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girls and K-12 science education

Leslie Kay lmk2 at garnet.berkeley.edu
Mon Jan 18 15:44:26 EST 1993

In article <1993Jan18.111112.1 at max.u.washington.edu> wijsman at max.u.washington.edu writes:
>This raises another (I think important) point.  I am sure most of you 
>notice how much more verbal participation in seminars, group 
>discussions, etc. comes from the male scientists as compared to the 
>female scientists.  This in itself has got to have a dampening effect 
>on the progress of women in science; we need to put ourselves out on a 
>limb sometimes, and don't do it enough.  Is this something we were 
>taught in school?  Do other (female) readers feel that the above described 
>their schooling?

I have also noticed this, although I tend to be one of the more vocal
people in discussions.  I find that some women are intimidated by the
"sparring" that goes on in discussions, where they almost seem like
arguments, but to me they just seem excited.  It is an issue with which
I have been grappling, where does the "politeness" with which we are
bred become destructive to our own participation in our careers? and
where is it just proper to be more polite, even if the dominant culture
is more "impolite"?  I guess I'm not sure what is really a matter of
politeness and what is just the habit of women be afraid to come forth?

Leslie Kay

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