Re: New member intro & Gender Based Differences in Attitudes Towards Science

Date: Thu Oct 05 2000 - 12:20:49 MDT

In a message dated 9/11/00 7:24:12 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

> Our hypotheses are: 1. that more women than men hold non-scientific
> beliefs; and 2. that in general males tend to be more interested in
> mathematics and science than women.
> I know there have been studies supporting the 2nd hypothesis; I'm not
> sure about the first. Unanswered questions include: 1. If either of the
> above hypotheses is true, what might be the explanation? 2. Would it be
> desirable to change the situation--eg. to target young girls for extra
> training in scientific areas?
> An observation I made was that from birth boy and girl babies are
> generally treated differently, one difference being that girl babies are
> more closely protected. I wondered if this early protection might
> prevent girls from developing an understanding of the way things work
> (eg. if a little girl isn't allowed to play on the see-saw she'd lack an
> early grasp of the concept that Work= Force x Distance) .

[[ WARNING: The following contains gross generalities and completely
groundless theorizing ]]

Here's a pet theory of mine: Many women's "ballistic sense" is much less well
developed than men's because of less early simple training in catching and
throwing at very young ages. Basic catching/throwing play and training may
provide a stronger base for general space and material-dynamics concepts,
which in turn support both a lot of athletic activity AND intuitive grasp of
spatial and spatio-temporal relationships that provide a framework for higher

It would be nice to do a broad-based study of the kind of early childhood
play/training boys and girls receive and later outcomes, with a special focus
on the kids that receive non-standard play training.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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