice as likely as men to be susceptible to depressive episodes and generalized anxiety and additionally that progesterone levels in females actually stall the body’s ability to turn off stressor hormones resulting women entering depressive episodes at even lower levels of stress than men.
    (Wikipedia- Sex Differences in Humans)
    There is a mean difference in mean IQ in favor of men of about 5 points. The further you go up the distribution the more skewed it becomes. There are twice as many men with an IQ of 120 plus as there are women, There are 30 times the number of men with an IQ of 170-plus as there are women. (Irwing 2006)
    Above a score of 700 on the American Scholastic Aptitude Test (Mathematics) there are only 7 per cent females against 93 per cent males (Benbow an Stanley 1983).
    IQ stands for intelligence quotient.
    Supposedly, it is a score that tells one how “bright” a person is compared to other people. The average IQ is by definition 100. Scores above 100 indicate a higher than average IQ. Scores below 100 indicate a lower than average IQ.
    Theoretically, scores can range any amount below or above 100; however, in practice,they do not meaningfully go much below 50 or above 150.
    Half of the population have IQ’s of between 90 and 110. Twenty five percent have higher IQ’s and twenty five percent have lower IQ’s.
    Descriptive Classification of Intelligence Quotients
    IQ Description % of Population
    130 plus Very Superior 2.2%
    120-129 Superior 6.7%
    110-119 High average 16.1%
    90-109 Average 50%
    80-89 Low average 16.1%
    70-79 Borderline 6.7%
    Below 70 Extremely low 2.2%
    Apparently, the IQ gives a good indication of the occupational group that a person will end up in, though not, of course, the specific occupation. In their book, Know Your Child’s IQ,
    Glen Wilson and Diana Grylls outline occupations typical of various IQ levels:
    140 Top Civil Servants; Professors and Research Scientists.
    130 Physicians and Surgeons; Lawyers; Engineers (Civil and Mechanical).
    120 School Teachers; Pharmacists; Accountants; Nurses; Stenographers; Managers.
    110 Foreman; Clerks; Telephone Operators; Salesmen; Policemen; Electricians.
    100 plus Machine Operators; Shopkeepers; Butchers; Welders; Sheet Metal Workers.
    100 minus Warehouse men; Carpenters; Cooks and Bakers; Small Farmers; Truck and Van Drivers.
    90 Laborers; Gardeners; Upholsterers; Farm hands; Miners; Factory Packers.
    Given the relative and absolute number of men in the higher IQ ranges, one would expect a disproportionate relative and absolute number of men in those occupations associated with the same. However, feminists, jurists, and the political body of the USA and other nations have unjustly attributed this disparity to intentional and or unintentional gender discrimination against women.
    Dramatic Orwellian Affirmative action and other overt and covert programs to unjustly give women those educational and employment opportunities that justly, because of both ability and effort, belong to men have resulted in significant decreases in productivity and efficiency through out the American economy and those of other nations which had adapted these authoritarian and Machiavellian precepts.
    Associated with the same are socio-cultural break down and decreased and/or stagnant average incomes, income growths, job security, the average wealth of all Americans, and well as the stagnation of and/or decline of other economic indicators.
    All male fitness and well being indicators are in a drastic decline.
    Though all aspects of male health and well being are in decline, there is no Council On Men and Boys nor a Federal Office On Mens Health while women now have at least seven. “

     
    • Sounds about right, based on what I’ve read as well. If you read books like Boys and Girls Learn Differently, Dr. Michael Gurian will lay out such evidence as well.

      Excellent post!

       
      • MarcusAurelius45

        Thank you for the reply to my post. Sodahead, the online source which takes polls and opinion from the general public on a variety of subjects, took a poll on whether academia in the USA has become primarily a source of political indoctrination. The results were that respondents, by a two to one margin, agreed with the same with many stating that students who did not conform to “politically correct” norms were often failed or otherwise disciplined.

         
    • BoredHousewife

      This is a very interesting post. I would love to read the research in more detail. It makes sense that women and men have evolved with different, complimentary capacities — otherwise we might have evolved as hermaphrodites.

      But please check some of your stats. For example, on the math SAT in 2014, of the students who scored 700 or better on the math section, 62.5% were male and 37.5% were female. (N=123,781; M=77,381 and F=46,400). 5% of the female test takers scored 700 or better, 10% of the male test takers scored 700 or better. Of those who scored perfect 800’s, 67% were male and 33% were female. I think your 93%/7% stat is incorrect. And just to play devil’s advocate, what if that difference is explained by difference in stress response that scientists posit exists between the sexes? The SAT is a stressful experience.

      In any case, it really shouldn’t matter. I wish society would stop making gender generalizations. Averages can explain broad differences in long term stats. But when you meet an individual, there is no reason to make assumptions. There are a significant number of wicked smart people among both genders (and not-so-wicked-smart as well).

       
      • MarcusAurelius45

        Thank you for the reply. The SAT has been revised at least once since the Benbow and Stanley study of 1983. Was the revision(s) in the SAT responsible for the increase in SAT math scores for women? I don’t know. However, I do know that male IQ scores, as my prior post indicates, are significantly higher for men over women, especially at the higher IQ ranges; and, as such is the case, are probative of the Benbow and Stanley study and my post in general especially with regard to justly condemning the sexist massive systematic discrimination against men in academia today based upon the complete rejection of pluralistic, objective, and republican principles Also, this discrimination against men in education implies further unjust and unprincipled means and ends, inclusive of false data and test results (which are notorious in feminist academic and other studies), are utilized as propaganda to justify the “cultural Marxist” and “politically correct” ends and means which feminists promulgate in academia and otherwise.

        “Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having
        one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one
        perception, the
        perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one
        movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which
        exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture ofthe web.”
        – Marcus Aurelius

         
        • BoredHousewife

          I agree that there is sexism in academia right now. I accept that men and women might naturally be suited for and/or interested in different fields of study and I find the incessant cries for more women in STEM to be counterproductive (indeed — the percentage of women enrolling in comp sci studies in colleges has plummeted since peaking in the 1980’s).

          However, if your argument is that men are simply smarter, you may be deluding yourself. A decent history of gender performance on the SAT can be found here:

          https://research.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/publications/2012/7/researchreport-2006-5-historical-view-subgroup-performance-sat.pdf

          Back through the 1970’s, many girls weren’t taking the SAT. Therefore, even if raw skill across genders was identical, the total number of males scoring in the top bracket would be larger. Now more women than men take the SAT — but it is hard to say that the populations are identical across other factors. When controlling for other socioeconomic factors, performance has been found to be the same between genders by some studies.

          That men are simply smarter is not the best argument to use to go about advocating for men’s rights. No thinking woman is going to line up behind that.

          Tidbit: Did you know that a woman, Grace Hopper, invented the first compiler and laid the groundwork for the first programming language?

           
          • MarcusAurelius45

            Thank you for the reply. The following is the URL of a web site entitled: ” SAT Math Scores: Male vs Female 1971-2008″ by Professor Mark J.Perry:
            http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/06/sat-math-scores-suggest-huge-gender.html
            The article demonstrates that the Math SAT Score differences between men and women were much greater then which explains why only 7% of females had math SAT scores above 700 in 1983. Other posters on this site assert that the much greater math SAT scores for men over women was so politically unacceptable that changes were made in the SAT scores to insure that women scored higher on the math SAT. The article and readers comments also affirmatively addresses some of your questions and assertions on this topic. Please note that the higher High School Grades for women may be the result of discrimination in grading against male students by female instructors. At least one study asserts that female instructors, in general, discriminate against male students and for female students in grading.

             
          • BoredHousewife

            The difference between the two lines in Dr. Perry’s graph is nearly constant over time, and his own blog says this as well (that is, the gender difference in performance on the SAT has been fairly consistent over time — the same result that the college board paper that I referenced gets). There is nothing in Dr. Perry’s data that suggest that only 7% of women had scores over 700.

            The study you originally referenced (which I have now located and read) analyzed students who scored over 700 before the age of 12. The authors (Benbow et. al.) state that approx. 1 in 10,000 students can score over 700 before the age of 12. Within that specific population (about 120 students), they observed that the ratio of boys to girls was 13:1. They followed this 120 students through high school and determined that for that 120 students, the score gap persisted.

            For perspective, 1 in 10,000 amounts to approximately 180 students per year (given approx. 1.8 million graduating seniors per year), or in other words, this study focused only on the top .01% of a population chosen at age 12, and says nothing about the remaining 99.99% of high school test takers. The authors specifically state that the study cannot be generalized.

            Nowhere in that study, or any other study that I have found, do they have a stat that suggests that among high school students only 7% of scores greater than or equal to 700 are achieved by girls. Their is a gender gap in math performance, but it is more like 66% to 34%, not the 93% to 7% that you stated.

            Don’t get caught throwing around bogus statistics like the feminists did with their 1-in-5 nonsense. It will hurt your cause more than it will help your cause.

             
          • MarcusAurelius45

            Thank you for the reply. In reference to your assertion that the difference in SAT scores between men and women have remained constant, the following quote from a response at the same time contradicts that assertion (response on 6/24/2009 by randian):” Which in itself is an artifact of the scoring system. The SAT used to have a more linear scoring system, and the gap used to be much larger than 2:1. That was politically unacceptable, so the scoring system was changed to make it much easier to get a 750, while 800 (obviously) remained just as hard. Viola, suddenly many more girls were scoring 750. For political purposes, pundits were able to proclaim how much better girls were doing at math, when in fact nothing had changed. The switch in scoring from 1600 to 2400 was another politically motivated scheme to artificially increase girl’s scores by manipulating the scoring system. – See more at: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/06/sat-math-scores-suggest-huge-gender.html#sthash.SndEHx3K.dpuf

             
          • BoredHousewife

            You’re quoting an unknown commenter from the comments section of a non-peer-reviewed blog? Seriously?

             
          • MarcusAurelius45

            The premises and conclusions of the blog, my comments on this topic, and other commenters on the blog substantiating the same have been scientifically proven and substantiated . However, “Cultural Marxist” and “Politically Correct” norms continue to repudiate the same as unacceptable requiring discriminatory preferential treatment in academia and academic testing for women and against men. “Cultural Marxism”:, “Political Correctness” and the tenets of “Feminism”, in fact, reject the “Scientific Method” and traditional logic and reason as inimical to their unjust ends and means. I am a “Clinical Research Associate” such that I am fully aware of the requisites for scientific proof through the Scientific Method.

             
  2. Mordewolt

    One thing i found off-putting. The part about the “Military draft and vote”. As i understand things and correct me if i wrong, gated voting systems work only and only when the voters are checked up on their competence in the subject they are voting for (or against) and if you don’t do such thing, you want to have as many voters as possible to represent the general opinion as accurate as possible. And For an army to function we need motivated soldiers. Drafting doesn’t make motivated soldiers, propaganda, social benefits, good pay and established work ethics (no hazing) do. How are those two connected together?

     

Comments are closed.