John Horgan at Scientific American:
This is a time, part of me thinks, for men to listen to women rather than pontificating about sexism. But I just talked about sexism in science with my friend Robert Wright on Meaningoflife.tv. And I feel obliged to say something about this issue because I teach at an engineering school where females account for less than 30 percent of the professors and students. Below are points I made or wanted to make during my conversation with Wright.
Is science sexist? Of course it is, in two ways. First, women in science (including engineering, math, medicine) face discrimination, harassment and other forms of maltreatment from men. Second, male scientists portray females as males’ intellectual inferiors. These two forms of sexism are mutually reinforcing. That is, male scientists use science to justify their sexist attitudes toward and maltreatment of women. Then, when women fail to thrive, the men say, See? Women just aren’t our equals.
In her important, timely new book Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story, British science journalist Angela Saini documents how science has long denigrated females.