Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More on rotten jobs and female aspirations

Yesterday in the Times John Tierney wrote an article about sex representation and discrimination in academia, and specifically in federally supported research universities.

The twist on the topic in my earlier blog post in June, where the Atlantic book review article discussed rotten jobs and females understandably opting out of them, is that one might view being a physics research professor as a rather rotten job. Or at least, not preferable. The article cites a study that found no sex differential in entrance into the computer industry once an individual's preferences for "tinkering with inanimate objects" were controlled.

One can certainly question whether these preferences are the product of nature or nurture. Is it possible that preferences are just different at birth between males and females? Or are they "socialized in"?