Even With Hard Evidence Of Gender Bias In STEM Fields, Men Don’t Believe It’s Real

May 2, 2016 at 8:11 am 6 comments

Research doesn’t influence teaching much (see blog post), or policy (see blog post), and from the article cited below, not even in our daily lives.

So what does convince people about a need to change?  Stories? Personal experiences?  Poking around on the Web, you can find lots of pages about motivating change and salesmanship, but I’m more interested in the question of how do we get people to recognize the Platonic cave.  What they think is true is measurably and provably not true.

Now, a new study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) shows another level of bias: Many men don’t believe this is happening.When shown empirical evidence of gender bias against women in the STEM fields, men were far less likely to find the studies convincing or important, according to researchers from Montana State University (MSU), the University of North Florida, and Skidmore College.

Source: Even With Hard Evidence Of Gender Bias In STEM Fields, Men Don’t Believe It’s Real | ThinkProgress

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

What does it mean to reach “all” in #CS4All? Qualify your Quantifiers | blog@CACM What really happens to new CS PhDs? A glut of PhDs, even in Engineering.

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ibrahim Albluwi  |  May 2, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I think that this world wouldn’t be what it is now if convincing people was a matter of showing evidence! We humans are way less rational than this! We are “predictably irrational” as Dan Ariely likes to call it. For example, we have very strong evidence that smoking kills and yet showing the evidence to a smoker is usually not enough to make him stop smoking.

    Nonetheless, I believe that empirical evidence is a very important step in the process of convincing others to make a change. In the book “Switch”, the authors (Chip and Dan Heath) argue that making a change requires:
    1) Convincing the mind.
    2) Touching the emotion.
    3) Nurturing the right atmosphere.

    I find this very convincing. we are often convinced, but not motivated enough. We are also often convinced and motivated but the place we are at or the circumstances around us pull us back from taking the right step.

    In this context, empirical evidence is just the first part of the equation (convincing the mind) and not the whole equation.

    Reply
  • 2. Jana Markowitz  |  May 2, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Perhaps we should call this the “Lawrence Summers Effect” — there is no gender bias in STEM and women are not good at math.

    To change this we have to change the culture of the entire US. This will take a while. I think the Millennials are our best hope. They are rejecting their parents’ biases.

    Reply
  • 3. Raul Miller  |  May 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    “faculty often do not adopt them” could easily be “often do not hear about them”.

    In other words, the significant bits might be getting swamped out by noise and/or other priorities.

    This is supposedly why we have management in the first place (but management is even more vulnerable to the problems of noise and other priorities than the teaching faculty is).

    But, sure – there are probably some people (I’d guess – and this is just a guess – between 1% and 20% – depending on the location and size of the sample) who are actively hostile to the resolutions proposed for gender bias issues. This could have a cultural basis, or might be based on some other understanding.

    Reply
  • […] today I was reading the Facebook commentary on a blog post Mark Guzdial wrote about men in STEM who when presented with hard evidence of gender bia… Several of the comments noted that bias only becomes real when someone knows an individual who has […]

    Reply
  • […] today I was reading the Facebook commentary on a blog post Mark Guzdial wrote about men in STEM who when presented with hard evidence of gender bia… Several of the comments noted that bias only becomes real when someone knows an individual who has […]

    Reply
  • 6. Bijan Parsia  |  May 3, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Argumentative persuasion (i.e., the mobilisation of evidence) generally doesn’t work (lots of poly sci literature on this) esp. against people’s settled world view.

    And yet, even on a wide scale, views change. The evolution of the majority view in the US on gay marriage even in the past 10 years is a striking example.

    Given that theory is underdetermined by data, there is no truly hard evidence all the way down to physics. If we want to save a theory from anomalies, we can.

    This is all terribly frustrating, but it just means that we need a multimodal and faceted approach to social change (including generational transitions). This shouldn’t be too surprising in the end.

    Grouchy-making, but not surprising.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Recent Posts

May 2016
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Feeds

Blog Stats

  • 1,291,882 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,597 other followers

CS Teaching Tips


%d bloggers like this: