Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Futile Search for Gender Parity

There ought to be a law against mental torture. There ought especially to be a law against mental self-torture.

OK, maybe not a law-law, but at least some awareness that it is not a good idea to beat your mind against the wall of reality.

Why, pray tell, do so many serious academics and intellectuals torment themselves over the question of why there isn’t more gender parity in science and math?

Taxpayer dollars are being thrown at this problem. The Department of Commerce funded one study. The National Science Foundation funded another one. Links here and here.

One study discovered that when women think about romance they disengage from math and science. Amazingly, when men think about romance they can still give their full attention to math and science.

Another study suggested that it’s really all about how we are socialized. Girls play with Barbies; boys play sports. There are more numbers and statistics in sports.

If there’s a more biological explanation for the rigidity of gender difference, the researchers seem not to care about it.

Only the most zealous ideologue would find this puzzling. Only a fanatic would conclude that we must make over reality in order to increase the number of women and/or decrease the number of men in scientific fields.

That will mean more programs, more incentives, more nudges, and more social engineering. It might mean changing the standards for scientific achievement. It might mean conditioning girls to think less about romance.

If reality offends your ideology, you can torture yourself trying to make children fit the world as you wish it to be. God knows what it's going to do to the children.

On the same day that the studies came out, Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute posted a graph comparing  the scores that male and female high school students attained on the SAT mathematics aptitude test.

The graph shows a decided disparity in math aptitude, with male students doing much better than female students. Worse yet, the graph tracks the scores over nearly four decades.

Over that period of time feminists have done everything in their power to encourage girls to develop their mathematical aptitude. Yet, the disparity has not changed a whit.

Could it be that mathematical aptitude is not a social construct? Could it be that it’s hard wired into the organism?

Why is no one saying that women are simply better at romance than they are at math and that human beings naturally spend more time and energy on matters they are good at.

Perhaps evolution has made it advantageous for women to spend more time thinking about romance and less time thinking about numbers.

If girls are given free choice, they prefer to spend more time contemplating matters of the heart. They are certainly better at romance than boys are. There is no market for romance novels for boys.

Anyone who needed a research study to discover that girls devote more brain power to romance than boys do deserves our pity more than our dollars.

Don’t expect feminist academics and bureaucrats to recognize these facts. It would put them out of business.

If you work in the bureaucratic-academic complex, self-torture can be very lucrative indeed.

But, anyone who devotes her career to an exercise in futility will miss out on the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.

Perhaps we should fund a study of the emotional state of feminists who devote their professional lives to the futile enterprise of engineering gender parity in science, technology, engineering, and math.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Wow! More affirmative action for girls. We have a glaring example of how well that worked for our feckless leader.
Did you ever wonder why we have so many unhappy women in this country? They have an education system that is essential of girls, by girls and for girls. It has almost come to the point where universities have become finishing schools for women.
All one hears is "I want this..., I want that...., et al, but there seems to be no satisfaction. There is this desire that men are supposed to be their "cruise directors" in life and it doesn't matter if they do well at it or not. The wants will never be satisfied.
I can remember telling my wife that, "If I can do no right then your opinion of me has no value."
We are what we are and we both have valuable strengths we bring to the table. Learning how to use those strengths is what makes us viable as a species.
One of the things I have learned from the discipline of music is that one cannot make things happen that stand the test of time. One has to set the conditions for it to happen. But first of all one has to have the talent, inclination and "fire in the belly" to ultimately succeed.
One of the reasons we see so many unhappy and maladjusted individuals is because someone convinced these people that all they had to do was want it and presto they would be well suited for whatever their hearts desire and they would "feel" good. The sad part is that most will never discover their true talents because they will never recognize the things it takes to be successful. Being envious of someone else's talents never leads to happiness.
The true joy in life is being the best you can be. I have never understood the desire to be like men when being a woman is such a great thing to be. Have you ever met a truly happy feminist? The answer to that question speaks loudly for such dysfunctional people.