The Science on Women and Science

Women have achieved or exceeded parity with men in most academic fields but continue to be outnumbered in the physical sciences, engineering, and math. For many equity activists, this imbalance constitutes a serious problem, even a "crisis," necessitating federal oversight to prevent gender bias in higher education and scientific industries. Congress, the Obama administration, and many science and education leaders are considering dramatic measures to improve women's prospects in the sciences. But what if claims of gender bias have been exaggerated?

In 2007, the National Academy of Sciences released Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Promise of Women in Academic Science and Engineering, an influential study suggesting that women face a hostile environment in the laboratory. The NAS report dismissed the possibility that gender disparities in scientific fields might be attributable to biological differences and called for immediate remedial action in education, government, and business. This volume examines the research behind the NAS's claims and presents a more balanced analysis of the gender gap.

Scientific research on the relationship between gender and vocation is complex, vibrant, and full of reasonable disagreements. Some scholars agree that discrimination is the best explanation for the current configuration of men and women in science, but others, perhaps a majority, suggest that biology and considered preference explain why men and women follow different career paths. The Science on Women and Science is a lively, readable, and balanced collection of articles by distinguished scholars from sides of an often-contentious debate.

Contributors: Joshua Aronson, Simon Baron-Cohen, Rosalind Chait Barnett, Katherine Ellison, David C. Geary, Richard J. Haier, Christina Hoff Sommers, Doreen Kimura, Jerre Levy, Charles Murray, Laura Sabattini, Elizabeth S. Spelke, and Amy L. Wax

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About the Author

 

Christina Hoff
Sommers
  • Christina Hoff Sommers, a former philosophy professor who taught ethics, is probably best known for her critique of late-twentieth-century feminism. She is also known for her extensive writings, among them Who Stole Feminism? (Touchstone Books, 1995), The War Against Boys (Touchstone Books, 2001), One Nation Under Therapy (St. Martin's Press, 2005), and The Science on Women and Science (AEI Press, 2009). Her textbook, Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life, a bestseller in college ethics, is currently in its ninth edition. Her new book Freedom Feminism—Its Surprising History and Why it Matters Today will be published in spring 2013 by AEI Press. A new and revised version of The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming our Young Men will be out in August 2013 (Simon and Schuster).


    Follow Christina Hoff Sommers on Twitter.
  • Phone: 2028627180
    Email: sommers22@gmail.com
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Caroline Kitchens
    Phone: 2028625820
    Email: Caroline.Kitchens@aei.org

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

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