Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

On The Paradox of Under-representation of Women (Part II)

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumApril 5, 2009 12:06 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Today's NYTimes features a sad article about child abduction and sale in rural China where boys are targeted because of the tradition of favoring them over girls:

Su Qingcai, a tea farmer from the mountainous coast of Fujian Province, explained why he spent $3,500 last year on a 5-year-old boy. “A girl is just not as good as a son,” said Mr. Su, 38, who has a 14-year-old daughter but whose biological son died at 3 months. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have. If you don’t have a son, you are not as good as other people who have one.”

This is related to an important topic explored earlier this week. Christine Luk's research on women in science and technology is focused on why the gender gap persists despite enhancement of female status in the U.S. There are many hypotheses, but the NYTimes piece serves to remind us that we're not isolated from the rest of the world. While social change and new technologies continue to offer emerging opportunities for women to rise in many fields, bias--conscious or otherwise--persists globally in a myriad of forms. We are working against thousands of years of anticipated gender roles and so cannot expect to rise to equal status over a few generations. And despite progressive ideals and new institutions, there will likely be a very long lag time for many women to achieve visibly prominent positions across the spectrum. We may get there eventually, but a gap will undoubtedly persist far into the foreseeable future.


    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In