As it does once or twice a year, the Chronicle of Higher Education has trotted out its favorite feminist talking point: the ‘gender gap’ in science and engineering fields:
There have been many efforts over the last three decades to draw more women into STEM fields. While impressive gains have been made in mathematics, statistics, biology, and chemistry, women are still far less likely than men to major in computer science and engineering. In addition, recent studies, like one published last month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have demonstrated that there is still bias among both male and female scientists against female students.
In the Left worldview, bias only exists when women or minorities are ‘underrepresented’ in some arena or endeavor. Leftists rarely specify what ‘normal’ or ‘equal’ representation might look like, numerically speaking. In terms of gender, however, I presume equal representation would be 50/50. Otherwise, there’s clearly bias. Or, I should clarify, there’s clearly bias if the split is weighted toward men (white men, preferably).
Let’s look at some numbers. The following charts show us how many men and women earned a degree in a given field from 2009-2010. All data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics, a federal data-tracking agency.
The Equality Czars are correct that fewer women earn degrees in computer science and physics. But let’s put those numbers in perspective:
In the liberal arts, women outnumber men at the same levels as men outnumber women in STEM fields. But even in certain Science fields, we see the same inequality . . .
Even in a few ‘hard science’ fields, like biotechnology, women still outnumber men.
In terms of degrees granted, women far outnumber men in most fields. Indeed, across all fields, taken cumulatively, women outnumber men in all degree categories:
What these numbers tell us is that the Feminist Left will not rest until EVERY FIELD IS DOMINATED BY WOMEN. They don’t want equality. Where’s the Inequality Brigade when it comes to humanities fields and the academy as a whole? No, equality is not what they’re after. They attack inequality in STEM because STEM is the last academic arena still dominated by men. It’s the last intellectual fortress of masculinity. And the Feminist Left is storming it.
The reality is, there is very little discrimination or bias in STEM, and when it does exist (c.f., the article linked in the Chronicle piece), it is minor, subtle, and certainly can’t explain the ‘gender gaps’ above. Gender, of course, greatly determines the careers we seek and the degrees we pursue. If that’s not the case, then the Bias Battalion needs not only to explain why there are fewer women in computer science, but also why there are so many more women in Education and English.