151
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: not found
      • Article: not found

      Understanding current causes of women's underrepresentation in science

      ,
      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisherPMC
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Explanations for women's underrepresentation in math-intensive fields of science often focus on sex discrimination in grant and manuscript reviewing, interviewing, and hiring. Claims that women scientists suffer discrimination in these arenas rest on a set of studies undergirding policies and programs aimed at remediation. More recent and robust empiricism, however, fails to support assertions of discrimination in these domains. To better understand women's underrepresentation in math-intensive fields and its causes, we reprise claims of discrimination and their evidentiary bases. Based on a review of the past 20 y of data, we suggest that some of these claims are no longer valid and, if uncritically accepted as current causes of women's lack of progress, can delay or prevent understanding of contemporary determinants of women's underrepresentation. We conclude that differential gendered outcomes in the real world result from differences in resources attributable to choices, whether free or constrained, and that such choices could be influenced and better informed through education if resources were so directed. Thus, the ongoing focus on sex discrimination in reviewing, interviewing, and hiring represents costly, misplaced effort: Society is engaged in the present in solving problems of the past, rather than in addressing meaningful limitations deterring women's participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers today. Addressing today's causes of underrepresentation requires focusing on education and policy changes that will make institutions responsive to differing biological realities of the sexes. Finally, we suggest potential avenues of intervention to increase gender fairness that accord with current, as opposed to historical, findings.

          Related collections

          Author and article information

          Journal
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
          0027-8424
          1091-6490
          February 22 2011
          February 22 2011
          February 07 2011
          February 22 2011
          : 108
          : 8
          : 3157-3162
          Article
          10.1073/pnas.1014871108
          3044353
          21300892
          ee767803-89df-43a2-8119-01aa7167bc73
          © 2011
          History

          Comments

          Comment on this article