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The Maxine Margolis Interview

I spoke with anthropologist Maxine L. Margolis about her research topics: gender and society and Brazil, with a focus on Brazilian immigran...

Monday, March 2, 2020

Women in STEM versus hereditarians

Great article in Slate recently by Meredith Reiches and Sarah S. Richardson. A few members of the IDW - which is of course relentlessly hereditarian get a shout-out:
We Dug Into Data to Disprove a Myth About Women in STEM 
The argument used to be that women were simply biologically less capable. Now it’s that they’re less interested. Both are wrong.
Peterson:
The stakes here are high. If men and women really have inherently different career preferences, then any attempt to get more women into STEM fields would be misguided and likely to fail. That was certainly how men’s rights activists such as Jordan Peterson and conservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, who have cited the theory, interpreted the results.
 Pinker and Murray
The focus on “propensities” is a trend in the broader conversation about the role of social and biological factors in women’s and men’s STEM achievement. Twenty years ago, biological hard-liners, including Geary, argued that women are biologically less capable in the STEM fields. Now that women are outnumbering men in many scientific and medical fields, outperforming males on many standardized STEM tests, and receiving larger numbers of higher degrees of all sorts than men worldwide, hard-liners such as Steven Pinker and Charles Murray have moved away from such assertions in favor of the claim that women are biologically wired to find less joy in STEM or are simply less interested in it.
It turns the original claim that women were just less interested in STEM was based on a big mess:
After internal review, Psychological Science required extensive corrections to the published study. In their revised paper, Stoet and Geary maintain that there is a gender paradox in STEM but clarify that it relates to their more obscure measure, which they termed the “propensity” of women and men to attain a higher degree in STEM. This week, the same journal published a peer-reviewed paper from our group citing conceptual and empirical problems with the “gender-equality paradox in STEM” hypothesis. The paper shows that the negative association between gender equality and women’s STEM achievement does not persist when the measures of gender equality and achievement change.

Of course both Pinker and his groveling fanboy, Jerry Coyne promoted Geary (who is also a promoter of race science with the Winegard brothers) promoted the hell out of that garbage:


But although the Slate article has been out for several weeks now I haven't found them admitting they might have been wrong. Of course.