Archive for Monday, November 27, 2006

Women leaving the sciences

KU duo study the causes

November 27, 2006


There are 23 men on Kansas University's Jayhawk Motorsports team and one woman, Gretchen Christenson.

"The guy jokes get old," said Christenson, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering. "You get tired of hearing all of their male crap. : But other than that, they don't pick on me."

Two Kansas University researchers are studying young women like Christenson who have chosen careers in the often male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

It's work that's all the more pressing as the United States faces increased global competition in the sciences, the researchers said.

"If we are to build our science work force in this country, it's going to have to be women and minorities who fill those positions," said Barbara Kerr, distinguished professor of counseling psychology.

Kerr and Karen Multon, professor and chairwoman of the School of Education's department of psychology and research in education, have received a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for their upcoming work studying the supports and barriers for gifted women going into careers involving science, technology, engineering or math.

They will explore how socioeconomic status or geographic location plays a role in a woman's career pursuits. And they'll look at how a woman's relationship with a significant other can affect her career choice.

"We know that women scientists often compromise their dreams and goals in order not to inconvenience their loved ones," Kerr said.

And it can happen in college. Kerr said that research has found that young women often lower their aspirations and opt for less-demanding majors to keep a relationship with a boyfriend.

"We think that's a danger zone," she said.

Of the more than 600 bachelor's degrees in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines awarded by KU in fiscal 2006, about 380 went to men and about 250 to women.

Those disciplines draw students like Christenson, a Eudora High School graduate who originally planned to major in journalism but decided it wasn't her calling.

"It didn't feel it was difficult enough," she said of journalism. "I like to be challenged."

Women who have stuck to careers in those fields say they've done so despite challenges.

Chemistry professor Kristin Bowman-James, an active member of the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists, said she's heard women voice complaints about discrimination.

"Many times, it's very subtle things that you wouldn't anticipate," she said.

Stacey Lamer, a project engineer with Bartlett & West Engineers Inc. in Lawrence and director of the Topeka chapter of the Kansas Society of Engineers, said in a former job, one male co-worker would not make eye contact with her - an action she attributed to being the rare woman in the workplace.

"He literally never looked me in the eye and he looked at everyone else in the eye," she said. "I didn't let it bother me too much."

But while the salary gap for men and women may be closing and workplaces now make more concessions for maternity leave, there are some areas where progress needs to continue, the researchers said.

"What is not changing as fast as we would like to see are women's attitudes," Kerr said. "Many women still feel unconsciously that men's work is more important than their own. Many women still feel : that they're more resourceful than men are and therefore they can more cheerfully and congenially compromise their goals than men can."

Kerr and Multon will work with researchers at Arizona State University and Tennessee State University. They will work with young women, gathering information about their backgrounds and experiences through a series of workshops.


Katara 9 years ago

""It didn't feel it was difficult enough," she said of journalism. "I like to be challenged."


fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

It would be impossible for men to have an a knack for math and science that women wouldn't have. It's with out a doubt men secretly meet in the mens room always plotting how to keep women down. It's all mens fault. Men are to blame for every little thing in the world. Women are all victims of mens fears. It's well known that behind evey great man is a great woman. So much so that women are really the ones that have invented everything (including the wheel). Men just take credit for it while women are enslaved as chattle. So, if a woman doesn't want to take science or math it is always mens fault for this and this must be rectified in so much that we must change math so that more women can excell at it. Let's make math like poetry. If the formula does not have a emotional answer then it must not be correct. Oh, and while you man haters are out there destroying any man who might disagree with you please remember to look up the definition of chauvinism. Then go look in the mirror and see who looks like the ones who are banning together in a sexist plot to briddle the opposite sex. Just keep up the pressure and before you're done you will have damaged a great many women who are forced into a field that ultimately they have difficultiy with. Be sure in your study to look for anything that you can twist to prove you point of view and ignore anything that would show that the two genders just might have different apptitudes in general. Did you get that? IN GENERAL! Go ahead now and have an indignate fit. Burn your bra. Become a lesbo. Get mad and stay mad until there is a woman President who is allowed to breast feed at her press conference. Sound bitter? Yea, it's bitterness. But it's been nearly forty years of this crap and I'm sick to death of you trying to get everything your own way. Without the slightest concern for the truth. What is truth? Make up your own difinition. One that says it's all mens fault!

3e8 9 years ago

Huh. It seems to me that maybe, I mean perhaps, men and women are different in at least one subtle yet perceptible way; I can almost put my finger on it. Please give me a six figure grant to secure wine, flowers, and a graduate student or two so I can probe the matter further and report on the results. For science!

Katara 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

werekoala 9 years ago

This is one of those nitroglycerine sort of topics that get all sorts of folks riled up about the simplest of observations.

Such as - the hell of it is, when a couple has children, the female partner is far more likely to spend more time away from work than the male partner, and is more likely to deemphasize other parts of her life in order to make more room for her children and other loved ones.

And that fact infuriates those people who think that every single human activity should be split upon racial, sexual, and social lines in exact proportion to the general population. But the fact is, different people want different things.

I can identify with the frustration some of the people trying to encourage females to get involved with science and math must face - heck, I've had two friends I thought were very smart and had a ton of potential give it all up to get married to some guy - neither of which lasted, but saddled her with financial, emotional baggage, not to mention kids.

But what do you do? How do you change attitudes? Radical reprogramming? Forced indoctrination? How do you change attitudes inculcated for generations?

More over, should you? Is there any real reason that we should value such "male" traits as hypercompetition, single-mindedness, and willingness to go without strong emotional ties in order to achieve a goal, over such "female" traits as a desire for open communication and long-term loving relationships?

I think in the past 40-50 years we've come a long way. No one really says that certain jobs (other than a few that require excessive physical strength) aren't sutable for a woman, and no one raises much of an eyebrow over a woman entering most professions - it just, unfortunately doens't happen much.

But I have a feeling it will, as generations go by, become more and more common, as our angry, sexist, and tempermental past fades into distant memory. And maybe, for now, the fact that a woman is considered to have just as much right to be in that class, and is just as capable as any of her male peers, should be enough to give us hope.

wheatridge 9 years ago

Isn't this just who we are, displaced primates trying to recreate our ancient eco-system. Where the grey gorilla gets to make the pride's rules? When will punctuated equalibrium kick in, exactly?

compmd 9 years ago

Word to that, Sigmund. I'm quite fond of aerospace girls. For some guys (myself included), there's nothing like an engineer girlfriend. Something about talking to a girl and using the terms "mechanical vibrations", "restoring force", and "C_L_max" in a conversation and NOT trying to be dirty...

Shelby 9 years ago

Let them study science, just keep them out of the voting booths.

ASBESTOS 9 years ago

From the "Mythbusters" TV show "Confederate Rocket" with the Aerospace Engineer:

Adam: "Do you meet a lot of chicks being an Aerospace Engineer?"

AE Engineer: "Unfortunately there are not a lot of females in aerospace engineering, and those that are there are hunted to extinction."

Sigmund 9 years ago

ASBESTOS, one of my favorite episodes and one of the funniest lines, ever!

james bush 9 years ago

$500,000 study! Shameful waste of money by the NSF! Your tax dollars at work!

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

Nasty little Jane. The spelling police is out and calling people fools. You don't like it that you can't do math to well, eh? But, you can spell and call names can't you? I say I was bitter, now you show how bitter you are. Bitter little women crying for their own way. Never stop until you've get your digs in. I got my spell checker out so I can make sure I don't mispell "Vicious". Why don't you try saying something that proves women have equal aptitudes in math and science. No, you can't. You can only attack the individual who would dare disagree with the feminist agenda. Just so you know, the Fool on the hill handle comes from the Beatles song. Listen to it and figure it out if you can. Oh, by the way, to all the other readers. Am I right about how the destruction of the man begins at the first sign of disagreement. Remember how the Pope Quoted an earlier Pope about the violence of the Muslin religion and many of them responed with violence killing a Nun saying he was wrong. Keep on proving me right. Keep up the insults. Given enough rope you will hang yourself. Other fair minded women are reading your attidutes and see how you are. That's good.

Katara 9 years ago


questioning my sexuality (check)

assuming I'm resentful of men (check)

implying that I would take advantage of men financially (check)

implying that I manipulate men with sex (check)

The only thing missing from your post is calling me a "feminazi". ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For every "man-hater" (misandryonist? Is that a word?) making an @ass of herself out there, there is a misogynist making an equal @ss of himself.

My parents taught me that the person doing the inviting is the one who should be responsible for the bill.

I've worked in both male-dominated fields & female dominated fields. They both have their positives and negatives.

I'm raising a daughter who is the top in math & science in her entire grade so I'm a bit leery of assigning a particular sex the "rights" of being naturally better at a skill.

Each individual human has his/her strengths & weaknesses. These are not based on sex.

The only thing that all women can't do is get another person pregnant. The only thing all men can't do is give birth.

Those are the only things I can think of that are completely based on biological sex in the human population. There aren't any exceptions to that so far.

Katara 9 years ago

FOTH writes: "The spelling police is out and calling people fools."

This coming from a person who has the same word in his/her posting name???

Are you a self-hating fool_on_the_hill?

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

Did you hear about the Bealtes song Katara? Is about people calling a wise person a fool because they disagree with him. They black balled him and called him the fool on the hill. Sound familiar? Do you get it? Come on your smarter than that. And you're reading some things into what I was saying that was not intented. I was trying to make peace while making a point. I'm glad you have a smart daughter. And I wish her well. And I wouldn't push her into math and science because a bunch of Feminist aren't happy with the balance in that feild. Let her decide what she wants. All the evidence indicates that a few men have a very high aptitude for math and science. they go into that field because they are good at it. Why do you thing that such few women go into that field. The universities are clamoring for women to go into that field and they just don't want to. After all, what would it do to there GPA if the got a "C" in advanced math. Why should they when they are so good at Literature, art and so much more. Now they are going to throw a half a million dollars to come to the only conclusion that will work for them. That society or maybe just men are intimidating them out of the field. Do you think for one minute they would ever come out and say that it seems that men in general have a better aptitute for math than women. Tha will never be admitted to by them. Never! Now, please understand that your first comment was hardly a joke to me. I'm sure there were plenty of women who thought it was funny. And you surely thought you were being clever, but that was a long time ago. I'm now more interested in reasonalble debate. Just remember the article that started all this was about genders in the sciences. That's what this is all about. So when you start talking about each and every one of us having individual strenths, I go along with that. So, as much as you might not want to admit it, you've actually come around to my way of thinking. Thank you I win. I can't wait till you come back with one after that statement. PS I'm not going to edit this for spelling and gramar. It takes too much time and you know what I mean.

bearded_gnome 9 years ago

was struck in this research, they didn't consider a very serious influence tugging women into the home and outa the workplace/university. these obviously smart women might well have children. then, they're confronted with the choice: to give over much of the child rearing to hirelings; or, raise the beloved child the best way. motherhood is still a career option for women. more so than for men in our culture. these intelligent women pouring very intense personal investment into children often choose to continue that investment. no, this is not the approved path according to the feminists. this study probably suffers from that perspective, bias against motherhood.

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

I understand your line of thinking bearded_gnome, but it really could only apply in very few cases. A woman who is brilliant at math and science is not going to give up her interests for motherhood for very long. She will be drawn to her talants knowing how important it is for us all to have the best minds in those fields. Moving us all forward. No, more likely they are much stronger in the feilds of lit, art and humanities. I'm talking about very advanced minds. Not just good at it. Most women work anyhow. Why couldn't they continue their work in math and science if they work outside the home for the most part anyhow. With all due repect I think your reasoning is more of an excuse than an answer. But, I could be wrong. Let's see if we can find any mathemation genious "stay at home mothers" out there. Seen any lately?

deepthroat 9 years ago

After perusing the comments, I'm constantly amazed at the ignorance and lack of open-mindedness that abounds among some of the posters here.

I think that the purpose of this grant is not a waste of taxpayer's money. I think it's a legitimate and empirical attempt to really understand the choices that women make that affect their careers, their lives, and the world in general. It's certainly better than listening to a couple of armchair quarterbacks philosophize about why women end up in the situations that they do with only their own personal observations and naive opinionsfor any shred of evidence.

P.S. I know these two researchers. They are the epitome of smart successful women with loving families, and I can assure you there is no bias against motherhood...sounds like typical male paranoia and fear of the notion of feminism...oh and fellas, I'm a happily married man with a loving wife who is the primary breadwinner.

I only pray to God that if my wife and I have a daughter, that she never ends up in a relationship with a guy whose father (or mother) believes some of the things tools on this board have spouted.

compmd 9 years ago

Asbestos, that is a fantastic line. I'll have to remember that one. :)

blue73harley, I hear that. I have a friend who will be graduating with an EE degree in a year. She's going to be quite a catch for some lucky guy. I mean, she gave me high-amperage relays for christmas last year. How can you go wrong with a girl that thinks like that?

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

FOTH - you apparently think a lot of your self to name yourself after the Beatles song. I really hope you only meant "What if men really do have more of an apptitue for math and science." as a hypothetical. This study is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. And the studies have shown that society/teachers/schools tend to push women away from math and sciences and more towards more "feminine" subjects in school. And it's precisely those attitudes that push me to take male-dominated jobs. I love working in a place that is 90% men, not only b/c I love men and flirting with them, but b/c it gives me major satisfaction doing a job that not even most men can do. Believe me, I am the complete opposite of a man-hater.

bearded gnome - there is another option besides either staying home to raise the children or hiring a stranger to do it. The father stays home and raises the kids.

bearded_gnome 9 years ago

yes, the father can, and this is a good option. however in our current culture, motherhood leave is still more socially acceptable than fatherhood leave.

Katara 9 years ago

FOTH, perhaps you forget that in this town "on the Hill" is not a reference to a Beatles song?

No need to pressure any of my children into anything. I have more than just a smart daughter. I have smart children.

Math and science are her passions and are things that she does very very well in because she chooses to do so.

You give an either/or option for women interested in math and science. You obviously are of the belief that they are not "womanly" enough to be interested in motherhood because they are interested in traditionally male dominated fields. That is an insult to both those women and to mothers.

My first comment (the gettin' some) is made by BOTH men and women so I fail to see your point other than you missed the tongue-in-cheek response to your rant about females.

You win about what? The main points in your posts are about how women don't have the aptitude in math & science and that is the real reason there aren't so many in those fields.

You make many blanket statements about how women aren't able to do this or that. You question the sexuality of a women who disagrees with you. You imply that women are out to get men financially and use sex to manipulate men.

AND then you come back that you can go with individuals having strengths & weaknesses?

You are right. I can't think of anything to "come back" with because that would assume you were making some actual sense instead of rambling how the feminists are ruining everything.

As a side note, I'll bet the advent of the internet has changed how many mathematician SAHMs are out there. Instead of making a choice between the office and being at home with the children, now they have the office in the home.

BTW, not a Beatle fan. Before any time that I would remember listening to them. However, it does seem to date you (An assumption, I know. However it does give insight as to why you think the way you do).

And I don't care if your spelling is correct or not. If I can make it out, I probably won't give you a hard time about it. And I will bear in mind that you are simply a man and therefore simply do not have the aptitude for language that we women have .

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

beard_gnome - ah, yes, but those are the exact same social standards that lead women away from male-dominated subjects like math and science and jobs in those fields. And this study is looking to discover the how and the why of these standards and how to change them so that more women will go into those fields. ROCK ON, BRAINIACETTES!

Katara 9 years ago

B_G, your remarks about motherhood as a career intrigue me.

Why is fatherhood not considered a career choice? Is the father's contribution to the raising of the children not important? You post that a mother has 2 choices - 1) have the children cared by "hirelings" (by far a huge insult to all the daycare providers out there) or 2) raise the children themselves.

Where does the father fit in here? Is he just a financial support for the mother? Wouldn't that trivialize his role in the family?

I think there are other choices that many overlook - the SAHD and alternating work shifts so that one parent is with the children at all times.

There is no bias against motherhood. I have yet to see it and I'm a mother.

There is however a bias against families. Having one income is not an option to most (not matter how frugally you live and you are talking to a woman who knows how to pinch a penny).

A high school education no longer guarantees you a stable job as it used to. In fact, there really is no such thing as a stable job anymore, not at least the way my folks' generation had.

It really is a pity that some want to make it into a divisive issue and a "war" between the sexes rather than accept the fact that society has changed and men & women have both changed along with it.

Personally, I don't care whether you have a hoo-hoo dilly or a cha cha (to quote SP), if you are good at what you do then you should be free to do it without a hassle because of your sex.

Katara 9 years ago

Jersey_Girl - ya beat me to the punch about SAHDs!

You must be an even more man-hating, bitter, bra-burning, lesbo, anti-motherhood, man-manipulating- by- sex- having, femi-nazi biatch than me! .

Want to go out & make some men grovel before our female greatness? We could use sex as a weapon and make them pay for our lobster, cavier & cristal! .

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

Katara - I'll have my male secretary call your male secretary and have them set it up.

bearded_gnome 9 years ago

katara, my points were these: socially in our culture SAHD'ism isn't so well accepted. so, thanks to family and social pressures and sometimes workplace pressures, SAHD is a harder choice. I do agree that people in nearly all professions should be judged equally regardless of gender, free to practice their talents. I also know that men and women (speaking in general terms) do differ in many ways. I do personally think that women are better nurturers than men generally.

my comment ref "hirelings" was not intended as a putdown to childcare workers. however, who's better raising your child: an $8 perhour worker or you yourself? my point was that here we're discussing women with lots of smarts, and they probably realize that raising their own children is a better plan to get their own values taught and to help their child blossom individually. she's put a lot into having this child to then turn child over to some one else to raise.

and, regarding the bias against motherhood, when I was in school heard many a feminist communicating the implication that leaving the work/university and having a family was somehow letting down the sisterhood. that motherhood was not so highly valued as employment/university.

bearded_gnome 9 years ago

BTW, I was speaking 'generally.' I've known women who couldn't nurture a cactus, and others have told me I am above average in nurturing though I am male.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

Irish_Prince - I really don't think it's going to take "billions and billions of dollars" to get women back into the sciences. We're not NASA, we just need more women working there.

Kodiac 9 years ago


I would sure like to get to know you better....are you single?


fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Katara 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

Hey deep Throat, Do you really think that the average woman is looking for a stay at home dad to marry? If you do I would have to say that you are living in a cocoon. I'm glad your wife is that open minded and probably pretty smart. But, she is the exception, not the rule.

Katara, I see you have a bone to pick with everything anybody says that isn't just how you see things. You go on and on with the wrong assumtions. It is I who now feels bad for you. Even more so for you daughter who will be trained with your points of veiw. Go ahead and start in on me again. It's okay because I give up trying to reason with you. You are who you are and you may never change. I will not try and come back with any more information for you personally.

As for the rest of you, maybe you can help me with something. Years ago I read that the entrance exams for college students had been percieved that the questions favored men and were not fair to women. It is my understanding that they were changed to include more essays, thus raiseing womens scores. Is this true? And if it is, isn't that all about gender aptitudes? Surely, there is more information about this somewhere, but I just don't have the time to research it.

As for the grant to see why women don't choose math and science. Why don't you just hand pick a few smart women and put them through the courses without any men around to make them uncomfortable. Then see how they do. Nah! They might not get to the conclusion they have already made. If they didn't do as well as the men their world would collapse. Better to just change the math or blame society.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

Kodiak - is that a serious question?

FOTH - I don't recall ever hearing anything along those lines and I certainly hope it's not true, because I for one would not have done any better. I hate writing essays and papers. The grade is always based on the reader's taste and style. Give me math any day of the week. There is one and only answer. Either you get it right or you don't.

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

Okay j_girl, I'll look into it for my own curiosity, but it was a long time ago and that would be a lot of digging into the past. This blog with probably go away by the time I find it. Thanks for the imput.

Why do you think we need more women in the math and sciene field? Do we need more women in the car repair business? Do you really think that important science is being lost due to the lack of female imput? What would we lose in other feilds if these women opted for math, ect.? I don't know, but it seems that every gifted person has a calling of their own. I'm very worried about trying to force them into this. Or shall I say persuade. The motivation of the ones forcing the issue worries me. Is for science or is for the feminist movement to prove they are capable of anything men can do? At least you're civil with your responce. Thank you for that.

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago


You seem very politically correct in most ways, but why are you assuming your daughter will marry a guy? You know things are changing rapidly. Think about it.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

FOTH - there really is no reason to be UNcivil, but thank you. The only way that important science is being lost due to lack of female imput is that each and every person has something to contribute. The list of women who have contributed to the world through math and science and have won Nobel Prizes for their work is lengthy. Any number of discoveries may have been lost or severely delayed if any one of these women had opted to go a more "feminine" route. There's no telling how many discoveries have yet to be made because the woman who might have made that discovery was influenced somewhere along the line away from math or science. Can you imagine what discoveries have been lost or delayed because Martha Stewart switched from a Chemistry major to Art and European History? No matter what you may think about Martha, you have to admit that she is both driven and detail-oriented. Can you imagine what might have been if she had stuck with her Chemistry major? Perhaps we would have a usable alternate fuel source or a cure for cancer. I'm not a big Martha fan, but I greatly admire her drive, determination and her accomplishments.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

And yes, definitely, every gifted person has a calling. I think this study is more about whether women are following their calling or being sidetracked by something else and what can be done to encourage women to follow their calling.

Katara 9 years ago

FOTH - You really do make many many assumptions.

First is that women are being "forced" into math and science. The purpose of this study is to find out why they are choosing not to go into these fields. Key word there - choose.

Just as my daughter chose math and science as her favorite subjects. One generally does not excel at something they despise.

Second assumption is that women are "naturally" lacking aptitude in math and science. Just because there are fewer women in those fields does not mean that the reason is because they cannot succeed there or that they are lacking the brain power to do so.

Correlation does not mean causation.

Third, that having women in math and science is going to "change" them. How can one "change" numbers or scientific theories to make them favorable to one sex over the other?

Do you think that more women in these fields is going to change how numbers work or basic laws of physics? I mean, gravity will still work the way it does regardless whether female or male studies it.

Fourth, that other fields would lose something because more women choose to work in math & science fields.

You are assuming that no one would replace them such as new generations of women or, oh I don't know, men?

Perhaps encouraging men to study and choose to work in fields that are predominantly female would also make those fields grow?

I have no idea why the idea of women doing things that have been traditionally thought of as male bothers you so.

Let's recap your arguments:

  1. Women lack the aptitude to be able to compete in math & science & that is why so few of them are in the fields.

  2. If you believe that women should have equal opportunities to work in whatever fields they choose, you are a "man-hater" feminist.

  3. People who disagree with your assessment on how the world works are "lesbos" or bitter. Remember in your 1st response to my post of yours, you questioned if I liked men. You also question the sexuality of Deep_throat's potential daughter because he happens to disagree with you.

You started off this thread by insulting women and calling names. I wouldn't be surprised if you ended it by doing the same.

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

Yes j_girl, nice thoughtful comment. Did Martha go a different direction on her own or was she pushed away? That is the question. Maybe someone could ask her if she thinks she could have cured cancer. Well, lets distinquish between inner calling and being called upon. Is there a difference? I think so. But, I say more power to those women who, for what ever reason, want to go into science. So do we need to find out a the rate of $500 grand. Why don't we just ask them. Do you think they are going to say there's too many men in that field and I feel uncomfortable? Might it have something to do with the GPA? This is going to be may last post on this as I am tired of it all for now. I'll wait to her what the study tells us. I think if they can find a social reason to blame this mess on we will hear about it. If it proves nothing we won't hear a thing about their findings.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

FOTH - actually, people telling women that men do have more apptitude for math and science is one of the main reasons why there are so few women in these fields. If, while growing up, your parents remarked on occasion that you are less academically inclined than your sister, how would you respond? Would you set out to prove them wrong by working harder at your school work or would you stop trying so hard and focus on something else, like sports or music?

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

Hey Katara, how things going in the "Womens Studies Department"? Get a grip, calm down. Your acting just as I said you would in the first posting. Throwing a fit. Let's say we agree to disagree and never talk again, please!

Katara 9 years ago

Posted by bearded_gnome (anonymous) on November 28, 2006 at 11:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

yes, the father can, and this is a good option. however in our current culture, motherhood leave is still more socially acceptable than fatherhood leave. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somehow I missed this comment, B-G.

The argument that because it is currently socially acceptable to do something a certain way is a not a really good argument.

It was socially acceptable to discriminate against blacks. It was socially acceptable for a man to beat his wife and children for any reason because they were his property.

Society has changed just as it did with those situations. Why can't it here?

A father being able to nurture and care for his children without any form of discrimination surely is a good thing. I think the assumption that women are better nurturers is simply because men are not given the chance to do so in our society.

I understand your argument that some feel that motherhood isn't valued as much as it should be. Many women probably do get that although I didn't. However, I don't think it has much to do with feminism.

It is society overall that devalues the contribution of parenthood.

Both SAHMs and SAHDs are assumed to be contributing nothing of value to society because they aren't see as doing so financially - as if a paycheck is the sole measure of your contribution.

As for hirelings, please do not use that as a reference to all daycare providers. I certainly can see it being applicable to institutional daycare (Kindercare and the like) where it seems that mainly the goal is to have an adult warm body in place to watch over the children.

There are a lot of in-home daycare providers who care for their charges as if those children are family members.

Katara 9 years ago

I hate writing essays and papers. The grade is always based on the reader's taste and style. Give me math any day of the week. There is one and only answer. Either you get it right or you don't. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That is almost word for word the explanation my daughter gives to people who ask her why her favorite subjects are math & science, Jersey_Girl!

Katara 9 years ago

Jersey_Girl, I think your answer is the reason everyone who goes into math & science ends up there.

Katara 9 years ago

FOTH, an example of throwing a fit would be your very first post in this thread. I haven't called you names. I haven't questioned your sexuality. I haven't implied that you are hysterical.

Your response to my posts have been to do exactly the above.

You don't have to talk to me but I can respond to any and all of your posts if I wish. It's a pity that you want to project your shortcomings on all who post here that disagree with you.

Women's Studies Department. Hmmmm... Clever or original? I think not to either. I did get my degree in Anthropology. Think you can come up with an attempt to belittle me based on that?

A typical response to women in discussing issues is for them to calm down, implying that they are being too hysterical to have a legitimate point. P

My posts that have been removed have directly referred to my smart-alec tongue-in-check comment about something people get. Why were yours removed?

fool_on_the_hill 9 years ago

Katara, if you love math with its simple right or wrong answers, why did you go into Anthropology? You are just full of cotradictions. Maybe it was because you weren't really that good at math? Why did they remove our comments? Probably because it sounds like two children arguing. Let me point out that they did not remove my first posting, but they removed your first posting, so what does that tell you? You started with the person insults and they just keep on coming. Goodbye

Katara 9 years ago


I didn't say I love math. I said my daughter did. Jersey_Girl made the comment as to why she loved math and I copied that part of her post and said my daughter makes the same remarks (note the ~~ between the comments). I did well in math. I did even better in science.

However, you do not do well in reading comprehension. It is evident in your responses. I will state that I do not believe that it has anything to do with you being male or female. It is simply a skill that you apparently do not excel in.

And no, they did not remove my first posting which is right about your first. Try checking again. That goes with the insults as well.

In fact, if you really did read the content of my posts, you will notice that not once did I make a generalization of someone's ability based on the sex (with the exception of the sarcasm which I clearly labeled as such for your benefit).

You would also notice that I never claimed that men lacked an aptitude to do anything or that men are incapable of doing things that are considered traditionally female.

Nor did I claim that men are out to "get" women. Or have an "agenda" (as you claim the feminists have).

You, on the other hand, have made those claims about women in general and me specifically.

I don't know why you are so bent on belittling women who don't see the world as you do. Or why you would want to discourage anyone on pursuing a career in their field of choice.

Personally I would think that carrying around that much bitterness or whatever you want to call it directed at one group of people (whether it be sex, race, nation of origin, etc) would be tiring and would impede enjoyment of life. And I say that in general to anyone who does so.

Katara 9 years ago

make that "above your first post" not "about your first post".

bearded_gnome 9 years ago

katara, in response to your last comment directed to me.
you're speaking of an 'ideal' while I am alluding to the current state. the study can only examine the current state, well at least as reliably as social science measures allow. sahm/sahd choices touch on a whole complex of personal, familial, and social values. this discussion and perhaps the study, only touchs on a small sampling of the pressures and values.

in research done with toddlers, given gender specific (by social expectation) toys, gender specific activity still happened. one of my profs did some of this research. the (I've forgotten) either race cars or fire trucks given to the girls were grouped into little families and formed into relationships. the dollies given to the boys got a very large amount of zooming. nurturing starts very early for girls, and might even have something to do with estrogen.

men and women do differ at the celular level. this doesn't mean good or bad, smart or dumb but just means differently capable because of different perceptions different coping styles and different potential behaviors.

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