Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present

By Sue V. Rosser | Go to book overview

Early 20th Century

MARILYN OGILVIE

By the early 20th century, political situations and educational reforms begun in the 19th century had come to fruition, making it more likely that women might become scientists. Suffrage movements and opportunities for higher education for women were important 19th-century developments. These movements appeared in different guises in diverse places throughout much of the Western world. A previously unthinkable concept, a voting woman, was contemplated in several parts of the world during the mid-19th century. In the United States, the organized women’s movement is usually considered to have originated in the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. In 1840 at the World AntiSlavery Convention in London, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton discussed the possibility of a convention that would address the problems of women. They, after meeting with Jane Hunt, Mary Ann McClintock, and Martha Coffin Wright (Lucretia Mott’s sister), on July 13, 1848, proceeded to call a woman’s rights convention the next week on July 19 and 20. After a two-day debate, the Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the Declaration of Independence, was adopted and signed by 100 people. In Europe, reform movements arose at about the same time (Cullen-DuPont 2000).

Educational reforms fell in lockstep with political ones. By the early 20th century, women were active in most fields of science, although certain areas such as the biological and the human sciences were better represented than the physical sciences and mathematics.


Annie Jump Cannon (1863–1941)

Annie Cannon’s career in astronomy became possible because of the changes in educational opportunities for girls born in the last half of the 19th century. Born in Dover, Delaware, she received her early education in the Dover public schools. Annie was the oldest of three siblings in a household that

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Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chronological Section- Changes in Myths of Gender over Time 1
  • Antiquity 3
  • Medieval Era 17
  • Renaissance 31
  • The 18th Century 43
  • The 19th Century 61
  • Early 20th Century 79
  • Thematic Section- Concepts of Gender in Different Contexts 93
  • Disciplines - Chemistry 95
  • Physics/Astronomy 103
  • Mathematics 109
  • Computer Science 115
  • Biology 123
  • Psychology 129
  • Medicine 135
  • Technology 141
  • Aspects of Human Biology and Behavior - The Brain 149
  • Cognitive Abilities 155
  • Mental Illness 161
  • Personality/Rationality/Emotionality 167
  • Endocrinology and Hormones 173
  • Menstruation/Menopause/PMS 177
  • Early Modern Health 181
  • Gender/Sex—How Conjoined 187
  • Homosexuality 193
  • Race 201
  • Nature/Nurture 207
  • Institutions - Women’s Education 213
  • Motherhood 223
  • Religion 229
  • Universities 235
  • Federal Agencies 249
  • Industry 259
  • Professional Societies 263
  • Discrimination 273
  • Women Scientists as Leaders 283
  • Nobel Laureates 295
  • Gender and Occupational Interests 319
  • Other Perspectives on Gender and Myths and Beliefs in Scientific Research - Feminist Philosophy of Science 325
  • Biologists Who Study Gender/Feminism 337
  • Historians of Science and Technology Who Focus on Feminism 347
  • Primatologists Who Focus on Females/Gender 357
  • Critiques of Science 365
  • Marxism/Socialism and Feminism/Gender 373
  • Ecofeminism 381
  • Cyberfeminism 387
  • Race, Postcolonial Gender, and Science 393
  • Feminist Science Studies 399
  • Women’s Health Movement 405
  • Science Fiction 419
  • Conclusion 427
  • Appendix of- Statistical Tables 437
  • Glossary 445
  • Bibliography 469
  • Index 481
  • About the Editor 501
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