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Ceci, Stephen J
The mathematics of sex : how biology and society conspire to limit talented women and girls / Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  HQ1397 .C43 2010    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Women in mathematics -- Social aspects
Women in science -- Social aspects
Physical Description xv, 270 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 241-259) and index
Contents A multidimensional problem -- Opening arguments: environment -- Opening arguments: biology -- Challenges to the environmental position -- Challenges to the biological position -- Background and trend data -- Comparisons across societies, cultures, and developmental stages -- Conclusions and synthesis -- What next? Research and policy recommendations
Review "Nearly half of all physicians and biologists are females, as are the majority of new psychologists, veterinarians, and dentists, suggesting that women have achieved equality with men in the workforce. But the ranks of professionals in math-intensive careers remain lopsidedly male; up to 93% of tenure-track academic positions in some of the most mathematically-oriented fields are held by men. Three main explanations have been advanced to explain the dearth of women in math-intensive careers, and in The Mathematics of Sex Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams describe and dissect the evidence for each. The first explanation involves innate ability--male brains are physiologically optimized to perform advanced mathematical and spatial operations; the second is that social and cultural biases inhibit females' training and success in mathematical fields; the third alleges that women are less interested in math-intensive careers than are men, preferring people-oriented pursuits. Drawing on research in endocrinology, economics, sociology, education, genetics, and psychology to arrive at their own unique, evidence-based conclusion, the authors argue that the problem is due to certain choices that women (but not men) are compelled to make in our society; that women tend not to favor math-intensive careers for certain reasons, and that sex differences in math and spatial ability cannot adequately explain the scarcity of women in these fields. The Mathematics of Sex represents the first time such a thorough synthesis of data has been carried out to solve the puzzle of women's under-representation in math-intensive careers. The result is a readable, engaging account suitable not only for academics in an array of disciplines, but for general readers as well--including educators, science policymakers, parents of daughters, and anyone intellectually curious about a key controversy of our time."--Book jacket
Alternate Author Williams, Wendy M. (Wendy Melissa), 1960-

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