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Study Suggests Grading Less Harshly to Get More Women Into STEM Fields

Study Suggests Grading Less Harshly to Get More Women Into STEM Fields

“harsher grading policies in STEM courses disproportionately affect women”

Can you think of a suggestion that is more insulting to women?

Campus Reform reports:

Study: to increase female participation, STEM profs should grade less ‘harshly’

A new study argues that the number of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) can be increased by simply making grading policies within the fields less harsh.

In a paper titled “Equilibrium Grade Inflation with Implications for Female Interest in STEM Majors,” Naval Postgraduate School professor Thomas Ahn, Duke University economics professor Peter Arcidiacono, Duke University researcher Amy Hopson, and James R. Thomas of the Federal Trade Commission argue that STEM programs at colleges and universities lacking female enrollment can be attributed largely to harsh grading policies in these fields.

The researchers take the position that universities are discouraging students, especially female students, from pursuing STEM majors by allowing differences in grading policies and study time across different fields to exist. They contend that “harsher grading policies in STEM courses disproportionately affect women,” because women are more impacted mentally by receiving poor grades.

The researchers conducted their study by pairing administrative and enrollment data from the University of Kentucky with hundreds of end of course evaluations.

Their research led them to the conclusion that women weigh grades more heavily when choosing which fields to pursue, and that their sensitivities to harsher grading policies and are in large part responsible for the lack of women in STEM fields.

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Comments

Grading policies = Taking points off for wrong answers.

So these insane people are claiming that the way to get women into “STEM” fields is to stop pointing out wrong answers.

Begging the question of who is going to hire women into “STEM” jobs, if they can’t be sure the women are able to come up with the right answers?

Regardless of the degree, women should be graded less harshly, it’s only fair…..

Can you think of a suggestion that is more insulting to women?

Actually, I can’t think of anything more corrosive to STEM.

For a Dem/Prog, math,like reality is tough. Solution: alter reality, cause everyone knows Bruce Jenner is a woman.

    jb4 in reply to Romey. | December 28, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Well, Seattle has already determined that Math is racist, because minorities (other than Asians) do worse than others. Why shouldn’t Math also be sexist?

    In my opinion, the fundamental flaw is that there is supposedly something “wrong” that needs to be fixed if college is too difficult for some, or now STEM. Devaluing trade school education and pretending that everyone can and should go to college (or that STEM should be made easier) is poor policy. The marketplace will eventually correct this by leaving those least suited with no degree, or a worthless degree, plus lots of debt that can’t be repaid – quite a poor solution.

Dolce Far Niente | December 28, 2019 at 1:25 pm

Speaking as an old-school biological woman who went to college back in olden times for two STEM degrees, I will say that at no point did it ever occur to me to choose my major based on the possibility I would get grades that hurt my feelz.

Possibly someone might think a field too HARD for them, particularly if they lacked abilities in math, but it isn’t the thought of getting B’s or C’s that’s stopping women from entering STEM fields.

Its because they don’t find it interesting,
or perhaps because they perceive the course work as beyond their abilities. Not every girl in college is bright.

The fact that girls take poor grades more seriously than their male counterparts is perhaps true, but can’t logically be said to have any influence on their choice of major.

This is such total nonsense. There is no shortage of female STEM students. There are always plenty of good straight A students to choose from when I select interns, and the majority of interns are female. Plenty of women graduate with Bachelor’s degrees in science. The bottleneck is later as very few females go onto advanced degrees in science. Most would rather go on to work and raise families with undergraduate degrees than to take 5 years of grad school to get a PHD and then several years of a postdoc before getting a more permanent job. That is why the vast majority of people with advanced degrees in the physical sciences are men. Most interns are women, most postdocs are men.

Randy in Arizona | December 28, 2019 at 3:50 pm

I have an idea.
Let’s ask the relatives of the people killed by that Florida International University pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami.
Do not accept anything less than competence in a STEM graduate!

Isn’t this where all affirmative action type programs wind up – sooner or later? If the desired demographic group fails to apply or, worse yet, fails to meet standards – lower the standards in hope of attracting those who believe standards are “too hard”. Admittedly some will find themselves while in the program and do well, they are the exception which proves the rule.

So let’s dumb-down the STEM fields, huh? And what happens when planes start falling out of the sky, and building collapsing and patients dying on the operating table more frequently? What then?

Affirmative action is cancerous.

“because women are more impacted mentally by receiving poor grades”

Seriously? If anyone … man or woman … gets overly bummed out by receiving a poor grade … maybe they ought to study harder and come up with the right answers. If they don’t have the fortitude to handle the heat of learning … best they spend their time doing something else.

Just because the bridge collapses, the rocket blows up, or the circuit catches fire doesn’t mean the designer should be graded more harshly…

The problem is that a Woman grades things, GAIA, aka Mother Nature is the harshest grader as she never forgives and never grades on a curve.

Who cares if the building collapses? Social Justice, that’s the only thing that matters.

I wonder if they realize that they have just destroyed the fundamental basis of feminism. They’re essentially saying not just that women can’t cut it in STEM, but that they can’t cope mentally with bad grades so we should dumb down everything so as not to bruise their poor, weak minds. How woke.

The Friendly Grizzly | December 29, 2019 at 9:56 am

There will be an easy solution to all of this: companies will hire white males, and Asians; again mostly male. If the race-counting agencies in Washington kick up a fuss, the jobs will be moved to research centers off-shore.

I am not sure if this means anything at all, but… there are a lot of US companies with research and development centers in Israel. Are they there for the concentration of brains? Or, is is that along with being able to hire who they jolly-well please, without government-mandated quotas?

I am both female and a STEM major. I also have taught various hard-core STEM subjects to many females. I actually delight in teaching ordinary housewives just exactly how much chemistry they’ve learned right in their own kitchen.

Unlike psychology where everything is just a theory, there is NO room for error in most STEM fields. A minor difference in a chemical formula can be the difference between something useful/helpful/cool to watch and an explosion that takes down the house. CO is not the same as CO2.

It really doesn’t matter whether you are male or female when it comes to STEM. You need to be at least a bit of a perfectionist with a touch of OCD.

The reason that there are so few women in STEM fields is that for generations women have been looked at as incapable of science or mathematics. “Girls don’t do science, girls don’t do math” is just as apparent today as it was 50+ years ago when I first learned algebra or 100+ years ago when my great grandmother didn’t even learn the word. It is OK and at least moderately socially acceptable to be a male NERD. Females exist mostly in isolation. Dumbing down science and math isn’t going to correct that. It will simply leave us with very few even minimally competent scientists, mathematicians, engineers and medical personnel of various stripes.

    My wife, probably about your age and also a teacher, got a masters degree in math for free at a renowned place thanks to a National Science Foundation grant. “Free” attracts and given that women are attending college these days roughly 2:1 versus men, financial incentives make a lot more sense than putting us even further behind on standards.

    I find this focus on women bizarre, if politically “woke”. The growing differential attendance at college clearly indicates that the real long term issue with STEM, pay disparity, etc is going to be with men. Decades ago most construction and support work was done by white men. Now it is Mexicans. Where have all the young white men gone?

    healthguyfsu in reply to Granny. | December 29, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    “The reason that there are so few women in STEM fields is that for generations women have been looked at as incapable of science or mathematics. “Girls don’t do science, girls don’t do math” is just as apparent today as it was 50+ years ago when I first learned algebra or 100+ years ago when my great grandmother didn’t even learn the word. It is OK and at least moderately socially acceptable to be a male NERD. Females exist mostly in isolation.”

    I disagree with this assertion.

    I have the opportunity to teach young men and women in STEM in the 18-22 year old range. That ideology has not been present in STEM since before about 1990. I’m going to assume that being called “Granny” and based on some of your stories about teaching housewives that you have a bit of sample bias based on who you interact with regularly. Your sample is likely skewed towards those that learned such misconceptions at a younger age and have carried it with them into their older ages.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

But, but, but…Gender is just a social construct, there are no differences between men and women right?

RIGHT?

I know someone in high tech. They make tiny lasers on a sheet like chip fab. One mistake and you can ruin $100,000 fab in an hour. There’s your grade. It’s called real life.

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