Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gender at Princeton

Gender lives… at Princeton. Link here.

In a resounding repudiation of the gender neuterdom that the educational system has been forcing them to accept, Princeton University’s class of 2016-- rising Sophomores, if you like-- has very often chosen majors by gender.

With the exception of molecular biology and astrophysics males predominated in STEM majors. Females were the vast majority of most  Humanities majors, like art history, English and comparative literature. Females were also severely over-represented in the psychology department.

Apparently, these latter have become pink ghettoes.

Men with a more humanistic bent choose to major in philosophy… perhaps the department’s emphasis on analytic philosophy is more congenial to the male mind.

Among those departments with an equal distribution of men and women were history—the most popular major— classics, music and astrophysics.

When Steven Pinker linked to this article on Twitter he noted:

Huge gender differences in many majors, but which hypothesis is unmentionable?

Clearly, he was thinking about gender difference, not merely in reproductive function, but in brain function. You know, the difference that is not a social construct.

True enough, socio-psychological realities do matter. Once a field gains a certain number of female concentrators, most men avoid it.

Gender parity is a nice idea, but once a profession or a field of study reaches a tipping point that makes it appear to be feminized, men will no longer find it an appealing career path. Of course, the tipping point is well below 50%.

It is also worth noting that the field of psychology is becoming a pink ghetto. Does this tell us that in the future the work of psychotherapy will be divided into masculine and feminine sides, with the more manly group handing out prescriptions while the more womanly group is offering empathy?


Lastango said...

It's also worth noting that apparently-mixed majors can bifurcate after graduation.

For example, I once asked a senior-level construction engineer about women engineers working at large construction projects. He replied he had never had one apply. He said "they go for jobs in cities, in architects' offices".

David Foster said...

"With the exception of molecular biology and astrophysics males predominated in STEM majors."

Pretty significant exception, I would think....Any ideas as to why?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Not too many, though I suspect that molecular biology is the science that is closest associated with healing.

As for astrophysics, I'm stumped, though I wonder how big the group is-- for all I know there might be a half dozen majors... so it might not be very relevant statistically.

Sam L. said...

I am surprised with astrophysics, it being intensively higher-math oriented.

If the illustrations are correctly proportional, astrophysics is 14.1% of the number of psychology students. Still seems quite peculiar.

Dennis said...

I thought you might be interested in this commentary. It seems to explain radical feminism, environmentalism et al. Also one of the reasons I stay optimistic. A good scientific explanation.

Anonymous said...

Let's use the term SEX. Gender implies that men and women are mere social constructs.