The Mathematics of Sex

The Mathematics of Sex : How Biology and Society Conspire to Limit Talented Women and Girls

3.18 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Even though women consistently receive better grades in math and science, men excel on math aptitude tests and are greatly overrepresented in the so-called hard sciences. The Mathematics of Sex explores why males are overrepresented in mathematically intensive professions such as physics, computer science, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering. Bringing together for the first time important research from such diverse fields as endocrinology, economics, sociology, education, genetics, and psychology, the authors show that two factors-the parenting choices women (but not men) have to make, and the tendency of bright women to choose people-oriented fields like medicine-largely account for the under-representation of women in the hard sciences. Further, research shows that biology itself-differences in hormones or brain organization-does not fully account for the problem. Compressing an enormous amount of information-over 400 studies-into a readable, engaging account suitable for parents, educators, and policymakers, this book advances the debate about women in science unlike any other book before it.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 154.94 x 238.76 x 30.48mm | 589.67g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • figures and tables
  • 0195389395
  • 9780195389395
  • 1,492,476

About Stephen J. Ceci

Stephen J. Ceci is Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology at Cornell University. Wendy M. Williams is a Professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University.show more

Review quote

"There is a great need for exactly what The Mathematics of Sex does--it pulls all the relevant research on gender in mathematics together in one place, fearlessly evaluating it through to some exceptionally important and original conclusions. All further considerations of this important issue in scholarly debates, schooling, politics and policy, the public and the media, must now start with this book."--Frank Farley, Ph.D., L.H. Carnell Professor, Temple University, and Former President, American Psychological Association "The Mathematics of Sex is a joy to read. Anyone who wants to encourage girls to pursue careers in science and math will find much to cheer about. It should be required reading for parents, teachers, school administrators, guidance counselors, and everyone else who has ever wondered why there are so few female scientists and mathematicians."-- Diane Halpern, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, and Former President, American Psychological Association"This is a powerful, Herculean synthesis of the scientific literature pertaining to the under-representation of women in engineering, science, and technology, and their over-representation in other disciplines. The authors assemble a complex web of information from the bio-social sciences and distill common themes into highly readable prose for those interested in sex differences in educational and occupational choice and performance after choice. Like the topics they seek to understand better, the authors are to be congratulated on crafting a truly outstanding scholarly achievement."--David Lubinski, Ph.D., Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University "Ceci and Williams entice readers to examine their beliefs and ideas about the gender disparities among participants in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. They lead readers through the thicket of contemporary research and highlight the paucity of robust findings. They explain why apparently conflicting results are often moderated by neglected factors and challenge readers to test their views against the current evidence. They enable everyone to come away feeling both more informed and more curious about how future investigations will unfold."-- Marcia Linn, Ph.D., Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley"[The Mathematics of Sex] manages to provide a convincing and comprehensive overview of the substantial body of existing research...it succeeds in presenting a wide range of arguments and balancing up the experimental evidence for and against each one in a clear and unbiased manner."--iSquared"Two groups of people should care about the underrepresentation of women in math-intensive fields: academics and everyone else. In "[The Mathematics of Sex: How Biology and Society Conspire to Limit Talented Women and Girls], Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams provide a valuable resource for both audiences."--Science.."..Cornell researchers Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams politely demolish studies that are presented in nsf [National Science Foundation] workshops as settled science."--Forbes"In one stunning critique after another, Ceci and Williams demonstrate that the research at the heart of the gender bias movement is riddled with falacies and inconsistencies....The Mathematics of Sex is getting praise from both sides of the debate."--Washington Post"So why are women still such a minority in math-oriented sciences? The most balanced answer I've seen comes from two psychologists at Cornell, Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams...After reviewing hundreds of studies in their new book, The Mathematics of Sex (Oxford), they conclude that discrimination is no longer an important factor in keeping out women."--John Tierney in the New York Times "There is a great need for exactly what The Mathematics of Sex does--it pulls all the relevant research on gender in mathematics together in one place, fearlessly evaluating it through to some exceptionally important and original conclusions. All further considerations of this important issue in scholarly debates, schooling, politics and policy, the public and the media, must now start with this book."--Frank Farley, Ph.D., L.H. Carnell Professor, Temple University, and Former President, American Psychological Association "The Mathematics of Sex is a joy to read. Anyone who wants to encourage girls to pursue careers in science and math will find much to cheer about. It should be required reading for parents, teachers, school administrators, guidance counselors, and everyone else who has ever wondered why there are so few female scientists and mathematicians."-- Diane Halpern, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, and Former President, American Psychological Association"This is a powerful, Herculean synthesis of the scientific literature pertaining to the under-representation of women in engineering, science, and technology, and their over-representation in other disciplines. The authors assemble a complex web of information from the bio-social sciences and distill common themes into highly readable prose for those interested in sex differences in educational and occupational choice and performance after choice. Like the topics they seek to understand better, the authors are to be congratulated on crafting a truly outstanding scholarly achievement."--David Lubinski, Ph.D., Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University "Ceci and Williams entice readers to examine their beliefs and ideas about the gender disparities among participants in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. They lead readers through the thicket of contemporary research and highlight the paucity of robust findings. They explain why apparently conflicting results are often moderated by neglected factors and challenge readers to test their views against the current evidence. They enable everyone to come away feeling both more informed and more curious about how future investigations will unfold."-- Marcia Linn, Ph.D., Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley"[The Mathematics of Sex] manages to provide a convincing and comprehensive overview of the substantial body of existing research...it succeeds in presenting a wide range of arguments and balancing up the experimental evidence for and against each one in a clear and unbiased manner."--iSquared"Two groups of people should care about the underrepresentation of women in math-intensive fields: academics and everyone else. In "[The Mathematics of Sex: How Biology and Society Conspire to Limit Talented Women and Girls], Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams provide a valuable resource for both audiences."--Science.."..Cornell researchers Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams politely demolish studies that are presented in nsf [National Science Foundation] workshops as settled science."--Forbes"In one stunning critique after another, Ceci and Williams demonstrate that the research at the heart of the gender bias movement is riddled with falacies and inconsistencies....The Mathematics of Sex is getting praise from both sides of the debate."--Washington Post"So why are women still such a minority in math-oriented sciences? The most balanced answer I've seen comes from two psychologists at Cornell, Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams...After reviewing hundreds of studies in their new book, The Mathematics of Sex (Oxford), they conclude that discrimination is no longer an important factor in keeping out women."--John Tierney in the New York Timesshow more

Table of contents

Preface: Setting the Stage ; 1. Why Care About Women in Science? ; 2. A Multidimensional Problem ; 3. Opening Arguments: Environment ; 4. Opening Arguments: Biology ; 5. Challenges to the Environmental Position ; 6. Challenges to the Biological Position ; 7. Background and Trend Data ; 8. Comparisons Across Societies, Cultures, and Developmental Stages ; 9. Conclusions and Synthesis ; 10. What Next? Research and Policy Recommendations ; Epilogue ; Referencesshow more

Rating details

16 ratings
3.18 out of 5 stars
5 12% (2)
4 31% (5)
3 25% (4)
2 25% (4)
1 6% (1)
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