Even though women consistently receive better grades in math and science, men excel on math aptitude tests and are greatly overrepresented in the so-called hard sciences. The Mathematics of Sex explores why males are overrepresented in mathematically intensive professions such as physics, computer science, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering. Bringing together for the first time important research from such diverse fields as endocrinology, economics, sociology, education, genetics, and psychology, the authors show that two factors—the parenting choices women (but not men) have to make, and the tendency of bright women to choose people-oriented fields
like medicine—largely account for the under-representation of women in the hard sciences. Further, research shows that biology itself—differences in hormones or brain organization—does not fully account for the problem. Compressing an enormous amount of information—over 400 studies—into a readable, engaging account suitable for parents, educators, and policymakers, this book advances the debate about women in science unlike any other book before it.
Preface: Setting the Stage
1: Why Care About Women in Science?
2: A Multidimensional Problem
3: Opening Arguments: Environment
4: Opening Arguments: Biology
5: Challenges to the Environmental Position
6: Challenges to the Biological Position
7: Background and Trend Data
8: Comparisons Across Societies, Cultures, and Developmental Stages
9: Conclusions and Synthesis
10: What Next? Research and Policy Recommendations