Here we go again… The NYT is giving John Tierney room to lament why women are not represented equally in science. Maybe there is something biologically going on. Steven Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke discussed this years ago. Pinker argued that there must be something biological. Spelke responded that as long as women are being discriminated from birth on (maybe even before then!), we don’t know what really is natural. To me, this is a great example of a misguided nature-nurture approach. Unless we take a systems approach, we cannot explain the low number of women in science – what appears to be natural, for example, might be the result of disparate reaction to infant exploration.
The problem with the biology argument that “boys are just more likely to be born good at math and science” isn’t that it’s not “politically correct” — it’s that it assumes that we can take away the power of societal influences, which have much more solid evidence than the biology hypothesis.