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2013/2/13 Elena ``of Valhalla'' <[log in to unmask]>:
> On 2013-02-12 at 23:34:06 -0200, Leonardo Castro wrote:
>> 2013/2/12 Sam Stutter <[log in to unmask]>:
>> > Compared to the literature component of my degree (2 guys in a lecture of 50 people), linguistics was quite gender balanced (15 guys in a lecture of 50).
>>
>> The closer a field of study is to an "exact science", the fewer
>> females will be there. This is what should be explained.
>
> except for mathematics [1]_ , where in my experience the gender balance
> is quite natural (~50%),

Yes, and it's almost the same proportion in Chemistry as well, in my
experience, while Physics, Engineering, Philosophy and Computer
Science show a percentage of males over 90%.

> but you can see a strong difference
> in the further career choices: most females will either remain
> in an university environment or will become teachers, males
> are the ones who go out doing math in the "real world".

I have reall noted that female Physicists are more inclined to
educational and pedagogic issues, while men prefer research that
doesn't involve understanding people.

>
> .. [1] and I believe physics, but I have less experience there.

It doesn't match my experience.

>
> To me it looks more like a matter of socially acceptable career choice
> than one related to the exactness of science.

It's the only good explanation I see, apart from claims of biological
tendencies (which made Lawrence Summers resign as Harvard's
president). I don't buy the explanation that there is a higher
hostility against females in the scientific environment, unless we
consider being in the spotlight of a lot of nerds as "hostility".
Besides, I can't see why similar phenomenon didn't happen in Medicine,
Law and Architecture, where females are currently the majority of the
students in the universities I know.

I think that the "prejudice" against females in Engineering and
Physics might happen outside the univeristy, not inside it. Actually,
when I was a student of a "Data Strucuture" class, once an Engineering
female student told us that her father was against her choice because
he didn't want her "among a lot of men".

>
> --
> Elena ``of Valhalla''