Tuesday, May 22, 2018

An Interesting Paradox

"A recent study points out a so-called “gender-equality paradox”: there are more women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine) in countries with lower gender equality. Why do women make up 40 percent of engineering majors in Jordan, but only 34 percent in Sweden and 19 percent in the U.S.? The researchers suggest that women are just less interested in STEM, and when liberal Western countries let them choose freely, they freely choose different fields".

The study further says that women in Western countries are not freely expressing their lack of “interest” in STEM. In fact, the best predictor of college women’s choice of major is the amount of gender discrimination they perceive in that major, not how “math”-y or “science”-y it is. Cultural attitudes and discrimination are shaping women’s interests in a way that is anything but free, even in otherwise free countries.

In effect there is more gender discrimination in countries with better gender equality. Hence we have a “Gender-equality paradox”