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

By Sue V. Rosser | Go to book overview

Women Scientists as Leaders

SUZANNE G. BRAINARD

Despite years of progress that have resulted in increased enrollments, a larger number of degrees granted to women in all fields, and larger percentages of women in the workforce, women still remain a small percentage of those in top leadership positions in any sector of the U.S. workforce. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight women scientists and engineers who are in top leadership positions in educational institutions, federal agencies, and industry. Prior to this, however, it is important to summarize a set of antidiscrimination laws that have enabled these women to succeed.

From the mid-1960s through the 1990s, a series of antidiscrimination laws were implemented that greatly facilitated the career paths of both women and minorities (National Academies 2006). First, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination based on sex, race, national origin, and religion by all organizations that employed 15 or more people, regardless of whether these employers received federal funds. Title VII is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which investigates and resolves discrimination complaints and can bring lawsuits on behalf of claimants. Second, Title IX bans sex discrimination in education for any institutions of higher education that receive federal funds. Third, Executive Order 11246 bans discrimination and requires federal contractors (including universities) to maintain affirmative action plans that set goals and timetables for increasing the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in their workforces. Finally, the Equal Pay Act made it illegal to pay higher salaries to men than to women doing “equal work” or in jobs that require substantially “equal skill, effort, and responsibilities … under equal working conditions.” Each of these laws, coupled with additional laws in 1990 and early 2000, has substantially helped to level the playing field, but the United States still has a long way to go.

Three reports in the last few years have examined the barriers that women interested in science and engineering face at various stages of their

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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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