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Should there be more women in science and engineering?

Bouville, Mathieu (2007) Should there be more women in science and engineering? (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Many people hold this truth to be self-evident, that there should be more female students in science and engineering. Typical arguments include possible benefits to women, possible benefits to the economy, and the unfairness of the current female under-representation. However, these justifications are never explicitly and thoroughly presented. Clearly stating and scrutinizing them, we show that they in fact have logical flaws. When made consistent, these arguments do not unconditionally justify enrolling more women in scientific disciplines. In particular, what women want must be taken into account. Outreach programs towards K-12 girls must therefore purport to allow them to choose a field freely, rather than try to draw as many of them to scientific disciplines as possible. This change of mindset must be accompanied by a close examination of the purpose and effects of these programs.

Item Type:Other
Additional Information:Long version of: Bouville, M. (2007). Should we enrol more female students in physics? Physics World, 20(4), 18.
Keywords:female students, gender equity, higher education, university, ethics, policy, outreach programs, minority students
Subjects:Philosophy > Ethics
ID Code:5471
Deposited By:Bouville, Mathieu
Deposited On:04 Apr 2007
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

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