Ten to One

My wife took my son to a science activity center today. The kind of place with hands-on experiments and interactive museum exhibits. They both had a blast. The favorite item was a rocket where you could blast off through orders of magnitude to see the earth, galaxy and whole universe, then zoom back down through a cell to an atom.

My wife counted the children there. There were ten boys for every girl.

Is that because parents don’t think to take their girls to do science? Or is it because girls would rather do something else with their activity days?

Either way, if you care about gender issues in science (and I do), it is a depressing omen for the future.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Ten to One

  1. I have a son (older) and daughter (younger). I am guilty of this bias. I need to be more creative.

  2. I’ve heard of similar issues with getting boys to play with barbies.

    When taking on gender issues around science, or any subject really, it’s kind of like fighting invisibles. I don’t think it’s as simple as blaming the parents or blaming the girls (which I’m guessing is not your intention with this, of course).

    Cultural norms are like addictions. Admittance, or public recognition, is like step 1 or 2 in a much bigger process, I think.

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