We found what is likely to be controversial news from the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York system. Their website has this article: Women’s Quest for Romance Conflicts with Scientific Pursuits, Study Finds. We know we’ve got your attention, so here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Four new studies by researchers at the University at Buffalo have found that when a woman’s goal is to be romantically desirable, she distances herself from academic majors and activities related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Your Curmudgeon, always a gentleman, expresses no opinion. Let’s read on:
The studies, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, were undertaken to determine why women, who have made tremendous progress in education and the workplace over the past few decades, continue to be underrepresented at the highest levels of STEM.
It’s not bigotry? Judge for yourself. Here’s a link to the published study: Effects of Everyday Romantic Goal Pursuit on Women’s Attitudes Toward Math and Science. It’s a 16-page pdf file, and you can read it all online. We continue with the university’s news article:
Lead author Lora E. Park, PhD, UB associate professor of psychology and her co-authors, found converging support for the idea that when romantic goals are activated, either by environmental cues or personal choice, women — but not men — show less interest in STEM and more interest in feminine fields, such as the arts, languages and English.
“When romantic goals are activated”? Activated? Egad! Here’s more:
Park says, “When the goal to be romantically desirable is activated, even by subtle situational cues, women report less interest in math and science. One reason why this might be is that pursuing intelligence goals in masculine fields, such as STEM, conflicts with pursuing romantic goals associated with traditional romantic scripts and gender norms.“
We don’t need to excerpt much more, because we know you’re going to click over there to read this stuff in full. One more excerpt should be sufficient:
“Gender scripts discourage women from appearing intelligent in masculine domains, like STEM,” Park says, “and in fact, studies show that women who deviate from traditional gender norms, such as succeeding in male-typed jobs, experience backlash for violating societal expectations. On the other hand, men in gender-incongruent occupations don’t experience the same degree of backlash as women do.”
Gotta love the terminology — “gender-incongruent occupations.” Is it true that men who pursue such are still seen as manly men? Perhaps that’s something for another study.
Okay, dear reader, that’s it. We must confess that we have doubts. It’s always been our sense of it that the lovely ladies who read this blog are — in the jargon of the study — fully activated. We await your tasteful comments.
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