by Andrew Gillen
Those who care about the future of science should go read John Tierney's piece A New Frontier for Title IX: Science in the New York Times. He points out that the powers that be are in the beginning stages of implementing Title IX requirements to fields in the hard sciences.
Those opposed to the move have a strong case:
"there is far better research showing that on average, women’s interest in some fields isn’t the same as men’s."
“The freedom to act on one’s preferences can create a more exaggerated gender split in some fields.”
“Colleges already practice affirmative action for women in science, but now they’ll be so intimidated by the Title IX legal hammer that they may institute quota systems... In sports, they had to eliminate a lot of male teams to achieve Title IX parity. It’ll be devastating to American science if every male-dominated field has to be calibrated to women’s level of interest.”
In other words, no one doubts that women can do science just as well as men, but for some reason**, women tend to choose to go into other fields instead. Since the imbalance appears to be caused by choice, to impose numerical parity would decimate the number of scientists (The number of women would not increase since they would still tend to choose not to go into the sciences, but the number of men allowed would be reduced so as to equalize the numbers of males and females.)
** Discrimination is an unlikely reason. Females now outnumber males in college, so to argue that discrimination is the reason for their scarcity in the sciences, one would have to argue that colleges in general are not discriminating, but that just about every science and engineering department in the country is.