Author Topic: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.  (Read 77945 times)

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Offline IanB

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #100 on: July 29, 2018, 07:24:31 pm »
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.

The kinds of people who see bias everywhere will just claim you didn't remove all the bias when any research result doesn't match their ideology.

I think the influence of cultural and social bias is overstated. Children have a free mind, they will ask for the toys they want, and they will play in the way they want to play. You can try to push them in other directions, but they won't comply happily or willingly.

I know when I grew up I was interested in "things". That was nothing to do with my parents, that was just the way my mind worked. On the other hand, my young nephew has been bought all sorts of technical, construction and electrical toys, and he is just not interested in them. He will play with them once, then put them to one side and ignore them.

What society has to do is to avoid negative pressures. If girls want to study science and technology and become engineers or physicists, there should not be artificial barriers put in their way. But trying to force girls down roads that do not interest them will not make them happy, and it will not make the people they eventually work with happy. It will just lead to misery for all concerned.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #101 on: July 29, 2018, 08:16:44 pm »
Maybe guys who have been in at least one bad relationship? The opposite (women who have no desire to be in relationships with men) is surprisingly common and Micah Elizabeth Scott is one example of that. (Maybe she's saying that to stop random guys asking to marry her.)


I'm sure there's some of that, I once had a coworker who was a gay man who openly told me on numerous occasions that he hated women and didn't like interacting with them, but he was an exception. I've encountered man-hating "feminazi" types a few times but fortunately not at work. Throughout my professional career female engineers have been rare, but those that I have worked with have been very good at their jobs. I think the concept that large numbers of male engineers are discriminating against hiring women is an absurd notion with no basis in reality.
 

Offline TheAmmoniacal

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #102 on: July 29, 2018, 08:53:19 pm »
@scanlime tweeted this, thought it was funny.
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Offline Marco

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #103 on: July 29, 2018, 08:56:17 pm »
Is that her audience?
 

Offline b_force

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #104 on: July 30, 2018, 08:43:06 am »
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.

The kinds of people who see bias everywhere will just claim you didn't remove all the bias when any research result doesn't match their ideology.

I think the influence of cultural and social bias is overstated. Children have a free mind, they will ask for the toys they want, and they will play in the way they want to play. You can try to push them in other directions, but they won't comply happily or willingly.

I know when I grew up I was interested in "things". That was nothing to do with my parents, that was just the way my mind worked. On the other hand, my young nephew has been bought all sorts of technical, construction and electrical toys, and he is just not interested in them. He will play with them once, then put them to one side and ignore them.

What society has to do is to avoid negative pressures. If girls want to study science and technology and become engineers or physicists, there should not be artificial barriers put in their way. But trying to force girls down roads that do not interest them will not make them happy, and it will not make the people they eventually work with happy. It will just lead to misery for all concerned.
Now I need to dig in to some scientific papers but from early on kids are overwhelmed by what they socially need to like and dislike.
Yes, in the end they have "free choice" but sometimes there is so much expected or social pressure that you can argue about how "free" that is.
A bit like a Jehovah's witness deciding to leave his beliefs, who is totally banned by the community and even family.

Just open a toy booklet and you will see that girls are supposed to wearing pink, play with dolls, dress like princesses and play with mini kitchens. The boys all have tech stuff, tools, weapons (horrible on its own) and other typical "man stuff".
One could heavily argue if that is not already putting and teaching some prejudices to kids.

Once again, yes an individual would maybe decide to do something else.
(Sometimes with a lot of consequences)
But science isn't about individual cases but about what the majority does.

I agree with the social pressure, but the question was if some of these expectations aren't hard coded in something like our testosterone levels which basically means our DNA?
This is why I also said why this is such a difficult thing to investigate, since most kids are heavily biased from very early on.
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Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #105 on: July 30, 2018, 09:22:39 am »
You'd have to keep most of the internet and tv away if you do not want that bias to have an effect on people.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #106 on: July 30, 2018, 01:17:19 pm »
Is that her audience?

It would not surprise me if that's her audience breakdown. I would have guessed maybe 2% female. Although you can skew this number a bit by changing the date range, as when you get down to a percent or two the noise can show non-average results.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #107 on: July 30, 2018, 01:26:43 pm »
Now I need to dig in to some scientific papers but from early on kids are overwhelmed by what they socially need to like and dislike.
Yes, in the end they have "free choice" but sometimes there is so much expected or social pressure that you can argue about how "free" that is.

When female enrollment in STEM courses is somewhere between 20% and 40%, and the lower figure is in countries that have the highest gender equallty, that argument pretty much falls apart.



Quote
A bit like a Jehovah's witness deciding to leave his beliefs, who is totally banned by the community and even family.

Nothing at all like that, as the above data would indicate.
 

Offline b_force

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #108 on: July 30, 2018, 02:07:16 pm »
Now I need to dig in to some scientific papers but from early on kids are overwhelmed by what they socially need to like and dislike.
Yes, in the end they have "free choice" but sometimes there is so much expected or social pressure that you can argue about how "free" that is.

When female enrollment in STEM courses is somewhere between 20% and 40%, and the lower figure is in countries that have the highest gender equallty, that argument pretty much falls apart.

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A bit like a Jehovah's witness deciding to leave his beliefs, who is totally banned by the community and even family.

Nothing at all like that, as the above data would indicate.
We aren't talking about the same thing.  :-//

Besides, gender inequality is not the same as social expectations.
Or in other words, women could have similar jobs, wages, right to vote etc but still not choosing for tech jobs because it's not "normal".
More people discuss exactly that point in the article;
https://digest.bps.org.uk/2018/03/14/investigating-the-stem-gender-equality-paradox-in-fairer-societies-fewer-women-enter-science/

Or in other words. Yes women still have the same rights as men in these western countries, but once they get babies it's being expected that they take care of them.
Although that is changing, in the vast majority of the household the man is still the breadwinner.
This is just one example of biasing, but there are many more.
See it a bit like group or culture pressure. Because many people do a certain thing, the rest will follow since that's the norm.
The opposite is also true of course; so since people don't do things, others won't follow as well because it's not "normal"/weird.

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So many factors (historical, cultural, demographic etc.) are left unexamined in this comparison that the OGEI is useless in examining reasons for STEM gender equality.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 02:22:10 pm by b_force »
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Offline John B

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #109 on: July 30, 2018, 09:43:55 pm »
"Paradox" is how people describe a state of affairs when their presuppositions were wrong and they refuse to let them go.  :-DD
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #110 on: July 30, 2018, 11:21:12 pm »
Does their definition of STEM include medical? (I would assume so, given that medical is a subcategory of biology which is a subcategory of science.) Side note: One of my friends used to run a Bitcoin miner at home and she was considered unusual in the Bitcoin community not only because she's female but also because she was a medical student.

Is there a site that lists Youtube viewer genders by channel/video as well as by topic? I would assume that overall, it should be close to a 50/50 split, but there could be sources of skew like it generally being guys who set up media players so that everything the family views using that device shows up under his account.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #111 on: July 30, 2018, 11:50:41 pm »
Is there a site that lists Youtube viewer genders by channel/video as well as by topic?

I don't think so. I believe that information is only available to each channel owner
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #112 on: July 30, 2018, 11:57:36 pm »
Or in other words. Yes women still have the same rights as men in these western countries, but once they get babies it's being expected that they take care of them.

That's because biologically they are the best person to take care of the child, primarily in the breast feeding stage.
In case you don't know, babies are biologically programmed to breast feed and know and be calmed by the scent of their mother etc.

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See it a bit like group or culture pressure. Because many people do a certain thing, the rest will follow since that's the norm.
The opposite is also true of course; so since people don't do things, others won't follow as well because it's not "normal"/weird.

Boys have the same problem, welcome to the real world.

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So many factors (historical, cultural, demographic etc.) are left unexamined in this comparison that the OGEI is useless in examining reasons for STEM gender equality.

Sure, but it's hugely interesting isn't that the most gender neutral countries have the lowest STEM field rate. But because that goes against the gender equality narrative people conveniently ignore it.
 

Offline b_force

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #113 on: July 31, 2018, 12:48:21 am »
The point is that there is a lot of context missing.
Yes we see this so called "paradox".
But that only tells us one thing: nothing.
It's a sub-result still with many variables hidden in it.
One just can't simply draw absolute conclusions from it.

For example; what is the age of the STEM women, are they married or maybe just divorced?
Is it maybe some kind of revenge because they are mistreated, so that way they still have at least a little bit of power?
Is it a status symbol, does it pay well, what are the costs of studying?
Etc etc etc

It's not about all these individual details but just to show that there is a significant amount of variables missing.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #114 on: July 31, 2018, 01:04:03 am »
I just don't see any big mystery here. I'm all for encouraging more women to pursue engineering. I think women who genuinely like engineering, tech, cars etc are totally cool, but they are very, very scarce. My partner is very supportive of my hobbies and that's something I feel was quite a find, even so she has almost no direct interest in that sort of thing. She has her own hobbies, things like sewing and quilting, and while I'm fully capable of operating a sewing machine, it's not something I enjoy the way she enjoys it. Women *on average* are just not very interested in electronics and computers and engines and that sort of thing and men, again on average are not very interested in sewing, nursing, fashion, cosmetics, jewelry, etc. I don't think encouragement has much to do with it. I received WAY more encouragement to be interested in football and other sports than to be interested in engineering but to this day I still have zero interest in sports and a very strong interest in engineering. Somebody could pass a law making it illegal for me to study engineering and I would find ways to circumvent that law because my interests are a big part of who I am and not something that can just be changed. People develop their own interests and there is little anyone else can do to influence those interests. It's absolutely obvious that on average there are large differences in what men and women are interested in. There is no more need of a study to determine that than a study to determine that dropping a rock on your foot hurts.

Now I'll reiterate a previous point since I feel it's an important one. I am in no way suggesting that women are any less capable or any less valuable, or that there is any issue whatsoever with any individual having an interest in something that doesn't fit their traditional gender role, but to claim that the differences are due to societal pressure and we all start out with a completely clean slate is absurd. There *are* fundamental differences, and that's part of why diversity is beneficial in the first place.
 
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Offline IanB

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #115 on: July 31, 2018, 01:26:53 am »
I received WAY more encouragement to be interested in football and other sports than to be interested in engineering but to this day I still have zero interest in sports and a very strong interest in engineering.

That's an interesting point that I hadn't thought of. I grew up completely immersed in an environment where I was expected to be playing football (soccer), cricket, and all the team sports that boys were supposed to do. And yet, somehow, none of it stuck. No interest at all in that stuff in spite of massive cultural expectations surrounding me.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Online rstofer

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #116 on: July 31, 2018, 02:16:21 am »
I have always thought that women avoided engineering because of engineers.  Engineers tend to get pretty firm in their beliefs and are fairly outspoken when describing them.  Engineering meetings are more about competition than collaboration.  In my view...

Women can do well in medicine because there have been so many women blazing the way.  There is now a critical mass that simply hasn't happened in engineering.  If you're going to spend that much time in college, medicine pays better.  A General Practitioner makes about $200k in California.  Drill down by location:

https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291062.htm


It has nothing to do with ability.



 

Online langwadt

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #117 on: July 31, 2018, 02:29:51 am »
I have always thought that women avoided engineering because of engineers.  Engineers tend to get pretty firm in their beliefs and are fairly outspoken when describing them.  Engineering meetings are more about competition than collaboration.  In my view...

Women can do well in medicine because there have been so many women blazing the way.  There is now a critical mass that simply hasn't happened in engineering.  If you're going to spend that much time in college, medicine pays better.  A General Practitioner makes about $200k in California.  Drill down by location:

https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291062.htm


It has nothing to do with ability.

I don't think anyone claimed it had anything to do ability, but rather lack of interest

 

Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #118 on: July 31, 2018, 03:02:14 am »
There seem to be a lot of people out there who either cannot, or willfully refuse to differentiate between interest and ability.

Regarding women's opinion of engineers, I know quite a few engineers who manage to maintain healthy relationships with women, even though with with at least 90% of them their wife/girlfriend has no interest in engineering itself.
 
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #119 on: July 31, 2018, 03:28:42 am »
If you're going to spend that much time in college, medicine pays better.

2 problems:

1. It is much more difficult to get into medical school than an engineering program (at least in the US).
2. Medical education requires much more post secondary education time - at least 11 years (4 undergraduate, 4 med school, 3 residency).


BTW, 40 years ago there were very few women in medicine and 60 years ago practically none.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 03:32:00 am by mtdoc »
 

Offline aargee

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #120 on: July 31, 2018, 07:14:15 am »
Equity from the '80s as Not the Nine O'Clock News comedy put a spin on it...  :)

Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #121 on: July 31, 2018, 08:08:13 am »
The point is that there is a lot of context missing.

Same amount for males too.

Quote
Yes we see this so called "paradox".
But that only tells us one thing: nothing.

Err, the entire narrative of the "gender equality in STEM" movement is predicated on the assumption that when women are more "free" to chose, or more encouraged to chose it, they will chose it. The reverse seems to happen. That tells you something at the very least, which is a long way from nothing.

Quote
It's a sub-result still with many variables hidden in it.
One just can't simply draw absolute conclusions from it.

No one is drawing and absolute conclusion, but it's damn well perplexing isn't it?
Well, maybe only for those in the gender equality movement perhaps who perhaps can't question their strongly held belief.

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For example; what is the age of the STEM women, are they married or maybe just divorced?

What age are the STEM men? Are they married or divorced?

Quote
Is it maybe some kind of revenge because they are mistreated, so that way they still have at least a little bit of power?

Do some men do engineering because it's some sort of revenge on their parents because they were pushed into a being a doctor instead?

Quote
It's not about all these individual details but just to show that there is a significant amount of variables missing.

Indeed there are, but just as many if you analysed the male aspect.
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #122 on: July 31, 2018, 08:28:14 am »
Stackoverflow has a yearly survey. Although not directly an EE field, it is still technology.
https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018/#demographics
Note that this only reaches English speaking people.
 

Offline doobedoobedo

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #123 on: July 31, 2018, 08:52:24 am »
Just open a toy booklet and you will see that girls are supposed to wearing pink, play with dolls, dress like princesses and play with mini kitchens. The boys all have tech stuff, tools, weapons (horrible on its own) and other typical "man stuff".
One could heavily argue if that is not already putting and teaching some prejudices to kids.

Oh dear. You appear to have confused cause and effect.
Toy companies want to make a profit and must have found that this approach maximises that.
 
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Offline jadew

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #124 on: July 31, 2018, 09:51:07 am »
I think there may be something to this, but the women who complain about it are looking at the wrong people.

The problem is not the men, the problem is that they're not as qualified as the men, and that may (in some cases - edit: those were they would otherwise be great engineers) be a direct result of their upbringing, so the real problem is the parents. Maybe they should look back to their parents and have a talk with them. There's more tho.

We'd all like to think that if our kid showed interest in something, we'd be encouraging and supportive, but that's not true. There are activities which we discourage, specifically because of gender and we aren't doing that because we're idiots or evil or hate the other gender, we do it because it's what's best for our kid. Just like someone else was saying in a previous post, we have to play the numbers game, and our kid's best chance of success is if he plays his own gender.

So in the event they do talk to their parents, they'll probably hear what they should have known all along: they had their best interest at heart.

That being said, if I had a girl and she showed interest in electronics, I'd encourage her, because I agree with everyone else here, girls are positively discriminated "against" in this field. Nobody likes a sausage fest.


Bottom line: There may be a few women who could have been happier engineers than whatever they are now, but that's really nobody's fault. That's just the way it is, some people don't fit.


Edit: Should go without saying, but just to be on the safe side, when I say "they're not as qualified as the men", I don't mean all women, just the ones that would want to work in the field but didn't make the cut.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 10:07:57 am by jadew »
 


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