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Why Men Are Better Than Women

  • Date Submitted: 02/20/2013 12:54 AM
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Why Men are better than Women at Math (Situations Matter)
Men are better than women at math and science.  This is a comment likely to rile the feathers of some of my more feminist readers, and yet I could easily support such a statement with evidence showing that men gethigher SAT scores in math than women or how science and technology careers arepredominantly maledisciplines.  In spite of this evidence, I wouldn’t be the first to get into trouble over comments like this.  Larry Summers, once president of Harvard University, lost his job after giving a speech on this subject to the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2005.
But he didn’t lose his job for pointing out this disparity.  In fact, the whole point of the conference was to explore the reasons behind the gender gap in science, engineering and mathematics.  What got Summers into trouble was saying that inborn differences in aptitude probably played a greater role than societal expectations.  He felt that men were inherently better and not just situationallybetter–an idea which did not sit well with the female faculty at Harvard who believed their president felt justified in giving preference to male faculty for tenured positions and other opportunities for advancement.
Previously I wrote “Love or Science?: A Young Woman’s Dilemma” about research suggesting that when women were primed to think of their romantic goals they showed less interest in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math–presumably because they were seen as more masculine and therefore less appealing to potential romantic partners.  This is an example of how the situation, in terms of how society views these roles, could have a massive influence on women’s motivations to study and pursue these fields.
I learned about the story of Larry Summers from Sam Sommers (no relation, as he is keen to point out,) the author of a new book on how ”Situations...


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