collegestudent22 wrote:Educational bias? Like what? My female Electronics professor is biased towards male engineers, now?
No, your elementary school math teacher called more often on boys than on girls to give the answer on a problem. Yes, she
did. It's a proven fact. Female and male teachers are equally guilty. Teachers and - male and female - students present in the classroom denied it, but actual counts showed it clearly. After the teachers were convinced by the facts and tried to adjust it to equality, still reaching only a 40:60 ratio (calling up girls : calling up boys, weighted by the number of students of each gender in the classes), the boys started to complain that they were being disadvantaged by the teachers.
The same is true for physics classes, the opposite for biology.
The researchers called for gender-segregated classes in math, the sciences - and home economics, where boys are disadvantaged ... not only by the teachers, but by the girls in the class who may go as far as taking kitchen tools out of the hands of boys to take over the activity.
This was a study in Germany. I think I read about it approximately in 1997/1998, but I am not sure.
tl;dr: Looking at 11th grade SAT math scores and college is *way* too late. This is where you see the results, not the causes.
Abgrund wrote:From my observation, the number of women with Engineering majors is quite large at the freshman level, maybe even close to parity, but decreases rapidly to about 10% as these girls are exposed to math courses.
72% of statistics are made up on the spot and this is one of them. In other words: Liar. On all three counts. You will be pressed hard to find a university with gender parity in engineering freshmen in North America and Europe (I hear some unis in India, China and some other Asian countries are closer, but I have no actual stats to support this). You will have problems finding female dropout rates orders of magnitude higher than male dropout rates. Furthermore your chances are slim finding a connection with math ... even if it were the cause, how would you know, as test results for individual college subjects are not published in a personally identifiable way or split up by genders, and students changing majors or dropping out altogether are not systematically asked for their reasons?
I studied math & computer science. I tried to determine the enrollment and dropout rates for my uni for the four CS majors offered. I remember the enrollment rates:
Math & computer science freshmen: 30% women (total of about 40 students per year)
Business administration & Computer Science freshmen: 20% women (total of about 200 students per year)
Software engineering and internet technology freshmen: 11% women (total of about 40 students per year)
Technical computer science freshmen: 1 woman = about 2% (total of about 40 students per year)
(In Germany students choose the major at the beginning of college, not after 1 or 2 years as in (some, all?) US colleges.)
Dropout rates for CS are generally high. We were told in the beginning 66% give up within a year. Actually the rate I found was lower, but I don't remember what it was ... I wrote it down in some file on my other computer, I think. Have to dig this out some time.
I was expecting male dropout rates to be higher than female dropout rates, mostly because I met several guys who told me they had selected CS because they liked gaming and/or that they were surprised to find math on their schedules. (German freshmen and sophomores do not take general classes like German, math, history or whatever ... e.g. someone who studies Anglistic has no math, someone who studies CS has no German class.) I was wrong. Female dropout rates were higher. Not by a lot, not by a factor of 2, but enough to make the graduation rates noticeably lower.
But I can say that it was not due to the math. Math is mostly taught in the beginning. In the first two semesters about 2/3 of the lessons are on math and about 1/3 are on Computer Science. As mentioned, it's virtually impossible to get official grades or failure rates by gender, so I mostly have to rely on anecdotal evidence: Girls passed math and failed in CS. Boys passed CS and failed in math. The reasons are quite clear in my opinion: Girls and boys received about the same math education in high school (there are only two levels to choose from, roughly like choosing between Calculus A/B and B/C) ... boys might be worse because they have a one-year break for military or substitute service between high school and college. For CS, the difference is mostly whether you could program before college (neat little brochures trying to get girls to sign up for CS claim that you are taught how to program in college ... lies lies lies Lies LIES), and this applied mostly to the male freshmen and only to few female ones (e.g. me).
More anecdotal evidence: No girl who changed majors did so because she was hit on.
However, I am not amused about the up-thread comment "Guys hit on girls, LOL big deal" (to paraphrase). When my sister and female college mates were hit on in an inappropriate way, it *was* a big deal and they were very upset. But this happened on the street, never in uni. Might be a cultural thing.
I have some non-anecdotal evidence, too: My major, math & computer science, was special in the way that after the second year one had to choose whether to major in math or in CS. That's pretty unusual. Anyway ... girls mostly chose math, boys mostly chose CS. So, evidently, math is a girl thing