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Why are law/medicine dominated by women but maths/science are not? Watch

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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    You're missing the point. 60 years ago, both law and medicine WERE 'manly'. They were considered rigorous, difficult, and strenuous - no place for a woman, in other words. They were perceived to be significantly more 'manly' than physics/engineering is today. Yet within 2 generations women achieved parity - without any role models, without grants or equity initiatives.

    Despite that, the % of women in maths/physics/engineering/computer science has remained stationary since the 80s. Despite governments and educational bodies making enormous efforts to get more women into them, few of them seem to want to. In fact I saw a report showing a decline of the % of women in these subjects over the last couple of decades. For many subjects the peak time for women (still far below 50%) was in the 80s. I think engineering is the only subject where there's been a slight increase of 2-3% in the last 20 years.
    Oh I understand now it has been worded differently. I think for many women I have met it is to do with power... medicine and law have a great deal of 'power' about them because people go "WOW, you're doing law/medicine!" but although things like maths, physics and engineering are incredibly difficult as well, they don't seem to invoke the same reaction. So many women are increasingly wanting more power, especially now that it is potentially obtainable.

    As to why people are now more accepting of women dealing with their financial, emotional, health etc affairs, that must be to do with social change in my opinion.

    Quite a few of my female friends did engineering and maths. I genuinely wish there were more of them in these subjects. However, an objective assessment suggests it is not 'gender roles' holding them back, but a deeper biological predisposition for liking certain types of subject.
    Just out of interest, what do you think could cause males to prefer engineering etc? (I'm not saying you're wrong at all, I'm just trying to work out what factors could be driving the biological predisposition that you think is involved.
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    (Original post by Sazzy890)
    Oh I understand now it has been worded differently. I think for many women I have met it is to do with power... medicine and law have a great deal of 'power' about them because people go "WOW, you're doing law/medicine!" but although things like maths, physics and engineering are incredibly difficult as well, they don't seem to invoke the same reaction. So many women are increasingly wanting more power, especially now that it is potentially obtainable.

    As to why people are now more accepting of women dealing with their financial, emotional, health etc affairs, that must be to do with social change in my opinion.
    On the flipside, one could argue that a profession like law which is frequently combative, stand-offish, and high pressure (as is medicine) is less 'female-friendly' than theoretical maths/physics - much less combativeness, much less on the job pressure, very much more a genteel academic pursuit. Yet the disparity remains.

    Just out of interest, what do you think could cause males to prefer engineering etc? (I'm not saying you're wrong at all, I'm just trying to work out what factors could be driving the biological predisposition that you think is involved.
    Sex hormone differences in utero, and during puberty, is the primary hypothesis. Studies have shown fetuses exposed to higher levels of testosterone display lower empathy, reduced speed of language acquisition, and a higher tendency to 'systematise' and be interested in systematising as children. This is true for both male and female fetuses - but of course, males, in general, are exposed much more to it. It's no coincidence that both dyslexia and autism are much more prevalent in males than females (3:1 and 10:1 respectively).

    Of course cognitive behaviour is a complex subject and is not wholly explicable by this one factor, but it is likely to be a predisposing factor for divergent male/female interests.
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    Part of it is probably because law and medicine have more 'human' aspects than engineering and women tend to be more drawn to careers involving people, whereas men are often more drawn to careers involving 'things'.
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    (Original post by PointeShoes-x)
    Part of it is probably because law and medicine have more 'human' aspects than engineering and women tend to be more drawn to careers involving people, whereas men are often more drawn to careers involving 'things'.
    Yeah that's not exactly controversial but the question is why are women and men drawn to different things?
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    (Original post by StevieA)
    Yeah that's not exactly controversial but the question is why are women and men drawn to different things?
    Biology? Socialisation? A mixture? Probably the latter, impossible to say how much is biology vs socialisation though without giving a 1 year old a UCAS form.
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    (Original post by StevieA)
    Yeah that's not exactly controversial but the question is why are women and men drawn to different things?
    Well I'm no expert but at a guess, women are evolved to be more nurturing in order to look after their babies.
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    On the flipside, one could argue that a profession like law which is frequently combative, stand-offish, and high pressure (as is medicine) is less 'female-friendly' than theoretical maths/physics - much less combativeness, much less on the job pressure, very much more a genteel academic pursuit. Yet the disparity remains.
    Again though I think society is more relaxed now about the concept that high pressure jobs are not for women so I don't think that that would necessarily make it less female-friendly these days. It's likely to be something else, perhaps as you say biology is a part of it. Someone else has a point that it could be to do with 'human' element - obviously women have to be quite humanistic as they are the ones naturally to raise children, so some of those instincts could carry over (which again I guess has something to do with biology as these are instincts women naturally have, in general).

    Sex hormone differences in utero, and during puberty, is the primary hypothesis. Studies have shown fetuses exposed to higher levels of testosterone display lower empathy, reduced speed of language acquisition, and a higher tendency to 'systematise' and be interested in systematising as children. This is true for both male and female fetuses - but of course, males, in general, are exposed much more to it. It's no coincidence that both dyslexia and autism are much more prevalent in males than females (3:1 and 10:1 respectively).

    Of course cognitive behaviour is a complex subject and is not wholly explicable by this one factor, but it is likely to be a predisposing factor for divergent male/female interests.
    Thanks for that, that is interesting..
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    The awkward thing is that with a maths or chemistry degree, you could definitely get a well-paid career.
    Wtf If I got the lowest grade possible at the worst uni possible (thats realistically the place I'd be if I chose to go the math/chemistry path) how on earth would I be able to get a well payed career in comparison to someone working in a top law firm?
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    whats up with the sudden surge of threads about women?
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    I think interest is probably the biggest factor. I do veterinary medicine which is massively female dominated, despite the skills required being the same as less female dominated medicine, so it is unlikely to be due to any difference in ability. Women seem to be drawn to more social/people focused paths, while men prefer "drier" subjects like maths and engineering. Exceptions on both sides obviously.
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    (Original post by Kyle Butler)
    Wtf If I got the lowest grade possible at the worst uni possible (thats realistically the place I'd be if I chose to go the math/chemistry path) how on earth would I be able to get a well payed career in comparison to someone working in a top law firm?
    I'm sure that's completely realistic...

    I have a hard time believing that if you enjoy maths and chemistry so much you would be incapable of studying them (while being smart enough to study law). Also, you're original post claimed that most law and medicine students do it for the money, not enjoyment, despite the fact that medicine is at least as difficult as sciences, but isn't really better paying (although certainly has a more stable chance of good pay).
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    I'm sure that's completely realistic...

    I have a hard time believing that if you enjoy maths and chemistry so much you would be incapable of studying them (while being smart enough to study law). Also, you're original post claimed that most law and medicine students do it for the money, not enjoyment, despite the fact that medicine is at least as difficult as sciences, but isn't really better paying (although certainly has a more stable chance of good pay).
    I'm dubious as to the veracity of an account claiming to be from a top uni law student who seems not to have worked out prior to uni that there is no need whatsoever to study law in order to boss the megadollar at a 'top law firm'.
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    I'm sure that's completely realistic...

    I have a hard time believing that if you enjoy maths and chemistry so much you would be incapable of studying them (while being smart enough to study law). Also, you're original post claimed that most law and medicine students do it for the money, not enjoyment, despite the fact that medicine is at least as difficult as sciences, but isn't really better paying (although certainly has a more stable chance of good pay).
    With medicine its just ego mostly (never met a doc who wasnt a total ass). I never said I enjoy chemistry or maths, not at all, but I'd enjoy studying it more than law as it is not completely useless. Law can be interesting, but its nothing I couldn't easily learn on the job (thus a useless study).
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    (Original post by Kyle Butler)
    With medicine its just ego mostly (never met a doc who wasnt a total ass). I never said I enjoy chemistry or maths, not at all, but I'd enjoy studying it more than law as it is not completely useless. Law can be interesting, but its nothing I couldn't easily learn on the job (thus a useless study).
    No TC or pupillage will teach you about all 7 core areas, not enough time in between all the day to day office **** you learn. You might become very knolwedgable in your specialist area, but if you were, say, a real estate lawyer who'd never done Equity you wouldn't recognise a tracing issue if it slapped you across the face.
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    LAW, MEDICINE are 'softer' degrees in the respect of just memorising and repeating information
    whereas MATHS, PHYSICS, ENGINEERING require more logical problem solving skills which are more valuable asset imo.


    ^ I'm not for or against the gender debate, I'm just stating my opinions on the degrees.
 
 
 
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