blonde student girl drawing a mathematical formula

Sex appeal: Women kiss science goodbye

U. BUFFALO (US) — When a woman’s goal is to be romantically desirable, she distances herself from academic majors and activities related to science, technology, engineering, and math.

The findings come from a series of studies, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, that were undertaken to determine why women, who have made tremendous progress in education and the workplace over the past few decades, continue to be underrepresented at the highest levels of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Lead author Lora Park, associate professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, and her co-authors found converging support for the idea that when romantic goals are activated, either by environmental cues or personal choice, women—but not men—show less interest in STEM and more interest in feminine fields, such as the arts, languages and English. The research is described in the article to be published in the September issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

“When the goal to be romantically desirable is activated, even by subtle situational cues, women report less interest in math and science,” says Park. “One reason why this might be is that pursuing intelligence goals in masculine fields, such as STEM, conflicts with pursuing romantic goals associated with traditional romantic scripts and gender norms.”

Women, in particular, are socialized from a young age to be romantically desirable, and that traditional romantic scripts in Western cultures are highly gendered, prescribing how men and women ought to think, feel and behave in romantic settings, Park notes.

“Gender scripts discourage women from appearing intelligent in masculine domains, like STEM,” Park says, “and in fact, studies show that women who deviate from traditional gender norms, such as succeeding in male-typed jobs, experience backlash for violating societal expectations. On the other hand, men in gender-incongruent occupations don’t experience the same degree of backlash as women do.”

In Park’s studies of more than 350 participants, men and women were exposed to images (Study 1) or overheard conversations (Study 2a, 2b) that cued them to romantic goals or to other types of goals.

In Study 1, participants viewed images related to romantic goals (e.g., images of romantic restaurants, beach sunsets, candles) or intelligence goals (e.g., images of libraries, books, eyeglasses).

Participants in Study 2a overheard a conversation about a recent date that someone had gone on (romantic goal condition) or a test that someone had taken (intelligence goal condition). In Study 2b, they overheard a conversation about a romantic date (romantic goal) or about a recent visit from a friend from out of town (friendship goal).

After exposure to the romantic, intelligence or friendship goal cues, participants completed questionnaires assessing their interest in STEM vs. other fields and their preference for various academic majors.

Results showed women (but not men) exposed to cues related to romantic goals reported less positive attitudes toward STEM and less preference for majoring in math or science fields compared to other disciplines. This did not occur when they were exposed to cues associated with intelligence goals or friendship goals.

The final study, Study 3, used a more explicit method of assessing goal pursuit by recruiting women who were interested in pursuing a degree or a career in STEM and asking them to answer questions on a PDA (personal digital assistant) device every night for 21 nights. Specifically, women reported on their daily romantic goal strivings (e.g., “Today, I was trying to be romantically desirable”), intelligence goal strivings (e.g., Today I was trying to be academically competent/intelligent”), romantic activities (e.g., “Today, I called/emailed/texted someone I was romantically interested in”), math course activities (e.g., “Today I did my math homework”), and daily feelings of attractiveness, likability and desirability.

Results showed on days when women pursued romantic goals, they engaged in more romantic activities and felt more desirable, but they engaged in fewer math activities. Furthermore, romantic goal strivings on one day predicted feeling more desirable, but being less invested in math on the following day.

Overall, the findings show women’s romantic goal strivings, which can be triggered by environmental cues or by personal choice, have important implications for the gender gap in attitudes and interest in math and science.

More news from the University at Buffalo: www.buffalo.edu/news/

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27 Comments

  1. Jill

    It’s really too bad. Maybe we ought to educate our boys that the mates they want should be the smartest girl they can find since it is the X chromosome that has the most influence on their future sons’ intelligence. Then the girls could flaunt their smarts. You’d think that if intelligence was a survival trait in the growth and development of the human race that it would have become a strong “attracting” factor. Hmmm

  2. DCM

    The truth will out.

  3. jtgwdtt

    Smart women are attractive, including (and maybe even especially) those who are good in math and science.

  4. Jess

    Well that study was certainly a good way to spend money, but it didn’t really tell me much. Correlation does not equal causation.
    As a 28 year old woman who is a degreed and practicing mechanical engineer I have personally never received “backlash” for violating social expectations. What the hell does “backlash” mean in this context anyway? This associate professor doesn’t actually specify. On the other hand I hear jokes about male nurses ALL THE TIME from my female nurse friend.

    I hope that the conclusion at the end of this summary is based on more than we’re given here. For example: when getting ready for a date on Saturday, a woman in a STEM degree program is preoccupied with this event on Friday, and will probably still be thinking about (in a good or bad way) on Sunday. Hey, look at that, this girl was just preoccupied for 3 days in a row about a date. Did she drop out of college? Did she change her major? I’d estimate that answer to be 99% NO.

    I find this article and the conclusion to be so much bullshit in a very small bag.

  5. Susan

    Was an engineer for 20 years and am currently a math teacher. I feel being smart in math and science made me very attractive to the opposite sex…and I rarely lacked for male attention…with some caveats. While I have never, and will never “dumb down” to make a guy feel more secure, I have learned that the male ego is extremely fragile, and that I need to be careful not to overtly flaunt my intelligence and proficiency in male-dominated areas. You’ve got to allow the guys to be able to feel masculine around you, and if that means allowing them to change your tire (or whatever) when you’re perfectly capable of doing it yourself, then so be it. It takes a very secure guy to “be” with me. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that men can be easily intimidated by a woman who is good in math and science. But to the RIGHT guy, he will think it is a turn-on. The other caveat is that, as women, we need to allow ourselves to give in to our feminine side as well, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable and dependent occasionally.

  6. Aimee

    I’m a 17 year old girl who lives in Indiana. I have experienced back lash almost everyday. I had grown tire of intimidating males and did dumb down. Now I don’t care. Those of you who haven’t experienced any backlash or attempts to hold you back or “put you in place” are extremely lucky. It has hurt me a lot and I’m still hesitant to not allow myself to be held back. Maybe it’s just a part of living in a southern state. As for now, I’m looking for balance.

  7. Melinda

    Yes there is back lash. But if you dumb it down…. there is also back lash. Be true to yourself. Many men will be intimidated. However, an intellectually intelligent male… will allow you to continue to grow and will have the ability to stimulate your mind. You wont have to rely on romance alone. You will also have the ability to become true friends who can share all of your interests. Don’t expect that everyone will appreciate your intelligence. But, those who matter most through the rest of your life will..

  8. Meritt

    Backlash – just one of many words that can be used. There are various degrees of seperation attitude when a female is in a male dominate work role like Technology and Science.

    I would say that for myself, I have experienced more nagativity in the workplace in the last 6 years than I did before. I’m almost 40 years old and it would seem that the silliness of these kinds of childish behavioral patterns would be all but done by now. However, I have personally experienced it from men and women both. Men don’t take women as seriously as they do the same qualified male counter parts. Women often feel such a need to compete that they will actually be stand offish to other females in the same or similar work roles.

    At any rate, there is always going to be the human factor in anything that any gender attempts to. That is why good communication skills are so very necessary. Not only that but the ability to rise above these issues of personal preference and gender comfort and march forward with a smile. If working as a woman in Information Technology was easy; then everyone would do it and it wouldn’t provide the same satisfaction of self.

  9. David

    My girlfriend is beautiful *and is extraordinarily math and science gifted and is about to begin her first semester at MIT.

    I could not be more proud or attracted to her …

  10. Kenba

    @ Aimee:

    I’m kinda sorry to have to say this, but if you believe that Indiana is a Southern state, maybe you’re not as smart as you think !!! Or is that part of your “dumb down” approach ?

    On a more serious note, any male who gives an intelligent, strong-willed woman “backlash” probably wasn’t going to be worth it anyway. Think long term, and keep your chin up.

  11. Jim Bob

    First I would like to congratulate David at 11:06 for being a superior male (or at least having the wisdom to pretend to be one to attract women).

    Seriously, though, isn’t it funny how they have all these studies and they show that it is the *women* who have all these odd self-defeating behavioral traits, and yet we blame all of it on the men. The irony is rich — we are told that women are equal, or even superior creatures, and yet men, simply by gawking at cheerleaders, can cause whole populations of women to give up math and science and strut around like peacocks on 6 inch heels. Wives, on the other hand, can’t even get their husbands to put their socks in the hamper.

    Don’t get me wrong — I take no issue with women studying math and science, but I accept no blame for my biology or ethical obligation to accept or promote some new definition of beauty so that certain groups of women who deem themselves superior to other women can get better mates. Those who fight with their biology are likely to be unhappy creatures.

  12. SER

    This is probably going to get me some “backlash,” but my experience tells me that the study drew the wrong conclusions. I have a daughter who is fairly bright (34 out of 36 on the ACT and 177 out of 180 on the LSAT) and I do not believe that she was considered “unattractive” by her male peers (her husband seems partial to her,as well). On the other hand, my sons (3) went to a university to study engineering and found many young ladies in the freshman engineering classes but very few in upper level courses. They concluded that many of the ladies determined that the effort needed in the engineering courses was not worth it. A young man knows (gender roles, whatever) that to be attractive to ladies he needs to demonstrate the ability to “provide.” A young lady does not. You may disagree with me, but try this in a controlled study: Send men and women into a college bar. Have the men say that their ambition is to be a “house husband and raise the children” to the the women they meet in the bar and take note of the reaction. Then have the women do the same thing (“house wife”) and gauge the reaction. If you smart psychology types figure out a way to quantify the reactions, you may be on to something.

  13. Lisette

    I think this is the beginning of many similar breakthroughs, where the female of the human species are discovered as determining more outcomes across the breadth of social and reproductive behaviors. I can almost envision a possibility where males will be found as rather ancillary, or at the least, passive role players – but for their essential role as sperm banks, protectors etc. You can easily imagine that females find them of more use than troubles, in spite of a great deal of it, and have not extremely altered their hormone productions during pregnancy and pinched a large swath of males and warlike, masculine and aggressors along with that.

  14. sg

    Sounds like an argument for all female schools.

  15. Honza Prchal

    If the authors wrote that Western Society is somehow particularly hostile to women doing well in traditionally male dominated fields (once upon a time that included teaching, pharmacy, being a secretary (that was Rockefeller’s first indoor job), then I doubt socialization has much to do with the phenomenon they have observed. Western society is hardly sexist in any relative sense, quite the opposite.
    As for the poor girl who got dumped on in comments for saying Indiana growing up in Indiana makes her Southern, there’s NASCAR, large tracts of land heavily populated by Scotts-Irish and stronger cultural affinity in many parts with Kentucky than Illinois or certainly what one traditionally thinks of as Pennsylvania and New York (though upstate NY and rural PA share much in common with the South, ethnically and culturally).

  16. dick

    Don’t be afraid of pursuing a rewarding career in math or science ladies; we don’t care how smart you are we’re still not going to call you back.

  17. Cindi

    Dick, if that is not your real name than you picked a very approriate posting name,and if it is,than it also really fits because what you said is a terrible all too typical sexist woman-hating comment. And Honza,what you said about you doubting that socialization has much to do with this,and that Western society is hardly sexist in any relative sense,and that you think it’s quite the opposite,is totally untrue and ludicrioius!

    We live in a very sexist,gender divided,gender stereotyped,sick woman-hating male dominated society! I can’t even list all of the *countless* factual examples. But one of too many,is that women in general still get payed less money than men for the *same exact* jobs,when they have the *same exact* intelligence,education and qualifications as men,when they are lawyers,doctors etc. The only things women are still payed more than men by men,are when they use their bodies to sexually serve men in prostitution,pornography and stripping,which all totally dehumanize girls and women and sexualize men’s dominance and irational cruel hatred of girls and women etc etc.

  18. Cindi

    I just noticed I made a typing mistake.

    But below is part of an important speach by Christian scholar and psychology professor Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen of the Christian college,Eastern in Pa.

    Trinity 2007

    Opposite Sexes or Neighboring Sexes?

    C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and
    the Psychology of Gender
    Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen

    Gender and Modern Social Science

    C. S. Lewis was no fan of the emerging social sciences. He saw practitioners of the social sciences mainly as lackeys of technologically-minded natural scientists, bent on reducing individual freedom and moral accountability to mere epiphenomena of natural processes (See Lewis 1943 and 1970 b). And not surprisingly (given his passion for gender-essentialist archetypes), aside from a qualified appreciation of some aspects of Freudian psychoanalysis (See Lewis 1952 (Book III, Chapter 4) and 1969). “Carl Jung was the only philosopher [sic] of the Viennese school for whose work [Lewis] had much respect” (Sayer 102).

    But the social sciences concerned with the psychology of gender have since shown that Sayers was right, and Lewis and Jung were wrong: women and men are not opposite sexes but neighboring sexes—and very close neighbors indeed. There are, it turns out, virtually no large, consistent sex differences in any psychological traits and behaviors, even when we consider the usual stereotypical suspects: that men are more aggressive, or just, or rational than women, and women are more empathic, verbal, or nurturing than men. When differences are found, they are always average—not absolute—differences. And in virtually all cases the small, average—and often decreasing—difference between the sexes is greatly exceeded by the amount of variability on that trait within members of each sex. Most of the “bell curves” for women and men (showing the distribution of a given psychological trait or behavior) overlap almost completely. So it is naïve at best (and deceptive at worst) to make even average—let alone absolute—pronouncements about essential archetypes in either sex when there is much more variability within than between the sexes on all the trait and behavior measures for which we have abundant data.

    This criticism applies as much to C. S. Lewis and Carl Jung as it does to their currently most visible descendent, John Gray, who continues to claim (with no systematic empirical warrant) that men are from Mars and women are from Venus (Gray 1992).

    And what about Lewis’s claims about the overriding masculinity of God? Even the late Carl Henry (a theologian with impeccable credentials as a conservative evangelical) noted a quarter of a century ago that:

    Masculine and feminine elements are excluded from both the Old Testament and New Testament doctrine of deity. The God of the Bible is a sexless God. When Scripture speaks of God as “he” the pronoun is primarily personal (generic) rather than masculine (specific); it emphasizes God’s personal nature—and, in turn, that of the Father, Son and Spirit as Trinitarian distinctions in contrast to impersonal entities… Biblical religion is quite uninterested in any discussion of God’s masculinity or femininity… Scripture does not depict God either as ontologically
    masculine or feminine. (Henry 1982, 159–60)

    However well-intentioned, attempts to read a kind of mystical gendering into God—whether stereotypically masculine, feminine, or both—reflect not so much careful biblical theology as “the long arm of Paganism” (Martin 11). For it is pagan worldviews, the Jewish commentator Nahum Sarna reminds us, that are “unable to conceive of any primal creative force other than in terms of sex… [In Paganism] the sex element existed before the cosmos came into being and all the gods themselves were creatures of sex. On the other hand, the Creator in Genesis is uniquely without any female counterpart, and the very association of sex with God is utterly alien to the religion of the Bible” (Sarna 76).

    And if the God of creation does not privilege maleness or stereotypical masculinity, neither did the Lord of redemption. Sayers’s response to the cultural assumption that women were human-not-quite-human has become rightly famous:Perhaps it is no wonder that women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind or no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is not act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel which borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about women’s nature. (Sayers 1975, 46)
    It is quite likely that Lewis’s changing views on gender owed something to the intellectual and Christian ties that he forged with Dorothy L. Sayers. And indeed, in 1955—two years before her death, Lewis confessed to Sayers that he had only “dimly realised that the old-fashioned way… of talking to all young women was v[ery] like an adult way of talking to young boys. It explains,” he wrote, “not only why some women grew up vapid, but also why others grew us (if we may coin the word) viricidal [i.e., wanting to kill men]” (Lewis 2007, 676; Lewis’s emphasis). The Lewis who in his younger years so adamantly had defended the doctrine of gender essentialism was beginning to acknowledge the extent to which gendered behavior is socially conditioned. In another letter that same year, he expressed a concern to Sayers that some of the first illustrations for the Narnia Chronicles were a bit too effeminate. “I don’t like either the ultra feminine or the ultra masculine,” he added. “I prefer people” (Lewis 2007, 639; Lewis’s emphasis).

    Dorothy Sayers surely must have rejoiced to read this declaration. Many of Lewis’s later readers, including myself, wish that his shift on this issue had occurred earlier and found its way into his better-selling apologetic works and his novels for children and adults. But better late than never. And it would be better still if those who keep trying to turn C. S. Lewis into an icon for traditionalist views on gender essentialism and gender hierarchy would stop mining his earlier works for isolated proof-texts and instead read what he wrote at every stage of his life.

    Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen is Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania.

    This essay originally was presented as the Tenth Annual Warren Rubel Lecture on Christianity and Higher Learning at Valparaiso University on 1 February 2007.

    The Cresset

    Bibliography

    Evans, C. Stephen. Wisdom and Humanness in Psychology: Prospects for a Christian Approach. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989.
    Gray, John. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
    Hannay, Margaret. C. S. Lewis. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1981.
    Henry, Carl F. H. God, Revelation, and Authority. Vol. V. Waco, Texas: Word, 1982.
    Lewis, C. S. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. III. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
    HarperSanFrancisco, 2007.
    _____. The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1964.
    _____. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. I: 1905–1931. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
    HarperSanFrancisco, 2004a.
    _____. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. II: 1931–1949. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
    HarperSanFrancisco, 2004b.
    _____. “On Three Ways of Writing for Children,”[1952] Reprinted in Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories, ed., Walter Hooper, 22–34. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975.
    _____. “Priestesses in the Church?” [1948]. Reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper, 234–39. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970a.
    _____. “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,”[1954]. Reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper, 287–300. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970b.
    _____. “Psychoanalysis and Literary Criticism,”[1942]. Reprinted in Selected Literary Essays, ed. Walter Hooper, 286–300. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1969.
    _____. [N. W. Clerk, pseudo.] A Grief Observed. London: Faber and Faber, 1961.
    _____. The Four Loves. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960.
    _____. Till We Have Faces. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1956.
    _____. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. London: Collins, 1955.
    _____. Mere Christianity. London: Collins, 1952.
    _____. That Hideous Strength. London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1945.
    _____. The Abolition of Man. Oxford: Oxford University, 1943.
    _____. A Preface to Paradise Lost. Oxford: Oxford University, 1942.

    The Cresset

    _____. Perelandra. London: The Bodley Head, 1942.
    Martin, Faith. “Mystical Masculinity: The New Question Facing Women,” Priscilla Papers, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Winter 1998), 6–12.
    Reynolds, Barbara. Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul. New York: St. Martins, 1993.
    Sarna, Nahum M. Understanding Genesis: The Heritage of Biblical Israel. New York: Schocken, 1966.
    Sayer, George. Jack: C. S. Lewis and His Times. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.
    Sayers, Dorothy L. “The Human-Not-Quite-Human,”[1946]. Reprinted in Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women
    Human?, 37–47. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity, 1975.
    Sayers, Dorothy L. Gaudy Night. London: Victor Gollancz, 1935.
    Sterk, Helen. “Gender and Relations and Narrative in a Reformed Church Setting.” In After Eden: Facing the Challenge of Gender Reconciliation, ed., Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, 184–221. Grand Rapids:

    Eerdmans, 1993.
    Copyright © 2007 Valparaiso University Press http://www.valpo.edu/cresset

  19. Cindi

    Below is an email I wrote to Oxford University Gender communication professor Deborah Cameron author of the great important book,The Myth Of Mars and Venus Do Men and women Really Speak Different Languages?.

    Dear Deborah,

    I recently read your great important book, The Myth Of Mars & Venus.

    I also thought you would want to know that John Gray got his “Ph.D” from Columbia Pacific University which was closed down in March 2001 by the California Attorney General’s Office because he called it a diploma mill and a phony operation offering totally worthless degrees!

    Also there is a Christian gender and psychology scholar and author psychology professor Dr. Mary Stewart Van Leewuen who teaches the psychology and Philosophy of Gender at the Christian College Eastern College here in Pa. She has several online presentations that were done at different colleges from 2005- the present debunking the Mars & Venus myth.

    One is called , Opposite Sexes Or Neighboring Sexes and sometimes adds, Beyond The Mars/Venus Rhetoric in which she explains that all of the large amount of research evidence from the social and behavorial sciences shows that the sexes are very close neighbors and that there are only small average differences between them many of which have gotten even smaller over the last several decades which she says happened after 1973 when gender roles were less rigid and that genetic differences can’t shrink like this and in such a short period of time, and that most large differences that are found are between individual people and that for almost every trait and behavior there is a large overlap between them and she said so it is naive at best and deceptive at worst to make claims about natural sex differences. etc.

    She says he claims Men are From Mars & Women are From Venus with no emperical warrant and that his claim gets virtually no support from the large amount of psychological and behavioral sciences and that in keeping in line with the Christian Ethic and with what a bumper sticker she saw said and evidence from the behavioral and social sciences is , Men Are From,Earth ,Women Are From Earth Get Used To It. Comedian George Carlin said this too.

    She also said that such dichotomous views of the sexes are apparently popular because people like simple answers to complex issues including relationships between men and women. She should have said especially relationships between them.

    Sociologist Dr.Michael Kimmel writes and talks about this also including in his Media Education Foundation educational video. And he explains that all of the evidence from the psychological and behavioral sciences indicates that women and men are far more alike than different.

    Yet Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen says that there are no consistent large psychological sex differences found.

    I have an excellent book from 1979 written by 2 parent child development psychologists Dr. Wendy Schemp Matthews and award winning psychologist from Columbia University, Dr.Jeane Brooks-Gunn, called He & She How Children Develop Their Sex Role Idenity.

    They thoroughly demonstrate with tons of great studies and experiments by parent child psychologists that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike than different with very few differences but they are still perceived and treated systematically very different from the moment of birth on by parents and other adult care givers. They go up to the teen years.

    I once spoke with Dr.Brooks-Gunn in 1994 and I asked her how she could explain all of these great studies that show that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike with few differences but are still perceived and treated so differently anyway, and she said that’s due to socialization and she said there is no question, that socialization plays a very big part.

    I know that many scientists know that the brain is plastic and can be shaped and changed by different life experiences and different enviornments too and Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen told this to me too when I spoke to her 10 years ago.

    Also there are 2 great online rebuttals of the Mars & Venus myth by Susan Hamson called, The Rebuttal From Uranus and Out Of The Cave: Exploring Gray’s Anatomy by Kathleen Trigiani.

    Also have you read the excellent book by social psychologist Dr.Gary Wood at The University of Birmingham called, Sex Lies & Stereotypes:Challenging Views Of Women, Men & Relationships? He clearly demonstrates with all of the research studies from psychology what Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen does, and he debunks The Mars & Venus myth and shows that the sexes are biologically and psychologically more alike than different and how gender roles and differences are mostly socially created.

    Anyway, if you could write back when you have a chance I would really appreciate it.

    Thank You

  20. Cindi

    Also, there is an ecellent thorough book,Myths Of Gender:Biological
    Theories Of Women And Men by Brown University geneticist and biolgist Dr.Anne Fausto-Sterling that examines in great details these very claims and shows that for most of these gender differences claims,there is little or no evidence but a lot of sexist,woman-hating and racist prejudices by both women and men scientists and psychologists.

  21. Donna D

    What a stereotyped image of lipstick and glasses used with this article.

  22. Jeni

    I would think it would be pretty obvious that after being seriously analytical in a math situation, that nobody would necessarily feel an outburst of emotional sexuality. It would also seem obvious that after seeking romance, most people would feel sexier (if they were successful). This report seems to conflate the realities of gender with stereotypes.

  23. Mantismech

    @Kenba
    I went to college and lived in Indiana for over 30 years. Yes, it is a Southern state.

  24. robyn

    Study says to me that women tend to concentrate on one thing at a time…they focus. So, when they’re thinking romance…they focus, math, they focus… etc.

    Romance is never simply romance for women. Women consider options and possibilities as any romantic goals intimate possible offspring on a subconscious level. Math would take a backseat to those internal figurings.

    Males, on the other hand, are not so worried about offspring on a subconscious level. They can have at it one day, and happily back to math the next.

  25. MattD

    Since when are the arts, language, or English “feminine fields”? Those fields may have qualities that differentiate them from STEM, but that doesn’t make them feminine.

  26. Caitlin

    You know what’s funny? I am literally the biggest science geek in my school (I can honestly say that because the school is small and I know everyone that does physics) and despite what you may think, that has done nothing but affect me positively. Sure, most people think I’m crazy for actually LIKING physics but I went to this Engineering camp at a university over the holidays once and that, kind of ironically, is where I had the most guys attempting to flirt with me :) So I would have to disagree with this study based on my own personal experience, because everyone I know compliments me on the fact that I like STEM stuff, instead of putting me down. Maybe I just hang with wierd people :)

  27. Caitlin

    You know what’s funny? I am literally the biggest science geek in my school (I can honestly say that because the school is small and I know everyone that does physics) and despite what you may think, that has done nothing but affect me positively. Sure, most people think I’m crazy for actually LIKING physics but I went to this Engineering camp at a university over the holidays once and that, kind of ironically, is where I had the most guys attempting to flirt with me :) So I would have to disagree with this study based on my own personal experience, because everyone I know compliments me on the fact that I like STEM stuff, instead of putting me down. Maybe I just hang with weird people :)

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