# When does the search for gender "equality" become gender discriminiation.

#### Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
705
This is an absurd statement. For the record, I'm male, and I'm interested in people who are interested in ideas.

So you believe that humans are born competent in STEM, that those who succeed in technical fields are wired differently than those who don't show aptitude or interest? Does education/opportunity/mentorship play any role?
Yes, that's what I believe and it's scientifically provable that some humans are in fact inherently more interested (and competent) in STEM than others - and that's just a fact of human genetics. The same goes for art and musical aptitude.

The Constitution says that all men are created equal --- Under the law of government. But that does not mean all men are equally knowledgeable and equally qualified in every field. The law says that all men shall have the right of equal opportunity, but that does not mean the results shall be equal. However some believe that's the case ............ and that's what is causing a problem.

#### JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
The military has been used as a ticket to college and a better life for their family.

Many used the GI Bill they earned.

If one can not research the funding options ... What makes them feel they will be successful in college?

Anyone know the graduation rate of Pell Grantees? What would be an acceptable number?

#### justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
435
Yes, that's what I believe and it's scientifically provable that some humans are in fact inherently more interested (and competent) in STEM than others - and that's just a fact of human genetics. The same goes for art and musical aptitude.

The Constitution says that all men are created equal --- Under the law of government. But that does not mean all men are equally knowledgeable and equally qualified in every field. The law says that all men shall have the right of equal opportunity, but that does not mean the results shall be equal. However some believe that's the case ............ and that's what is causing a problem.
Actually a lot of this has to do with what happened during child development, especially first few years. For average person, almost anythung can happen and they can be steered in any direction.

If we are talking exceptional talent, some are lucky to have it identified early on and have it developed. Those who are poor - we never know how many Mozarts have perished...

And then there are people like Euler and Ramanujan. Their brain clearly was wired differently

#### JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
The military has been using psychometric testing for a very long time, probably a century by now.

Some may remembered the government sponsored test most took as juniors in high school, to gauge the national average. Yes, it was a norm referenced test.

#### bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
I never said they were BORN with STEM interests, nor have I said they were BORN with Social Science interests. Look at the occupational distribution in egalitarian countries, by gender. Explain the gender differences? Do you think the social scientists really liked finding that tidbit out? Boil it down to interests.
How do you think these interests become ingrained? We are formed by our culture, and every culture comes equipped with its own biases and preconceptions that permeate every aspect of our lives. We typically don't notice them because -- like water to a fish -- they're part of the fabric of our experience. But, for example, consider that the overwhelming contributing factor to a person's religion is the religion in which they were raised.

Whether we realize it or not, each of us have implicit biases that -- through no rational choice or decision -- guide our worldview. These are so ingrained that they poke through even when we consciously try to avoid them. Being non-sexist is honestly not easy. And I'm not talking about "equality of outcome", or hitting some 50% gender hiring target for the sake of equality. Those are patches to the symptoms, not the cause. I'm talking about the ubiquitous cultural forces that in -- small, but incessant ways -- push girls away from men-dominated fields, like STEM.

The Vulcan aphorism applies: Challenge your preconceptions or they will challenge you.

#### bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
Yes, that's what I believe and it's scientifically provable that some humans are in fact inherently more interested (and competent) in STEM than others - and that's just a fact of human genetics.
This would be laughable if it weren't a bit frightening that you actually believe it. Don't you teach science? I shudder for your students.

#### JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
The metrics of equality is always talked about in terms of percentages. Here are three examples:

- Women make up x percent of society, how come they don't hold x CEO jobs?
- Black Americans make of x% of society, how come they comprise of y% of inmates?
- Men make up x percent of society, how come they don't hold x percent of medical positions.

That is the language used by society. That is equality of outcome. That will never be achieved in a free society where people are allowed to choose what they want to do. Even those with the potential to be a CEO, some will not want the job.

I'll bet those on these forums who served in the military can cite examples of poor leadership from people holding leadership positions. Some don't want to make the tough decisions that go with the position. The positional respect is afforded to them, but the personal respect lags far behind.

I don't have preconceptions anymore. I use to hold the notion that ANYONE can be trained to do something. Yet, the U.S. Military doesn't have job for anyone. Their AFQT metric disqualifies some from enlisting, meaning they are incapable of being trained for any position in the military. The military has been used to smash societal preconceptions. Most notable was Truman's desegregation order. The next was the integration of the Women into the regular service. Lastly was the opening of all jobs for those who qualify. Yes, some took longer, like reorganizing the berthing for mixed sex crews, which required a ship altercation for the naval services. The military has been used to bring lower income people some upward mobility.

Now when someone is trained for something, does something meet the value criteria of paying the "minimum wage" plus the additional costs of having an employee? Or should that job be contracted out?

#### Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
705
Some what off this subject, but no one has brought up this college admissions scandal yet.

Seems if your parents have enough \$, they can get you into any field you want and your gender doesn't really matter

#### Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
705
This would be laughable if it weren't a bit frightening that you actually believe it. Don't you teach science? I shudder for your students.
Please tell me exactly why you feel so uncomfortable with my reasoning.

So you don't believe that talent is an inherent trait and everyone is capable of achieving the same regardless of their genetic make up?

#### justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
435
Please tell me exactly why you feel so uncomfortable with my reasoning.

So you don't believe that talent is an inherent trait and everyone is capable of achieving the same regardless of their genetic make up?
I support this point before money and social influences enter the equation.

I also lay blame to english language for creating this problem. It is inherently biased with grandiose statements such as "one giant step for man, one giant leap for mankind"... Word "man" is used always in substitute for "human" and I find it very odd having grown up with a different language.

#### cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,513
I support this point before money and social influences enter the equation.

I also lay blame to english language for creating this problem. It is inherently biased with grandiose statements such as "one giant step for man, one giant leap for mankind"... Word "man" is used always in substitute for "human" and I find it very odd having grown up with a different language.
In my language, we've always used the term humanity too.

#### bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
So you don't believe that talent is an inherent trait and everyone is capable of achieving the same regardless of their genetic make up?
It is indisputable that the quality and quantity of practice in some skill is the dominant contributing factor that determines how talented a person is in that skill. Obviously, there are other necessary (though not sufficient) attributes, such as physical and mental capability (i.e., severe disabilities can be a precluding factor). But of those who meet the basic necessary attributes, practice is what separates the talented from the untalented.

That doesn't mean that everyone has the same capacity for greatness. Humans are exceedingly complex creatures and there are innumerable reasons why one violinist might be judged more musical than another violinist, though they both have similarly intensive practice regimens. But no one would deny that either is talented.

Practice = talent. There is no such thing as a "naturally talented" person. One may learn more quickly than average -- a skill in itself that has surely been practiced, whether conscious or not -- but no one is picking up a musical instrument for the first time and being great. No one sits down and writes an original, beautiful math proof without having spent tens of thousands of hours practicing. No one is born a chess master.

If you claim that the impetus to practice some skill is genetic, that interest in a field or subject is a genomic consequence like the shape of your nose, then I ask you: Which are the electronics genes? By what pathway does a particular sequence of amino acids lead to interest in physics?

At best, we can say that our genome makes us naturally curious and competitive creatures. But how that curiosity and competitiveness manifests itself -- whether we're interested in entomology or fantasy football -- is entirely a function of our environment. Raise one of a set of identical twins in a loving, supportive home with access to great schools and friends, and the other in an orphanage. Do you really expect their interests to be the same just because they have the same DNA?

I firmly believe that almost everyone can learn and excel in fields that are commonly considered difficult and requiring of "natural talent". I was born tone-deaf and with zero "natural aptitude" for music. But I was lucky enough to have close friends in high school who were brilliant musicians. Their joy in music was contagious, and I dedicated myself to learning music. I truly sucked for the first 5 years or so, but I learned the language, trained my ear, and achieved the physical dexterity necessary to play multiple instruments. Now, when someone sees me play, they assume music flows through me as if it were a "natural gift", but I assure there was nothing natural or easy about the process.

I had a very similar experience with STEM. I hated math and science in my youth. Algebra made my head spin, and I was convinced that I simply didn't have the "math gene". What I was really missing was an environment that fostered my natural curiosity into mathematical curiosity, and so -- of course -- I had zero interest in math. But decades later something happened that allowed math curiosity to sneak in through the back door, as it were, and I found myself surprisingly hungering for more. I was in my 30s and I didn't know how to add or subtract fractions, but I said screw it and started formal study. With my new attitude and excitement, algebra was no longer hieroglyphic nonsense; it was a powerful tool, one I could wield in my pursuit of much more interesting mathematical concepts. I leveraged that newfound excitement into an EE degree, and now I can sit in on graduate math seminars and joyously expand my imagination.

I truly believe these anecdotes can apply to most people. If I am exceptional in any way, it is because I was raised in a loving and supportive environment -- a benefit that is, sadly, far less common than it should be.

I know-well how easy it is to be cynical and reductive about humans, especially when we have to deal with the worst of the lot. But think of the dumbest, least skilled person you know and try to imagine what his or her childhood was like. Then imagine how different that person would be were they brought up in a life of love, support, and encouragement.

#### bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
I also lay blame to english language for creating this problem. It is inherently biased with grandiose statements such as "one giant step for man, one giant leap for mankind"... Word "man" is used always in substitute for "human" and I find it very odd having grown up with a different language.
It's not just English; most languages have inherent biases. Cultural bias is pernicious because it pervades everything.

#### bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
In my language, we've always used the term humanity too.
Alas, your language has it share of sexism. Consider that aventurero, the male form, means adventurer; while, aventurera, the female form, connotes a prostitute. Likewise, words like ingienera -- a female engineer -- didn't exist until recently.

#### cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,513
Alas, your language has it share of sexism. Consider that aventurero, the male form, means adventurer; while, aventurera, the female form, connotes a prostitute. Likewise, words like ingienera -- a female engineer -- didn't exist until recently.
Presidenta, gobernadora, licenciada, arquera, Reyna ... I could go on ... they've existed for a long, long time ... as for the "aventurero/a" connotation, it doesn't exist where I'm from, it belongs more to Central and South America. Lately, it's becoming fashionable to use male titles on female subjects, so as to keep a common form of the word, such as "la ingeniero" and "la presidente".
But yes, my language (as most others) is male-dominant.

#### JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
@bogosort it's good you had an "interest" in Algebra, even at a late stage. Still that was YOUR CHOICE.

I stated that in a free society where one is allowed to choose their interests, don't complain if there are male or female dominated fields. When you want equity, specify whether or not you mean equal opportunity or equality based on some metric like population distribution. You start legal discrimination when you go for equality of outcome.

One can draw the conclusion that a dominated field, the gender in domination has the most interests. Of course you can hold the conclusion that they dominate the field because of the pay and the work hours if you want.

#### justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
435
@bogosort it's good you had an "interest" in Algebra, even at a late stage. Still that was YOUR CHOICE.

I stated that in a free society where one is allowed to choose their interests, don't complain if there are male or female dominated fields. When you want equity, specify whether or not you mean equal opportunity or equality based on some metric like population distribution. You start legal discrimination when you go for equality of outcome.

One can draw the conclusion that a dominated field, the gender in domination has the most interests. Of course you can hold the conclusion that they dominate the field because of the pay and the work hours if you want.
Where is this free society? I want in...

I think "The Glass Bead Game" by Hesse addresses many of these issues beautifully. But it is not for everyone, and it is certainly not Ayan Rand

#### JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
Are you not free in egalitarian countries?

#### justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
435

#### JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
The most egalitarian country is Sweden.

There is no gender equity, as women dominate the medical field and men dominate the STEM fields. They choose what they wanted to do for their careers. Equality of outcome would be the government telling which man or woman is assigned the job irrespective of the various levels of competence in the field.

Utopia hasn't been discovered yet. Maybe in death there is Utopia.