Tuesday, May 16, 2006

cultural stereotypes

ahhh, the age old question: why do girls lose interest in math and science?

apparently one person to blame: your mother. according to education secretary margaret spellings:
Spellings said mothers can inadvertently send signals to their daughters that math skills are not important. Educators must change the culture so it is not acceptable for women to brag about not being able to balance their checkbooks, she said.

first of all, i have never heard anyone brag that they could not balance their checkbook. admit, yes. confess, yes. brag? no. but whatever.

we all know the real reason girls give up on science and math:
stereotypes that girls are not good at math or science.

now, i want to ammend this statement a bit. it's not that "girls" are not good at math and science: it's that girls who are attractive to men are not good at math and science.

we've seen the t-shirts.

girls are taught from the time they are very young that one of the most important things in life is to eventually get married to a man. to do this they must be attractive in very stereotypical ways: deferring, not aggressive, and dependent. this seems to be tied in to being the opposite of excelling in math and science. if you have to give up one for the other, it doesn't surprise me which one most girls choose.


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