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October 2 2008

Don't Title IX the Sciences

Allison Kasic

Over at the Teachers College Record, Christina Hoff Sommers has a good article arguing against the push to expand Title IX enforcement into academic science.  Title IX supporters point to the fact the fact that men outnumber women in the sciences, claim discrimination, and say Title IX is the answer. However, as Sommers points out, there are reasons to believe that factors other than bias are at play in causing this discrepancy, and if that is true, Title IX is not the answer:

The Title IX activists are persuaded that women are being held back because of bias and a "hostile environment." But there are other, more plausible, explanations. Perhaps the relative paucity of women in physics and engineering reflects women's preferences and aspirations. This is a controversial proposition, but the research on gender and vocation is robust and growing. In 2007, the American Psychological Association published a collection of papers by more than twenty scholars entitled, Why Aren't More Women in Science: Top Researchers Debate the Evidence. Several made a strong case for bias; but an equal number made an equally strong case that biologically based sex differences explained the math and science gap. Also in 2007, Joshua L. Rosenbloom of the University of Kansas and colleagues published a meticulous study demonstrating that men and women differ systematically in their interests and that these differences can account for a large share of the gender gap in information technology occupations.

More here.  IWF on the subject here and here.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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