Author Topic: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.  (Read 39196 times)

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Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #150 on: August 02, 2018, 11:13:13 pm »
There's a lot of perceived discrimination, when there is none in reality, so much so, that people are paranoid about saying the wrong thing.

My sister, her children and me were at the park yesterday. She watched a five year old mixed race (half white/black) boy on the monkey bars and commented on how he looked like a little monkey, was doing so well, swinging uphill. Fortunately his parent wasn't there and he didn't take offence, so nothing happened. A little later, when no one was there, we discussed how some may have viewed her comment as racist, but she would have said the same about any child, regardless of colour/race/gender etc. doing so well on the monkey bars.
As a parent of mixed race kids (Chinese + European) it greatly annoys me when people feel compelled to assign a standardised identity to such people. We most often hear Barak Obama referred to as black. Most people refer to my kids as white. I'm not sure if people feel the need to assign the father's race to the children, or if its more about how the children look. Either way, these tags don't actually represent what these people are, but they do help with some really biased narratives.
 

Offline Muxr

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #151 on: August 03, 2018, 12:22:58 am »
You need no ones permission or approval to be an electronic hobbyist (at least in the west). Why is the hobby male dominated?

Solve that and I think you will solve why there are less women in the EE field.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #152 on: August 03, 2018, 01:51:00 am »
When I was at school in the 60s my primary school had a fairly balanced mix of male and female teachers. My high school had far more male than female teachers. That was the general picture across the UK, and I believe across many other developed countries. Now women dominate in both primary schools and high schools.

Not quite my experience. There were no male teachers at the infant school I attended and one male teacher (close to retirement) at the junior school. At senior school there was a more balanced ratio, but women were probably in the majority.
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Online james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #153 on: August 03, 2018, 02:03:04 am »
The office staff used blue for Men and pink for Women, contrary to his instructions. Apparently, the staff had done this every year he'd been running the course, without fail. No profit motive, here.

About a century or more ago the cultural norm was to dress boys in pink (a "strong" colour) and girls in blue (a "weak") colour. Somehow, over time the convention flipped and we have what we have today. But it wasn't always that way.

For what it's worth (not much) I've never liked the color pink, and always rather liked the color blue. It would be interesting if there was a way to do an unbiased study of male and female color preference. Pink and purple just never appealed to me, not because I perceive them as feminine, I don't even think women look particularly good in those colors.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #154 on: August 03, 2018, 02:14:15 am »
The office staff used blue for Men and pink for Women, contrary to his instructions. Apparently, the staff had done this every year he'd been running the course, without fail. No profit motive, here.

About a century or more ago the cultural norm was to dress boys in pink (a "strong" colour) and girls in blue (a "weak") colour. Somehow, over time the convention flipped and we have what we have today. But it wasn't always that way.

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/10/pink-used-common-color-boys-blue-girls/

For what it's worth (not much) I've never liked the color pink, and always rather liked the color blue. It would be interesting if there was a way to do an unbiased study of male and female color preference. Pink and purple just never appealed to me, not because I perceive them as feminine, I don't even think women look particularly good in those colors.
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #155 on: August 03, 2018, 02:50:19 am »
There's a lot of perceived discrimination, when there is none in reality, so much so, that people are paranoid about saying the wrong thing.

My sister, her children and me were at the park yesterday. She watched a five year old mixed race (half white/black) boy on the monkey bars and commented on how he looked like a little monkey, was doing so well, swinging uphill. Fortunately his parent wasn't there and he didn't take offence, so nothing happened. A little later, when no one was there, we discussed how some may have viewed her comment as racist, but she would have said the same about any child, regardless of colour/race/gender etc. doing so well on the monkey bars.
As a parent of mixed race kids (Chinese + European) it greatly annoys me when people feel compelled to assign a standardised identity to such people. We most often hear Barak Obama referred to as black. Most people refer to my kids as white. I'm not sure if people feel the need to assign the father's race to the children, or if its more about how the children look. Either way, these tags don't actually represent what these people are, but they do help with some really biased narratives.
Personally speaking, I use descriptions such as black, white and mixed race (half white/black) purely to describe appearance, rather than identity. Skin colour really is no different to any other physical attribute such as eye or hard colour and shouldn't be confused with cultural identity. I do find it odd that Barack Obama is described has black, when he's mixed race. I didn't know it was common practise in the US, to assign the father's race to the child. If Obama's mother was black and father white, would he be described as white? Seems daft to me.

Perhaps your children physically appear to be more European, than Chinese, therefore are assumed to be white/European, rather than Chinese or mixed race? A women where I work is mixed race Chinese/European but she's more European in appearance, so I assumed her to be white/European, until I discovered otherwise.

In the case of the child, playing I the park. I only saw his father, who was clearly black and the boy had much lighter skin and fewer African facial features, so I assumed his mother to be white, but she could very well be Chinese or south Asian, for all I know.

In any case, people will make assumptions about one's race, based on appearance, in the absence of any other information.
 

Offline Eka

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #156 on: August 03, 2018, 03:14:40 am »
You basically need to raise up two groups of kids (plus a control group) were one group is being isolated from any form of bias. Unfortunately that's being considered heavily unethical for the most of us.
How would you determine that there is no bias? You would need to raise a child devoid of all normal emotional interactions with others. That's going to have a few undesirable side effects.
No shit!!!

There are infant monkey studies where some got maternal care, some got a terry cloth covered wire mesh mom, and others got a wire mesh mom to nurse from. The outcomes were very different.

How you are treated as you grow up really has a very strong effect on how you develop.
 

Offline pelule

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #157 on: August 03, 2018, 03:37:16 am »
I take it as it is - call me a stupid?
I prefer good knowledged engineering - I don't care if male, female or any other gender.
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Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #158 on: August 03, 2018, 03:43:10 am »
You basically need to raise up two groups of kids (plus a control group) were one group is being isolated from any form of bias. Unfortunately that's being considered heavily unethical for the most of us.
How would you determine that there is no bias? You would need to raise a child devoid of all normal emotional interactions with others. That's going to have a few undesirable side effects.
No shit!!!

There are infant monkey studies where some got maternal care, some got a terry cloth covered wire mesh mom, and others got a wire mesh mom to nurse from. The outcomes were very different.

How you are treated as you grow up really has a very strong effect on how you develop.
I don't think its clear from those studies just how much the mother figure affects how the baby develops. They seem to show much more strongly that the mother figure affects whether they develop at all, or get trapped in their infancy.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #159 on: August 03, 2018, 04:58:50 am »
In any case, people will make assumptions about one's race, based on appearance, in the absence of any other information.
Exactly. We are visual creatures and appearance assumptions are to be expected.
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Offline b_force

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #160 on: August 04, 2018, 01:03:36 am »
There is nothing better in a discussion than just try to disprove your own arguments.
Unfortunately, (no offence) but until now I haven't seen anything satisfying just yet.
Mostly it's just speculations mixed with subjective personal believes.

But today I ran into something else.
So here a little attempt to make some sense in the whole story.

Basically I was reading something about stamina vs ability to sweat vs muscle power.
One of the reasons why humans are so successful, is basically because in the long run they outperform any animal if it comes to endurance.
(except us lazy bums sitting in our labs writing forum messages, lol).
This has to to with our ability to sweat, vs specific muscle groups (and maybe also why we walk on two legs)

Also because how our muscles are formed, a fit human being can throw much harder and precise than the biggest gorilla as well as he is still able to solder 0603 SMD and handle screw drivers.
(precision work is an unique skill compared to other large animals).

It's also well known that physically men are stronger built than women.
So just by the laws of evolution, men were the workers and hunters since that gives best change of surviving.
Hunting means using tools, using tools means not only to understand to build them, but also how to repair/troubleshoot and improve them.
Not only does someone need all the hard skills, but also the brains to achieve these tasks.

Someone who is genetically better in that, has therefor a bigger change to survive in an "eaten or to be eaten" environment.
So in the long run men who were better in "engineering" tools, had a bigger change to survive.
Even until recently men had to do the physical work.
Using tools means you're also much more likely to be interested in them.

I think this is a satisfying explanation why guys in general will be better in engineering and technical stuff.
They basically were the only ones using them on a regular basis.
Also this bypasses the whole argument of social and cultural expectations and pressure.
So the whole bias argument is out of the window.


Of course nowadays these survival skills aren't needed anymore.
Besides, evolution -in an hard surviving kind of sense-, practically has stopped.
By that I mean, we don't need hard strong fit men anymore.
It's also just EXTREMLY recent that human beings aren't really dependent anymore on pure muscle power.
So most tasks that were done by men, are now done by machines.

What kind of conclusion does this bring us?
Well, nog much yet. It only explains that we might find a shifts in our social structure and needs.
To be very honest, (but that's just a speculation) I think we already see that.
Less and less people (guys) seem to be even able to assemble a simple ikea wardrobe anymore for example.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 01:06:14 am by b_force »
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #161 on: August 04, 2018, 01:37:55 am »
A recent tour of the Creality 3D printer factory revealed that it was pretty much all girls who assembled the precision stuff while the guys handled the big stuff. And based on my experience across several companies, it's often Vietnamese women who do really challenging reworks.
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Offline b_force

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #162 on: August 04, 2018, 02:07:14 am »
A recent tour of the Creality 3D printer factory revealed that it was pretty much all girls who assembled the precision stuff while the guys handled the big stuff. And based on my experience across several companies, it's often Vietnamese women who do really challenging reworks.
Assembly jobs are mostly done by women.
Not only because they are cheaper, but it's also a left over from many wars, since most men were in the army.
The R&D jobs were/are mostly done by men though.
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Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #163 on: August 04, 2018, 02:39:08 am »
A recent tour of the Creality 3D printer factory revealed that it was pretty much all girls who assembled the precision stuff while the guys handled the big stuff. And based on my experience across several companies, it's often Vietnamese women who do really challenging reworks.
Assembly jobs are mostly done by women.
Not only because they are cheaper, but it's also a left over from many wars, since most men were in the army.
The R&D jobs were/are mostly done by men though.
It seems to be an aptitude issue, as well. If you go into a shop full of women doing simple assembly work they spend their days happily chatting while turning out correctly assembled parts, and sexually assaulting the one young guy who does any technical work required. If you go into a shop full of men doing simple assembly work its quiet, and the men look like someone took their soul and is off somewhere wacking it with a baseball bat.
 

Online Marco

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #164 on: August 04, 2018, 03:28:34 am »
What kind of conclusion does this bring us?
Well, nog much yet. It only explains that we might find a shifts in our social structure and needs.
Fitness = fertility x survival, men who don't procreate can't drive evolution. The feminization of men is almost certainly environmental, not genetic.
 

Offline In Vacuo Veritas

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #165 on: August 04, 2018, 05:05:12 am »
A recent tour of the Creality 3D printer factory revealed that it was pretty much all girls who assembled the precision stuff while the guys handled the big stuff. And based on my experience across several companies, it's often Vietnamese women who do really challenging reworks.
Assembly jobs are mostly done by women.
Not only because they are cheaper, but it's also a left over from many wars, since most men were in the army.
The R&D jobs were/are mostly done by men though.

Smaller, nimbler fingers. I'm not a big guy but even my fingers are like numb battering rams if I need to do anything precise: this isn't genetic, but if a woman spent all day lifting heavy objects or whacking things with a hammer, her fingers would be less nimble as well.

I was once told that women make better fighter pilots than men because they pass out at higher Gs and this was proof that a uterus is superior to a scrotum somehow, until I pointed out it's a simple physics thing: the woman is smaller. Select a man built like a jockey and he'll do the same.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #166 on: August 04, 2018, 05:13:59 am »

Hunting means using tools, using tools means not only to understand to build them, but also how to repair/troubleshoot and improve them.
Not only does someone need all the hard skills, but also the brains to achieve these tasks.

Someone who is genetically better in that, has therefor a bigger change to survive in an "eaten or to be eaten" environment.
So in the long run men who were better in "engineering" tools, had a bigger change to survive.
Even until recently men had to do the physical work.
Using tools means you're also much more likely to be interested in them.

I think this is a satisfying explanation why guys in general will be better in engineering and technical stuff.
They basically were the only ones using them on a regular basis.

Sounds reasonable - only it's wrong. Modern anthropologists and archeologists have understood for some time now that the discovery of predominantly ancient stone (and later bronze and iron) hunting tools is an artifact of the nature of the material. Only stone or metal lasts for millenia.  By observing tool use by "primitive" hunter gatherer tribes,  they realized that women created and used tools for gathering food, processing food, making clothing, etc just as much or more than men.  Some of these were stone or later bronze, iron, or pottery, but most are made from plant or animal material that simply does not survive more than a few centuries in most cases. 

Human evolutionary success has depended on increasing brain size, which meant that humans babys needed to be born neurologically immature (too big a head means high birth fatality rate). This meant it was necessary for women to stay with and tend the infants and young children. They therefore could not join in the hunt. But they did much of the gatthering and of course the preparing of food, clothes and shelter. These things also required tools. Bottom line - there is zero evidence that men historically made and used more tools than women.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 05:42:29 am by mtdoc »
 
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #167 on: August 04, 2018, 05:38:26 am »
Of course nowadays these survival skills aren't needed anymore.
Besides, evolution -in an hard surviving kind of sense-, practically has stopped.
By that I mean, we don't need hard strong fit men anymore.
It's also just EXTREMLY recent that human beings aren't really dependent anymore on pure muscle power.
So most tasks that were done by men, are now done by machines.

What kind of conclusion does this bring us?
Well, nog much yet. It only explains that we might find a shifts in our social structure and needs.
To be very honest, (but that's just a speculation) I think we already see that.
Less and less people (guys) seem to be even able to assemble a simple ikea wardrobe anymore for example.
Despite some mechanization, several jobs inside and outside urban areas still require muscles and brute force. Take for example the heavylifting in retail stores, harbors or more remote places where lumberjacks, miners, farmers, fishermen and many more are absolutely critical to sustain the urban populations.

Heavy lifting is still quite pervasive in our society, but no equality demands or bias accusations are done for these areas: these discussions are reserved to the higher paying jobs performed by the meek citizens.

And if you are looking for a major shift in society, that already happened: the majority of population lives in urban areas nowadays. These discussions are a consequence of that.
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #168 on: August 04, 2018, 06:40:58 am »
Smaller, nimbler fingers. I'm not a big guy but even my fingers are like numb battering rams if I need to do anything precise: this isn't genetic, but if a woman spent all day lifting heavy objects or whacking things with a hammer, her fingers would be less nimble as well.
Rinoa Super-Genius does a lot of heavy physical stuff regularly and isn't too good with SMD rework, but I attribute that to her not having done it much at all. Judging by the video where she lifts one end of a Nissan Leaf battery, she's not only stronger than most women but also a lot of men as well.

Then there's Micah Elizabeth Scott who is really good with SMD reworking. Not sure exactly how strong she is but she was able to install a rackmount UPS and some 4U servers into a rack with no assistance. If we assume there's a tradeoff between strength and precision, then she seems to be right in the optimal range for working on electronics.
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Online james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #169 on: August 04, 2018, 07:42:11 am »
There are exceptions to any rule. There are women out there who are very physically strong, there are women who are genuinely very interested in engineering, there are men who are passionate nurses and preschool teachers. That doesn't mean it's not true that on average these are not the statistical norm, and it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #170 on: August 04, 2018, 08:38:03 am »
Smaller, nimbler fingers. I'm not a big guy but even my fingers are like numb battering rams if I need to do anything precise: this isn't genetic, but if a woman spent all day lifting heavy objects or whacking things with a hammer, her fingers would be less nimble as well.
Rinoa Super-Genius does a lot of heavy physical stuff regularly and isn't too good with SMD rework, but I attribute that to her not having done it much at all. Judging by the video where she lifts one end of a Nissan Leaf battery, she's not only stronger than most women but also a lot of men as well.

Then there's Micah Elizabeth Scott who is really good with SMD reworking. Not sure exactly how strong she is but she was able to install a rackmount UPS and some 4U servers into a rack with no assistance. If we assume there's a tradeoff between strength and precision, then she seems to be right in the optimal range for working on electronics.


it might be controversial to say it out loud but I think it should be obvious that those two examples might not be that
applicable when looking at averages for the "general population"

 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #171 on: August 04, 2018, 09:16:33 am »
Rinoa Super-Genius does a lot of heavy physical stuff regularly and isn't too good with SMD rework, but I attribute that to her not having done it much at all. Judging by the video where she lifts one end of a Nissan Leaf battery, she's not only stronger than most women but also a lot of men as well.

Then there's Micah Elizabeth Scott who is really good with SMD reworking. Not sure exactly how strong she is but she was able to install a rackmount UPS and some 4U servers into a rack with no assistance. If we assume there's a tradeoff between strength and precision, then she seems to be right in the optimal range for working on electronics.
it might be controversial to say it out loud but I think it should be obvious that those two examples might not be that
applicable when looking at averages for the "general population"
Women who do really well at engineering and technology are obviously not average. And men who do really well at engineering and technology aren't average either.
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Online Rerouter

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #172 on: August 04, 2018, 09:46:03 am »
How nimble your fingers are doesn't really come down to how strong you are, Rather simply how much precision work you do day to day,

There is defiantly short term trade offs at play, e.g. after doing manual labor for a few hours, or when carrying items that require heavy use a of a few fingers, mine stiffen up, but a half hour later they are back to accurately placing 0201 resistors. Now that manual work has left the skin on the underside of my fingers thicker than elsewhere, but unless you have solvents drying out your hands day to day this generally doesn't harden the skin to the point where you loose fine motor control.

To clarify, brutish work requiring a lot of force generally builds up slow twitch muscle, however how well you control this muscle group is purely down to practice.

As for lifting, how much mass a person can move about comes largely down to technique and what tools you have available. You cannot lift as much as you can carry if your technique is poor.
 

Online langwadt

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #173 on: August 04, 2018, 10:00:07 am »
Rinoa Super-Genius does a lot of heavy physical stuff regularly and isn't too good with SMD rework, but I attribute that to her not having done it much at all. Judging by the video where she lifts one end of a Nissan Leaf battery, she's not only stronger than most women but also a lot of men as well.

Then there's Micah Elizabeth Scott who is really good with SMD reworking. Not sure exactly how strong she is but she was able to install a rackmount UPS and some 4U servers into a rack with no assistance. If we assume there's a tradeoff between strength and precision, then she seems to be right in the optimal range for working on electronics.
it might be controversial to say it out loud but I think it should be obvious that those two examples might not be that
applicable when looking at averages for the "general population"
Women who do really well at engineering and technology are obviously not average. And men who do really well at engineering and technology aren't average either.

when discussion the possible difference in inclinations of XX vs. XY  mixing the two is just adding to the confusion


 

Offline b_force

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #174 on: August 04, 2018, 09:22:15 pm »

Hunting means using tools, using tools means not only to understand to build them, but also how to repair/troubleshoot and improve them.
Not only does someone need all the hard skills, but also the brains to achieve these tasks.

Someone who is genetically better in that, has therefor a bigger change to survive in an "eaten or to be eaten" environment.
So in the long run men who were better in "engineering" tools, had a bigger change to survive.
Even until recently men had to do the physical work.
Using tools means you're also much more likely to be interested in them.

I think this is a satisfying explanation why guys in general will be better in engineering and technical stuff.
They basically were the only ones using them on a regular basis.

Sounds reasonable - only it's wrong. Modern anthropologists and archeologists have understood for some time now that the discovery of predominantly ancient stone (and later bronze and iron) hunting tools is an artifact of the nature of the material. Only stone or metal lasts for millenia.  By observing tool use by "primitive" hunter gatherer tribes,  they realized that women created and used tools for gathering food, processing food, making clothing, etc just as much or more than men.  Some of these were stone or later bronze, iron, or pottery, but most are made from plant or animal material that simply does not survive more than a few centuries in most cases. 

Human evolutionary success has depended on increasing brain size, which meant that humans babys needed to be born neurologically immature (too big a head means high birth fatality rate). This meant it was necessary for women to stay with and tend the infants and young children. They therefore could not join in the hunt. But they did much of the gatthering and of course the preparing of food, clothes and shelter. These things also required tools. Bottom line - there is zero evidence that men historically made and used more tools than women.
Yes I agree.
I forgot to add the nurturing part for babies.

I guess the whole point of my explanation, is that if we want to understand the so called "preferences" (and if there are any or not), it needs to be seen from this far back in history.
All the other arguments are very subjective, where it's basically impossible to distinguish social/cultural bias from pure biological/genetic reasons.
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