Studies show that men and women have the same academic cognitive ability. In fact, there is an emerging study that women are now performing better than men in academics that could be attributed to their diligence, persistence and more focused study compared to men who are susceptible to “distractions” in their studies. …
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The point is, both gender has the same cognitive ability and aptitude. These abilities however can only be similar under normal conditions and without the intervention and threat of gender stereotype. The gap in academic performance will appear once the threat prejudice is applied and this persists in the professional life assuming that the female student was able to overcome the threat stereotype condition in the academe. In the essay "Women in Math and Science" of the book Writing Arguments -A Rhetoric with Readings, it showed how powerful prejudice and stereotype threat condition is in debilitating the capability of a person. In fact a study showed that even men are vulnerable to it. In a controlled condition conducted, two sets of white Caucasian men were asked to take an exam in math. The other set was subjected to stereotype threat condition that Asian are better than them in math while the other set took their test regularly. The result showed that Caucasian men who were subjected to the prejudice of stereotype threat performed less than the other group who were not subjected to the same prejudice. Of course the group who underperformed is not less tough or less than bright than the other group but only showed how stereotype threat can undermine one’s ability. ...
In fact, the cases among women are quite strange. Despite incidence of women who are performing well in school particularly in math and science, there are still fewer of them who are in the field of engineering and science. As I write this paper, I cannot recall anybody who is a popular female engineer, a scientist, or an astronaut. Apparently, prejudice still haunts them beyond school. That even if they managed to overcome the threat of stereotype in the academe, the prejudice still exists against them along the way when they are charting their career path. Somehow somewhere, this gender stereotype is still sabotaging them to land in a profession that is heavy in math and science because they are women. The sorry thing about this phenomenon is not that the threat stereotype condition can still hinder women in realizing their potential and contributing fully to society but rather, on our failure as a society to optimize the capability to contribute to the general good of society and to themselves. It may be subtler now and not as overt during the Middle Ages but it still exist. We can only glean from the evidence of women’s lack or non-participation in professions they are very much capable of but are excluded by the stereotype of male domination. In fact, the women’s challenge in dealing with subjects that relates to math and science is twice as much as men. First, she has to overcome the prejudice of gender stereotype which is known to effectively debilitate women’s ability to perform according to her potential. And if she is able to overcome it, the profession that she intends to practice her ability limits her option because she is a woman. Yet, despite this prejudice against her gender, she could even be still considered lucky because she is in
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