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posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the this-will-not-be-controversial-oh-no-sir dept.

GungnirSniper writes:

"Catherine Rampell at The Washington Post has 'A message to the nation's women: Stop trying to be straight-A students.'

In her analysis of others' findings, she writes of a discouragement gradient that pushes women out of harder college degrees, including economics and other STEM degrees. Men do not seem to have a similar discouragement gradient, so they stay in harder degree programs and ultimately earn more. Data suggests that women might also value high grades more than men do and sort themselves into fields where grading curves are more lenient.

'Maybe women just don't want to get things wrong,' Goldin hypothesized. 'They don't want to walk around being a B-minus student in something. They want to find something they can be an A student in. They want something where the professor will pat them on the back and say "You're doing so well!"'

'Guys,' she added, 'don't seem to give two damns.'

Why are women in college moving away from harder degrees?"

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:31PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday March 12 2014, @09:31PM (#15544) Homepage

    I agree with you about grade normalization, but it's a two-way street - if we're going to normalize STEM grades then the now-rampant problem of grade inflation should be dealt with appropriately.

    Most of us know that, back in the day, the field of computation was full of women because it was thought of as more clerical work. Teachers were allowed to discipline their students without fear of lawsuits, parents did parenting and pushed their kids rather than make excuses, and students were generally more disciplined and eloquent. There was none of the "check your CIS privilege" bullshit which is nothing but excuses for shortcomings.

    With STEM coursework, for the most part it's about getting the answers right or wrong, which leaves a lot less wiggle-room for women to claim sexism and minorities to claim racism. In fact, short of fucking your professor, there is no way to argue your way out of terrible math skills. You suck at math, you hit the damn books. If you can't do quantum physics, you settle for Computer Science or Econ or Chemistry.

    In my opinion, there should be none of this "affirmative action" or "diversity" bullshit. However, in my magical world, college should be affordable, accessable, and run like institutions of higher-learning rather than businesses. You take away the bitchers' and moaners' excuses, and you see that there's nothing left to argue with except the bellowing of hot air. And I say this as somebody who spent 10 years in community college before finally getting my A.S. Onward, HO!*

    * see what I did there?

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  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday March 13 2014, @03:40AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Thursday March 13 2014, @03:40AM (#15676) Homepage

    ...There was none of the "check your CIS privilege" bullshit which is nothing but excuses for shortcomings....

    And that observation applies all across life.

    As to what you did there... I think you need another hydrogen atom. ;)

    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.