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Gender Discrimination

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What do people think of the (often obvious) gender discrimination that STEM graduate programs routinely do? Why does nobody ever discuss this? It seems like a pretty important -- and debatable -- structural issue.

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What would you like to discuss / debate, specifically? I ask since it sounds like you want to speak about a specific issue. But if you'd like someone else to start, I have some thoughts! During my time in grad school, I worked with other students to address the issue of unconscious gender bias in admissions to STEM programs at our school specifically, so it's something that's been on my mind!

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To clarify, I am talking about discrimination for admissions -- and maybe this doesn't happen in all STEM fields, but it certainly does in math. Take a male candidate's application, change nothing but the gender, and they would have a whole new tier of schools accessible to them.

Again, I don't think anyone who is familiar with this would contend that math grad schools don't have this (fully intentional) bias. My question is more whether or not it is justified.

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41 minutes ago, justwonderin said:

To clarify, I am talking about discrimination for admissions -- and maybe this doesn't happen in all STEM fields, but it certainly does in math. Take a male candidate's application, change nothing but the gender, and they would have a whole new tier of schools accessible to them.

Again, I don't think anyone who is familiar with this would contend that math grad schools don't have this (fully intentional) bias. My question is more whether or not it is justified.

Again, why don't you provide some evidence to support your claim?

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3 hours ago, justwonderin said:

To clarify, I am talking about discrimination for admissions -- and maybe this doesn't happen in all STEM fields, but it certainly does in math. Take a male candidate's application, change nothing but the gender, and they would have a whole new tier of schools accessible to them.

Again, I don't think anyone who is familiar with this would contend that math grad schools don't have this (fully intentional) bias. My question is more whether or not it is justified.

In my committee work, we have seen clear empirical evidence to the contrary. That is, we find women underrepresented in the candidates that were accepted to the program. In all of the STEM fields. We find further underrepresentation in the number of women that choose to attend (i.e. the fraction of women that attend our school is lower than the fraction of women accepted to our school). Our school is a top tier program. 

I don't think there is a bias against men at all in STEM admissions, if that is what you are implying. If we want to discuss Math specifically, I can point to many examples of gender bias against women / for men. For example, the Fields Medal in Math has been awarded 56 times since 1936, to 55 men and 1 woman (in 2014) [citation]. There will be another round of medalists this year so maybe that number will increase. Yes, I am aware that the Fields Medal is certainly a different type of competition than a graduate school application, but to match your statement, I would say that anyone familiar with the field of Math would contend that the field itself has a bias towards men and the Fields Medal list is just one example.

As @Comparativist said, can you provide any evidence for your claim that math graduate schools are biased towards admitting women?

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And I would just like to add, the underrepresentation (in the number of accepted/admitted/attending) of certain subsets of students does not necessarily equate to gender bias or discrimination. It's a fallacy to suggest that we should see the exact same (or very similar) demographic distribution of graduate students as the general population for all academic programs or disciplines. 

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34 minutes ago, Comparativist said:

And I would just like to add, the underrepresentation (in the number of accepted/admitted/attending) of certain subsets of students does not necessarily equate to gender bias or discrimination. It's a fallacy to suggest that we should see the exact same (or very similar) demographic distribution of graduate students as the general population for all academic programs or disciplines. 

Yes, exactly. This is why TakeruK's "clear empirical evidence to the contrary" is nonsense. I clearly specified that I was talking about a male applicant versus a female applicant *with an otherwise identical application*. 

As a result, no, of course I cannot provide clear evidence that grad programs are doing this as that would require access to specific applications. As I said before, anyone who is familiar with math grad admissions (i.e. is on an admissions committee or, as an applicant, has closely monitored applications of numerous other people that they know well) would not deny that this is happening! I was really just wondering if people think it is justified.

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Since you mentioned STEM, I'll comment on the Chem/Biochem aspect of this. My undergrad PI was part of the grad committee, and was actually in charge of accepting who got interviews, who got in, etc. This is from my 3 year experience within that lab seeing the applications, who got interviews, and who got accepted. 

Out of the 20+ faculty members in the department, I would say only 1 had a bias against the female gender. He was primarily against women scientists, but it was also for this reason he was almost never on the graduate committee (or any committee really, most people sorta avoided him). In contrast, there were definitely 5+ faculty members who had a bias against male genders. Not that male genders are bad scientists, but rather they thought their should be more female scientists in the field. So do you want to know what the problem was?

There were less female scientists applying in general compared to men. Now if you want to debate why that is, that is a whole other topic, but that is the sad truth. We couldn't try and even the playing field even if we wanted to. Most of the females who applied to the grad program were from the Biology department, and sorry to say, someone going from Chem to Chem grad program will beat them 9 times out of 10. There were very few females in the Chem and Biochem department in general. However, the most interesting aspect of this story? In general chemistry, the number of females vs. males in undergrad was actually pretty even. However, once you started looking at 3rd and 4th year, that number had swindled down to a ration of 3 to 1 in most scenarios (men vs. women). I don't make stats here, nor assumptions, just stating observations. On average, most women changed their majors than men did from this observation. Why they did that I don't know. From my understanding, most of them went into biology or psych. So while the undergrad starting was a 1:1 ratio, that ratio changed by the time they graduated usually either 2:1 or 3:1 (men vs. women). This of course meant if everyone applied to grad school, naturally there would be more male applicants. Now my school did have a bias, and we did try to bring in more women, but their just weren't enough qualified applicants for that. 

I will say this, yes there are many sexist scientists. I have seen a couple myself. I have heard their stories. Many male scientists out there who impede the progress of female scientists just because they are female. However, there is also definitely a counter acting force to this, where many facilities are actually trying to bring in more female scientist. In addition, I have also seen many female scientists do the same to men scientists. Is this fair? No. Not for males, nor for females. Gender should not play an issue in applications, nor how you are treated in your field. It is unfair to both genders. However, this is actually a very small and minor issue. While gender does play a role at times, at the end of the day, you could be pangender or one of the other million genders, it doesn't matter. If you're application wasn't good, it wasn't good. If you lacked proper experience, or had a low GPA, or poor scores, you weren't getting in irregardless of your gender. Also as stated, it was 5 out of 20+ that at the school who had a bias. Out of that 5, maybe 1 of them would be on the committee at any given time. So all in all, gender doesn't really play that big of a role "whole new tier of schools available". What is a bigger issue that does play a big role, is ethnicity, not gender. Especially towards Hispanics/Latinos and other minorities. That does open up a "whole new tier of schools" for a person. Ivy leagues are notorious for accepting lower tier students that are minorities, just so they can say they are "ethnically diverse". This doesn't just happen on a educational level (e.g. financial aid). In California, almost all questionnaires will specifically have you indicate if you are latino/hispanic. Not tell us your ethnicity, just tell us if you are or are not latino/hispanic. That's it. You will see this question both for financial aid and for applications. I'm not trying to start another topic/argument here. Just stating gender isn't really an issue in terms of bias and the argument for "Equality of Opportunity vs. fair competition" (which is what you are arguing is being done here). 

Edited by samman1994

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2 hours ago, Comparativist said:

And I would just like to add, the underrepresentation (in the number of accepted/admitted/attending) of certain subsets of students does not necessarily equate to gender bias or discrimination. It's a fallacy to suggest that we should see the exact same (or very similar) demographic distribution of graduate students as the general population for all academic programs or disciplines. 

 

1 hour ago, justwonderin said:

Yes, exactly. This is why TakeruK's "clear empirical evidence to the contrary" is nonsense.

I agree and I apologize if I implied that a mismatch of the gender distribution of graduate students and the general population means there is discrimination at the graduate admissions level.

(Aside: I do, however, think that each field of academia should have roughly equal distribution in demographics of academics as the general population. One reason is that people are often personally motivated to do research, often in areas of disease treatment etc. Another is that it is my opinion that the only point of doing any research is to benefit humanity and therefore, the people doing the research should represent humanity, not just a subset of humans who have the opportunity to do so. However, this is problem at a much larger level and I'd say it is beyond the scope of whether there is bias at the graduate admissions level or not.)

Back to the scope of this thread: The "control group" we must compare to is the pool of which the graduate applicants come from. So, if you accept the basic premise that men and women are equally brilliant**, then you would expect that the demographics of people accepted into grad school should match the demographics of people applying to grad school. If we do not see this, then there is something introducing bias at the admissions committee step. This is why I also brought up the fields medal example. The fraction of women in Math is much more than 1 in 56, yet the Fields Medal has only been awarded to a woman once in 56 times.

The bias could be many things, including unconscious ones due to the committee choices, conscious ones due to prejudiced committee members, and systematic ones that unfairly favour men over women that aren't directly in the control of the committee. An example of the last one is GRE scores. Findings from ETS show that men score higher than women. Again, if you accept the premise that men and women are equal, the only logical conclusion is that the test is biased to favour men. Incorporating these metrics into the evaluation means the committee will (knowingly or not) favour men.

1 hour ago, justwonderin said:

As a result, no, of course I cannot provide clear evidence that grad programs are doing this as that would require access to specific applications. As I said before, anyone who is familiar with math grad admissions (i.e. is on an admissions committee or, as an applicant, has closely monitored applications of numerous other people that they know well) would not deny that this is happening! I was really just wondering if people think it is justified.

Why does everyone think it is happening if no one can actually provide evidence for it. That doesn't sound like logical thinking to me and this also leads to observation/confirmation bias. I have had colleagues comment on the gender bias in conference sessions (i.e. "too many women were speaking") but when you actually count, it was representative of the field. When the norm is under-representation, equal-representation appears to be over-representation.

2 hours ago, justwonderin said:

I clearly specified that I was talking about a male applicant versus a female applicant *with an otherwise identical application*. 

Also, I want to address this point too. I think you are setting up an unrealistic imaginary scenario and then trying to draw conclusions from it to apply to circumstances you appear to be observing in the math departments. For any pool of applications to grad school, it is very unlikely for two applicants to be otherwise identical.

However, there have been lots of actual studies done where reviewers/evaluators get two applications/proposals/resumes/etc. that are indeed identical, except for the name, and the result is that men are picked much more often than women. Here is an example. Same resume, different gender for a STEM job: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/unofficial-prognosis/study-shows-gender-bias-in-science-is-real-heres-why-it-matters/

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@samman1994: I just want to point out that the types of biases I'm talking about are unconscious biases, which by their nature, are not immediately obvious/observable. Here's an example from my field, where the analysis shows that male applicants for time on the Hubble Space Telescope are still more likely to win time than women, even accounting for the difference in the number of men and women applicants. Article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bubble-telescope-time-gender-bias/ The article shares the experiences of the reviewers, none of whom thought they saw any bias or unfairness. Although I have seen some overt sexism (e.g. a prof saying that they always rate women students poorly for their lab because they often go and have babies so they are less productive), the thing that makes it hard to address is that there is unconscious bias at play, which is harder to fix.

As for the Hubble Space Telescope, the next step is to evaluate the proposals in a dual-anonymous way (i.e. proposers don't know the reviewers, which is already the case, but now the reviewers will also not know who proposed for time). We'll see if that makes a difference!

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12 minutes ago, TakeruK said:

Why does everyone think it is happening if no one can actually provide evidence for it. That doesn't sound like logical thinking to me and this also leads to observation/confirmation bias. I have had colleagues comment on the gender bias in conference sessions (i.e. "too many women were speaking") but when you actually count, it was representative of the field. When the norm is under-representation, equal-representation appears to be over-representation.

This.

It's not very scientific to say "anyone with experience knows this to be true". Especially when there are studies (such as those linked by @TakeruK that show results the opposite of "common knowledge". 

I certainly haven't seen the biases you're talking about (male candidates being less likely to get in), unless math is strangely different than other closely related STEM fields. That said, my colleagues in math don't seem to feel like this is the case- in fact, conversations with them would assert the opposite- that male students have a better chance. 

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I do think the gender bias in the mathematical sciences (and especially theoretical branches and pure math) is disproportionate relative other STEM fields, but OP, coming in here with aggressive one-sentence arguments and no evidence will not lead to a productive discussion. If you're upset about your results and want to rant, this likely isn't the place because you will get shot down (as you can already see), and you'll probably feel even worse.

fwiw at least on the applied math side, every woman I know who has wanted to get a PhD has gotten in (programs of their choice or of similar caliber). That said, I think the bias starts way earlier than grad school applications (you're lucky if it starts in college), and I think it continues in perpetuity after them. Part of it is that nobody wants to address gender bias or sexual harassment (which disproportionately affects women) because it damages the reputations of people and institutions in myriad ways, and part of it is that mathematical science is still a boys' club. It's not limited to STEM. This is an article on gender bias in economics. I tried sharing it along my institutional channels and nobody gave a shit.

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@TakeruK Of course, and that is the primary problem going on here. I definitely think this exists, although not to the extent OP is presenting it as. As stated, there is an unconscious bias, and I have seen people (not schools per se) attempt to counter-act this bias, but I don't think that is a "fair" solution. While I do not have a solution to the unconscious bias, I think that is the primary problem that needs to be eliminated and focused on, not graduate committees trying to potentially counter-act this problem. 

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It seems like I should add more context to my original post. In my experience, there is a substantial amount of sexism against women in math, and without the artificial barriers that have unfairly stood in their way, there would be a lot more women in the field (especially at the top of the field) than there are today. I think that this is true not just in STEM academic fields, but in tech and finance too. I think many people today believe that this is an injustice and wish to break down those barriers and work towards equity in the future. Towards this goal, I believe that many/most math grad programs are actively trying to recruit female students and absolutely would take a female applicant over a very similar male one, and often a somewhat more qualified male one. (Perhaps I shouldn't have originally stated this impression with so much confidence; it seems like a clear pattern in my experience, but you may have a different opinion if you wish. I will suggest though that if you are not familiar with *math*, you should be careful about assuming that it is the same as your field.)

For instance, when I was applying to math grad schools a year ago, there were two women in my undergrad department,  whose mathematical backgrounds I was very familiar with, applying too. One of them was extremely similar to me on paper -- we joked about how we had basically the same application. The other one was still quite good, but was significantly less qualified on paper. Not by a ton, but it was consistent across different metrics -- in my judgment, there's virtually no argument that does not involve gender for why she would be as strong a candidate as me. As you've probably guessed, the first woman was quite a bit more successful than me at getting into grad schools, while the second one ended up at a school of a very similar caliber to mine. 

I think this admissions strategy has been borne out of very good intentions (eradicating longstanding barriers against women). I think it's complicated though and I have mixed feelings about doing it. (And for sure, my own experience has partially shaped my views on this issue.) I can see the argument that it is a legitimate tool to combat structural inequities. On the other hand, I wonder if it's not both unfair to the male candidates and even the female ones. I wonder if admitting less qualified women, on average, than men to a program, could be setting women up to be less successful -- again, on average -- than their male peers in the program. If so, then that's not going to help women's confidence levels, which are unfairly low already because of historic and ongoing unconscious discrimination. Nor would this situation help undo people's cognitive biases about women not being as good at math as men. 

I guess it was naive to me to think that I could just ask my question straight-up since this is (understandably) quite a sensitive subject. I imagine some people are still strongly opposed to what I've been saying, but at least you now have more context for your disagreement.

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I think also perhaps you should have posted a much more specific thread about math, rather than "sciences" in general, since you don't really seem to want to talk about the other fields and are focused on math being so very different. 

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8 minutes ago, Eigen said:

I think also perhaps you should have posted a much more specific thread about math, rather than "sciences" in general, since you don't really seem to want to talk about the other fields and are focused on math being so very different. 

"Math being so very different" was very much not the focus of my post.... I'm just not assuming it is the same as all other STEM fields in every respect.

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10 minutes ago, justwonderin said:

It seems like I should add more context to my original post. In my experience, there is a substantial amount of sexism against women in math, and without the artificial barriers that have unfairly stood in their way, there would be a lot more women in the field (especially at the top of the field) than there are today. I think that this is true not just in STEM academic fields, but in tech and finance too. I think many people today believe that this is an injustice and wish to break down those barriers and work towards equity in the future. Towards this goal, I believe that many/most math grad programs are actively trying to recruit female students and absolutely would take a female applicant over a very similar male one, and often a somewhat more qualified male one. (Perhaps I shouldn't have originally stated this impression with so much confidence; it seems like a clear pattern in my experience, but you may have a different opinion if you wish. I will suggest though that if you are not familiar with *math*, you should be careful about assuming that it is the same as your field.)

For instance, when I was applying to math grad schools a year ago, there were two women in my undergrad department,  whose mathematical backgrounds I was very familiar with, applying too. One of them was extremely similar to me on paper -- we joked about how we had basically the same application. The other one was still quite good, but was significantly less qualified on paper. Not by a ton, but it was consistent across different metrics -- in my judgment, there's virtually no argument that does not involve gender for why she would be as strong a candidate as me. As you've probably guessed, the first woman was quite a bit more successful than me at getting into grad schools, while the second one ended up at a school of a very similar caliber to mine. 

I think this admissions strategy has been borne out of very good intentions (eradicating longstanding barriers against women). I think it's complicated though and I have mixed feelings about doing it. (And for sure, my own experience has partially shaped my views on this issue.) I can see the argument that it is a legitimate tool to combat structural inequities. On the other hand, I wonder if it's not both unfair to the male candidates and even the female ones. I wonder if admitting less qualified women, on average, than men to a program, could be setting women up to be less successful -- again, on average -- than their male peers in the program. If so, then that's not going to help women's confidence levels, which are unfairly low already because of historic and ongoing unconscious discrimination. Nor would this situation help undo people's cognitive biases about women not being as good at math as men. 

I guess it was naive to me to think that I could just ask my question straight-up since this is (understandably) quite a sensitive subject. I imagine some people are still strongly opposed to what I've been saying, but at least you now have more context for your disagreement.

There are many many factors that influence acceptance to a school. The other persons letters could've been different, their SOP different, maybe they had better networking. Regardless, it is very rare to find someone with even a "similar" application. As stated prior, many say it doesn't exist, while I state it exists but doesn't play a major role. In your particular example, unless you knew exactly that their letters were the same, that their SOP was the same, and every other thing was the same, I don't think you can say your applications were "similar" and that gender was the sole cause of that persons success. 

I'd also say that the issue is not sensitive, but rather the way you worded it was plain wrong. What do people think about discrimination in STEM? The first statement should be is there gender discrimination in STEM, not what people think about it. Why does nobody discuss this? Well if it doesn't exist, not much to discuss then. It seems like an important issue. If it did have a major impact on applications and did exist, then yes it would be an important issue. The problem is 1) From general consensus this does not apply in most fields of STEM so 2) no point in discussing it and 3) Not an important issue because it doesn't exist. Thus, people rightfully so asked you to explain yourself and provide evidence. Also, I don't think anyone is strongly opposed on a moral level, but rather on a factual level (they disagree not because they think it's right to discriminate based off gender, but because they think that gender discrimination in grad applications does not exist) 

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15 minutes ago, samman1994 said:

There are many many factors that influence acceptance to a school. The other persons letters could've been different, their SOP different, maybe they had better networking. Regardless, it is very rare to find someone with even a "similar" application. As stated prior, many say it doesn't exist, while I state it exists but doesn't play a major role. In your particular example, unless you knew exactly that their letters were the same, that their SOP was the same, and every other thing was the same, I don't think you can say your applications were "similar" and that gender was the sole cause of that persons success. 

I'd also say that the issue is not sensitive, but rather the way you worded it was plain wrong. What do people think about discrimination in STEM? The first statement should be is there gender discrimination in STEM, not what people think about it. Why does nobody discuss this? Well if it doesn't exist, not much to discuss then. It seems like an important issue. If it did have a major impact on applications and did exist, then yes it would be an important issue. The problem is 1) From general consensus this does not apply in most fields of STEM so 2) no point in discussing it and 3) Not an important issue because it doesn't exist. Thus, people rightfully so asked you to explain yourself and provide evidence. Also, I don't think anyone is strongly opposed on a moral level, but rather on a factual level (they disagree not because they think it's right to discriminate based off gender, but because they think that gender discrimination in grad applications does not exist) 

"it exists but doesn't play a major role"? "It is very rare to find someone with even a 'similar' application"? "the issue is not sensitive"? "nobody is strongly opposed on a moral level"?

Can you please provide evidence for these assertions you have made? I cannot begin to react to anything you said without having verifiable proof of the premises first.

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I was going to write a thoughtful long response, as someone who is active in advocating against gender discrimination in my field. I have a lot to say, both from personal experience and based on a large dataset I've collected along with a committee I'm active on showing bias in almost all aspects of a woman academic's life once she graduates from college. (Before you ask for the data, it's confidential and we're in the process of writing up a paper, so if you're *actually* curious, ask me about it in a few months.) I'm in a field where there are more women undergraduates and about as many graduate students as male students. But fewer women get onto shortlists for academic positions; in fact, even once on a short list, they are still less likely to get hired than a man on the same list; fewer women currently serve as faculty members; fewer women get chosen to present papers at conferences; fewer women have their papers published in peer-reviewed journals; fewer women get invited to contribute to handbook articles, which feature the top scholars in the field giving an overview of their main research topic(s); fewer women are invited speakers at conferences; fewer women get their work funded by government agencies. I could go on.

But this poster thinks that being a woman magically opens all doors for a candidate, from sample size N=1, and not even having a full picture of that particular one. To which all I can say is, Wow. 

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5 minutes ago, fuzzylogician said:

I was going to write a thoughtful long response, as someone who is active in advocating against gender discrimination in my field. I have a lot to say, both from personal experience and based on a large dataset I've collected along with a committee I'm active on showing bias in almost all aspects of a woman academic's life once she graduates from college. (Before you ask for the data, it's confidential and we're in the process of writing up a paper, so if you're *actually* curious, ask me about it in a few months.) I'm in a field where there are more women undergraduates and about as many graduate students as male students. But fewer women get onto shortlists for academic positions; in fact, even once on a short list, they are still less likely to get hired than a man on the same list; fewer women currently serve as faculty members; fewer women get chosen to present papers; fewer women have their papers published; fewer women get invited to contribute to handbook articles; fewer women are invited speakers at conferences; fewer women get their work funded by government agencies. I could go on.

But this poster thinks that being a woman magically opens all doors for a candidate, from sample size N=1, and not even having a full picture of that particular one. To which all I can say is, Wow. 

Hey. My sample size is far greater than 1, dunno where you got that from. And "magically opens all doors for a candidate" is an obvious exaggeration -- you know it is. I have said that, from what I have observed, in math, it allows you to get into a handful of grad schools that an identical male applicant would not get into.

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"it exists but doesn't play a major role" that is from my own personal experience from my post (thank you for reading it). It is rare to find someone with a "similar" application. Considering all the factors in an application, I'd say yes, it's rare to find someone who has similar worded letters, a similar networking, similar SOP, similar scores, etc. There are a lot of factors there. In terms of sources, don't have any, don't think any is needed for the conversation at hand. I don't need to sources to tell you getting hit by an asteroid is slim, it's assumed. I don't need sources to tell you it's rare to get an application that is similar in every single factor to yours. Especially considering I doubt you saw every single detail of that persons application. Especially since you stated their gender was the sole reason for their success, not their application. Issue is not sensitive. I don't see anyone particularly upset by the question, but rather the assumptions you made as "facts" in your original question and responses. Nobody is strongly opposed on a moral level. Nobody is saying gender should be discriminated, just saying it isn't (at least in regards to being for women against men). No one is having a moral discussion here, they are all trying to correct you and tell you gender discrimination for women against men does not exist in STEM. The evidence is literally in all the responses made to your post. 

Also, "I cannot begin to react to anything you said without having verifiable proof of the premises first" is basically the response to your initial post. 

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Fuzzylogician, there have been plenty of papers showing the opposite (as I am sure you know). So let's not tout your results (which we have no way of verifying either), as infallible.

I'm not interested in denying the presence of discrimination --- and by the way, discrimination cuts both ways. I've always found the whole STEM thing curious though. There's so much focus on STEM. Yet, most people don't care about women dominating certain fields like education or nursing. And no one at all cares that men dominate the trades. It seems like when there's underrepresentation at the high end of the desirability scale (i.e. CEOs, stem fields, ect.) there is a significant outcry of discrimination; yet, for lower rungs of the job market, no one cares.

I'm in the camp that doesn't believe there needs to be equal representation across all fields. There's plenty of research that points to significant differences in preferences and interests (and behavior) between males and females, we shouldn't expect these differences not to manifest into larger trends of occupation choice. I'm interested in reducing barriers that prevalent interested people in pursuing choice; but many 'remedies' are put forth to rectify something that might not be discrimination in the first place.

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10 minutes ago, justwonderin said:

Hey. My sample size is far greater than 1, dunno where you got that from. And "magically opens all doors for a candidate" is an obvious exaggeration -- you know it is. I have said that, from what I have observed, in math, it allows you to get into a handful of grad schools that an identical male applicant would not get into.

You only cited 1 example source (hence n=1) for your assumptions/post. Sure exaggeration, premise is still wrong. Conjecture is conjecture. Unless you have done a study blind (or can find evidence thereof) of 2 applications that are completely similar in every conceivable way except for the gender of the applicant (which by the way, don't know how you can tell just by a name), and the female applicant does get in but the male doesn't, and then can prove that this was from a gender bias. Then and only then, can you make the statement you are making as fact. As for now, it is a conjecture. One that from all the responses, is an incorrect one. 

I'd also like to point out, I am not stating my own opinion here. I am stating what others are arguing for to help you understand what they are trying to say. I have explained my own stance in my original post. 

Edited by samman1994

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6 minutes ago, samman1994 said:

You only cited 1 example source (hence n=1) for your assumptions/post. Sure exaggeration, premise is still wrong. Conjecture is conjecture. Unless you have done a study blind (or can find evidence thereof) of 2 applications that are completely similar in every conceivable way except for the gender of the applicant (which by the way, don't know how you can tell just by a name), and the female applicant does get in but the male doesn't, and then can prove that this was from a gender bias. Then and only then, can you make the statement you are making as fact. As for now, it is a conjecture. One that from all the responses, is an incorrect one. 

Here's one, of public sector applications:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-30/bilnd-recruitment-trial-to-improve-gender-equality-failing-study/8664888

Of course, this doesn't tell us much except that designing programs/policies to be outcome dependent on something you don't know why is occurring is a bad idea.

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