Gender and Sexual Studies - Writting Assignment - Coursework Example

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Name Date Professor Name Section Writing Assignment 1 Currently, although women in higher education have made great strides towards equal representation on a host of metrics, women continue to fall short with comparison to men with relation to STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) majors…
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Gender and Sexual Studies - Writting Assignment
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"Gender and Sexual Studies - Writting Assignment"

In her piece “Walking a Tightrope”, Marta Wayne refers to the fact that there is an ever present dichotomy between the “climate for women in sciences and the focus on substantive influences of gender constructs on knowledge” (Wayne, 2000, p. 231) – two very separate entities. Accordingly, just because we are able to currently acknowledge that there exists a poor climate for women in the sciences, questioning of the gender constructs which has led us to this failed point is another issue entirely. Wayne argues effectively that both must be tackled equally in order that the situation improves for women considering majoring in the sciences. For women contemplating a career in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), the first phase of Wayne’s four phases appears to be the most detrimental. For the purpose of clarity, the stages are as follows: 1: Acceptance of the status quo 2: Questioning of gender politics 3: Increasing awareness concerning how gender differences infect scientific knowledge 4: Unsettling questions concerning how research could be used by others to fuel sex difference research By accepting societal biases towards women in the sciences and choosing to shy away from such careers rather than pursue them, many young women are in danger of accepting the status quo. Obviously Ms Wayne has made a long, storied, and successful career in the sciences; however, she was only able to do so after she challenged the conventional wisdom that she could not make it and was not necessarily cut out for a career in the sciences; after all, the sciences were even more male-dominated during the time she was earning her degree than is currently the case. In the same vein, the AAWU piece speaks to the data with regards to the points Wayne illustrated. Concerning bias, the following is worth noting: “Women in STEM fields can experience bias that negatively influences their progress and participation. Although instances of explicit bias may be decreasing, implicit bias continues to have an adverse effect . . . therefore, even individuals who espouse a belief of gender equity and equality may harbor implicit biases about gender and, hence, negative gender stereotypes about women and girls in science and math (AAWU, 2010, p. 24). Sadly, this bias is both proven and measurable. Worse still, the evidence of this bias is in womens willingness to accept these biases as fact. The AAWU piece notes the following regarding accepted bias: “Self assessment, or how we view our own abilities further limits girls options in the sciences. This research finds that girls assess their mathematical abilities lower than do boys with similar past mathematical achievements” (AAWU, 2010, p. 27). In short, girls are selling themselves short on their abilities; in no small part due to their acceptance of ingrained cultural and societal norms with regards to their performance in STEM related fields – i.e. acceptance of the status quo through ingrained societal gender biases. For years educators have attempted to remedy this situation by merely offering women the same opportunities as men; however, it becomes more and more apparent that further efforts to reverse the ingrained societal biases that exist must be made in order to further level the playing field. Furthermore, working to build the self-esteem and ego of girls at an early age and working to set new norms of societal acceptance for women in the sciences Read More
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