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    #184747 - 03/13/14 11:51 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: JonahSinick]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    "Any differences due to genetics should be consistent."

    Oh, definitely not. Height differences between men and women are consistent in that they exist in all cultures, but in some cultures men and women have greater height differences than in others. It depends on how they are nourished as children and other genetic factors such as when they hit puberty.

    I personally don't believe it's possible to test this hypothesis scientifically at this time. I think we have to move forward with the assumption that girls can do it, because it hurts nobody, and see how it works out. The only alternative is to effectively give up on girls, "You didn't catch up fast enough!", and stop providing them with the support they need to overcome implicit bias, minority status, and so on.

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    #184751 - 03/13/14 12:10 PM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: binip]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2597
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: binip

    I think we have to move forward with the assumption that girls can do it, because it hurts nobody, and see how it works out. The only alternative is to effectively give up on girls, "You didn't catch up fast enough!", and stop providing them with the support they need to overcome implicit bias, minority status, and so on.

    The National Science Foundation has spent $130 million to encourage more women in STEM http://www.universityaffairs.ca/examinin...isciplines.aspx , based on the belief that disparities are inequities. I think that money could have been better spent on the NSF's primary mission of funding scientific research.

    Everyone agrees that the distribution of math ability in the two sexes overlaps -- there are lots of girls who are better than the average boy. Why should the belief that the male distribution is centered slightly to the right of the female distribution have such a discouraging effect on females? Accepting equal ability as dogma often leads to the conclusion that we know fewer women are in STEM because society is stacked against them. I think holding this belief could be more discouraging to a girl than the belief that there is a small difference in the distribution of ability.

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    #184768 - 03/13/14 01:10 PM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: binip]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: binip
    "Any differences due to genetics should be consistent."

    Oh, definitely not. Height differences between men and women are consistent in that they exist in all cultures, but in some cultures men and women have greater height differences than in others. It depends on how they are nourished as children and other genetic factors such as when they hit puberty.


    It looks like you've already made the counterargument (bolded).

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    #184774 - 03/13/14 01:44 PM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: JonahSinick]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    "It looks like you've already made the counterargument (bolded)."

    No, you're confusing the consistent presence of differences, with the consistency of the differences themselves. There are consistently differences between boys and girls performance in math and LA, but the differences themselves are not consistent.

    Same goes for dress. There are consistently differences between male and female dress across all cultures, but the differences themselves are not at all consistent.

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    #184775 - 03/13/14 01:48 PM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: Bostonian]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Originally Posted By: binip

    I think we have to move forward with the assumption that girls can do it, because it hurts nobody, and see how it works out. The only alternative is to effectively give up on girls, "You didn't catch up fast enough!", and stop providing them with the support they need to overcome implicit bias, minority status, and so on.

    The National Science Foundation has spent $130 million to encourage more women in STEM http://www.universityaffairs.ca/examinin...isciplines.aspx , based on the belief that disparities are inequities. I think that money could have been better spent on the NSF's primary mission of funding scientific research.

    Everyone agrees that the distribution of math ability in the two sexes overlaps -- there are lots of girls who are better than the average boy. Why should the belief that the male distribution is centered slightly to the right of the female distribution have such a discouraging effect on females? Accepting equal ability as dogma often leads to the conclusion that we know fewer women are in STEM because society is stacked against them. I think holding this belief could be more discouraging to a girl than the belief that there is a small difference in the distribution of ability.


    I don't know why people find it so discouraging to be told that they probably won't do as well, and I don't know why that has such a big effect on their results. But that's a common behavior in men AND women. Do you know how many men I know who claim they can't dance without even trying? It's stupid. Genetics doesn't only give women the dance gene. Men don't practice for cultural reasons. It's so sad.

    I agree that people should accept the truth, but what is the truth in this case? Where is the evidence?

    What I don't agree is that we have any idea whether differences in behavior and performance are genetic or cultural. There's no way to test the causal theory that differences are biologically driven (in practical terms--of course I could propose an experiment, it just couldn't be carried out) so there's no reason to assume that they are.

    Moreover, there are reasons to believe that discouraging half of the workforce from entering entire swaths of professions IS problematic for science. My partner is a biologist and his last three bosses were biologists. I only know one bio-statistician and that is a woman. Imagine if these women were discriminated against because of a widespread belief, not challenged, that they would likely perform worse than a man.


    Edited by binip (03/13/14 01:50 PM)

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    #184784 - 03/13/14 02:28 PM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: binip]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4300
    The conversation in this thread has taken a number of twists and turns and moved well beyond the post which I've been thinking about and wish to respond to...
    Originally Posted By: binip
    Imagine if these women were discriminated against because of a widespread belief, not challenged, that they would likely perform worse than a man.
    Opportunities for individuals are objectively based upon the individual's demonstrated past performance. This may then be extrapolated to infer the individual's future performance. People are individuals, not demographic statistics.

    Persons being equal does not mean they are the same in their individual characteristics. For example height, weight, ability. Tall people are more inclined to be successful basketball players. Height may be heritable. Would we call this "tall privilege" and tax it to redistribute WNBA player earnings to people of petite stature? Would we place height restrictions on WNBA players and insist on quotas of persons of average height for each team? Would we put stilts on jockeys and expect them to compete on a par with WNBA players? Viva la difference.

    Girls can like dolls AND legos, they are not mutually exclusive. Some may say gifted girls will be most confident when they are pursuing their own hopes and dreams, which may or may not align with shattering gender stereotypes in career choice and hobbies.

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    #184785 - 03/13/14 02:32 PM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: indigo]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Persons being equal does not mean they are the same in their individual characteristics. For example height, weight, ability. Tall people are more inclined to be successful basketball players. Height may be heritable. Would we call this "tall privilege" and tax it to redistribute WNBA player earnings to people of petite stature? Would we place height restrictions on WNBA players and insist on quotas of persons of average height for each team? Would we put stilts on jockeys and expect them to compete on a par with WNBA players? Viva la difference.


    Imagine if Shaquille O'Neal's parents thought he'd never grow over 5'8", and they gave a lot of his food to a younger sibling.

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    #184815 - 03/13/14 08:50 PM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: Dude]
    binip Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    I must have mistaken your argument for someone else's. Sorry about that.

    Originally Posted By: Dude


    Either you're the one confused, or you're attributing arguments to me that I did not make, because I never said that a genetic difference should always express itself in the exact same ratio, because that would be idiotic.


    Yes, I agree that it would be foolish. Apparently I lost track of the thread.


    Originally Posted By: binip
    There are consistently differences between boys and girls performance in math and LA, but the differences themselves are not consistent.


    In 30 of 65 countries tested, the gender gap either did not exist, or was shown to be in the opposite direction. That does not match any definition of "consistent" that I am familiar with.

    There are differences amongst the highest performers, which are consistent. Believe me, it bugs me more than anyone because I was that girl--the one in all those high math classes--who couldn't believe how nonchalantly and confidently the boys took the tests. I'm sure their confidence (aloofness? unemotionality as teens? I don't know) affected their scores positively, and my insecurity, my scores negatively. I hate that it's a trend, because I'd like to think it's just my insecurity. But if you look it up, the top 5% or 2%, you will see that it is very consistently that the boys outscore the girls, and that differences between LA and math are greater, the further right you go on the bell curve.

    Originally Posted By: Dude


    I didn't realize clothes were an innate quality.


    We are clearly talking past each other, then, because I was not trying to assert this at all. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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    #184821 - 03/14/14 06:24 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: Dude]
    DAD22 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    Originally Posted By: Dude


    Well, if it's not genetic, and it's not cultural, then I'd be interested in your alternative hypotheses. Because we live in an "advanced" Western civilization which only, after millennia of feminine marginalization, have reluctantly allowed equality of opportunity for women for only the last 3-4 decades, and yet we can still see a math gap in only 35/65 participating nations... so it's most definitely NOT genetics.


    You're acting as though strong evidence for a cultural component to the gap also constitutes evidence against a genetic component. It doesn't. There's a range of measures of the gap that varies from county to country. You don't know how the gap would measure in a country with a culture perfectly neutral (or perfectly balanced) in all aspects that affect the gap. When you say "it's most definitely NOT genetics" you are taking a leap of faith that is not supported by the data.

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    #184823 - 03/14/14 06:27 AM Re: Underconfidence in gifted girls [Re: binip]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4300
    Originally Posted By: binip
    There are differences amongst the highest performers, which are consistent. Believe me, it bugs me more than anyone because I was that girl--the one in all those high math classes--who couldn't believe how nonchalantly and confidently the boys took the tests. I'm sure their confidence (aloofness? unemotionality as teens? I don't know) affected their scores positively, and my insecurity, my scores negatively. I hate that it's a trend, because I'd like to think it's just my insecurity. But if you look it up, the top 5% or 2%, you will see that it is very consistently that the boys outscore the girls, and that differences between LA and math are greater, the further right you go on the bell curve.
    Some may say it is not wise to declare a test "biased" because some participants come to it with personal insecurity. Effective strategies may include coaching for growth mindset and a sense that one is fulfilling their own potential as an individual, not competing with other test takers or representing their gender by their performance.

    Here is an interesting article regarding test performance, however the results are NOT by gender (which may provide a worthy follow up research study): APA - 2007 - Seeing red impairs test performance. I'd also be curious to know how they controlled for other variables (breakfast, sleep, etc).

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