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Women's Role in the Fields of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering - Essay Example

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Women have made a lot of contributions to technology and science since time in memorial. However in some countries they have not yet been recognized. In the US, women’s involvement in science and technology in history is faced with a lot of debate. …
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Womens Role in the Fields of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering
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Download file to see previous pages Until the mid of the 19th century, many women were discriminated in terms of the kind of education they could receive (Klein 45). It was belived that learned women were likely to engage in deviant behavior, not acceptable to the society. People believed that educating females would have a negative effect on their children and their personal health as they are said to weak. By the mid 19th century, supporters of women’s education noted that women were not able to do their natural duties properly and effectively without having the knowledge to do so (Klein 45). In the late 19th century, scientists came up with different studies showing how upper middle class women’s health was affected by strain due to education. The studies also suggested that the strain caused to women in the process of learning mathematics drew blood from their reproductive organs to their brains. Education was therefore viewed to threaten women’s fertility. Despite the restriction on women’s education, women made several contributions to scientific knowledge. Their contribution was through carrying out research and writing. For instance, Jane Colden who was taught by her father, a botanist, identified over three hundred plant species and classified them. She also identified and classified different works with the gardenia of which she is today identified with. The establishment of female academies meant for upper-class women in the US increased their literacy levels. Most women engaged in writing scientific texts. These texts were used or educating the public about basic science. In 1796 a text entitled Introduction to Botany in a Series of Familiar Letters was published by Priscilla Bell. The book was printed in the US and England for almost fifty years. Some years later, Jane Marcet made a publication of a text titled Conversations on Chemistry. Maria Mitchell is regarded as the first lady to be a professional scientist in America. According to Wyer (96), at twenty-eight that is in 1847, she discovered a new comet. The earlier belief that it was unwise to educate women began to fade gradually in the latter part of the 1800s. This belief gave way to the argument that women education improved their knowledge making it more beneficial. By the end of the 19th century, around twenty-five women had been awarded doctorate degrees with six of them being in science (Wyer 56). The following year the number of women awarded doctorate degrees in science went up to thirty-six. This led to the increasing need to provide more job opportunities for women. When focusing on the history women in the field of engineering in America, there has been a great evolution. Early in the 19th century, technology was viewed in the perspective of science. It was viewed as a filed meant for men. It was due to the masculinity associated with the combination of science and technology. In those days the women’s contribution in science and other related fields such as mathematics and engineering was undermined. The only women who succeeded in the field worked in line with their husbands or fathers. The society of women engineers in America has done a lot in promoting engineering to be career choice to women. The society was formed in 1950 and was involved in introducing young females in the field of engineering. It has initiated career guidance and counseling for women. Earlier women engaged in the field of engineering of practiced the career through information distribution. By the start of the 20th century, engineering programs were only known by a small number of women. They started ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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