Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gender in the Press

Posted by Simon Halliday | Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | Category: , |

I thought I'd give a couple of comments about recent stuff about gender in the popular and scientific presses. Nothing comprehensive, just a few tidbits.

  • Nature reports that men prefer women who are less powerful than other women (their headline was poorly written, else it could be interpreted as 'men prefer women who are less powerful than them' which could also be true, but wasn't strictly what the study was about). The converse is true for women.
  • Ronald Ehrenburg produced a short piece at Vox EU about his own research indicating that having women on boards of universities correlates with having more women on that university's faculty, and that the growth rate of female academics is substantially higher than at colleges or universities without similar female representation in leadership positions. The effects are larger for smaller colleges, possibly showing a greater effect for female leadership amongst colleges with smaller student populations.
  • The Sunday Times of London reported inaccurately on work by Dr. Sell of UC Santa Barbara. In the Times piece the journalist reports all kinds of codswollop about blondes being aggressive, entitled, and other rubbish. Dr. Sell took the Times to task, and is awaiting and apology. HT: Satoshi Kanazawa.
  • Science Daily reports on female elementary school teachers who fear mathematics themselves can pass on this fear, with consequent lack of success, to female students. This comes from what looks to be a fascinating year-long study of about 120 girls and boys.
  • Inside Higher Ed reports that the gender gap in US college enrollment has stopped growing. Oddly enough, this has been one where girls have dominated and policy-makers have been worrying about the boys. The evidence seems to suggest that males are becomging successful, while women are still performing well.
I plan to write up a few more pieces on recent research on gender to continue my ongoing series. Watch this space (eventually).

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