The Thinking 

The Future of Bias in Science

July 13, 2012


LAST month, President Obama announced the Department of Education will be extending Title IX guidelines to the fields of science, technology and engineering, raising the specter of institutionalized bias against men in fields in which they now overwhelmingly dominate. Title IX resulted in quotas on male and female participation in college athletics and the disbanding of prominent men’s teams.

Interestingly, the President did not suggest any guidelines in fields which are disproportionately female, such as the humanities. The goal is not truly equality, such a thing is impossible, but the demotion of men and elevation of women in any field in which men excel. Fueled as it is by feminist envy and self-loathing, the whole project is based on a pathetic devaluation of women — and of science.

Courts have struck down quotas in education before, but that won’t stop the Obama administration from barreling ahead.

Charlotte Allen in Minding the Campus writes: 

When college women study science, they tend to gravitate toward biology–about 58 percent of all bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in biology go to women. In contrast, women earn some 17 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science and just over 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees in physical sciences and mathematics. The likely reason for this, found in the study The Mathematics of Sex” (2009) by Cornell psychologists Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, is that women tend to be drawn to “organic” fields involving people and living things, whereas men are more interested in the objects and abstractions that are the focus of STEM majors. Aversion to math plays a role too: a University of Bristol study finds that biologists tend not to pay attention to scholarly articles in their field that are packed with mathematical equations.

Yet the Obama administration sticks closely to the hard-line feminist argument that the problem is bias: women are somehow being denied access to STEM courses. On June 20 the White House announced that it would issue guidelines expanding the scope of Title IX to cover science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Extending Title IX from sports to math and science majors has been a longtime goal of the Obama White House. Longstanding Education Department rules interpreting Title IX have essentially set up a gender-based quota system. Back in 1972, when Congress passed Title IX, only 43 percent of those enrolled in degree-granting institutions were women; now, women make up 57 percent of college and university students. Furthermore, many, perhaps most, women have little interest in the team sports that draw many men into college athletics. So colleges have struggled to maintain Education Department-imposed gender parity in athletics, typically by reclassifying such female activities as yoga or cheerleading as “sports,” or by eliminating varsity sports programs for men such as wrestling, fencing, and diving.

But lately, and especially under the Obama administration, the Education Department has been inserting Title IX aggressively into other aspects of college life.

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