Friday, October 20, 2006

The destructive power of stereotypes

I hope that this study receives all the attention it deserves.

"Women exposed to bogus scientific theories linking their gender to poor math skills did worse on arithmetic tests than others..."

This is why people who care get so upset about "harmless personal opinions" about women being inherently worse at acience/math. They're not harmless. They push women away from technical excellence. Yes, that bothers me, and no passive-aggressive whining about "political correctness" will make me accept it in demure silence.

It's especially remarkable that the study showed an easily measurable effect of just one claim of male superiority. Now imagine the cumulative effect of hearing such claims, again and again, over an entire lifetime... it's no wonder that the women who do end up in technology are the exceptionally flinty ones.

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