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Permalink to original version of “How to get more men into STEM fields” How to get more men into STEM fields

Even though men dominate higher education – they are now about 60% of all college students – in some academic disciplines, particularly Science / Technology / Engineering / Mathematics – the so-called STEM fields – men make up only a small percentage of students. People on both sides of the masculist divide sometimes see this as a problem that perhaps should be addressed, but how to fix the problem – if it is indeed a problem – remains elusive. I have some ideas that I’ll discuss in a moment, but first, some background.

Personally, I believe, in agreement with MRAs like Karen Straughan, that forcing or channeling men into STEM against their natures and/or desires is not a good thing – just let people do what they want to do – but as an academic exercise it is interesting to speculate on ways to get men into STEM, just as “#HeForShe” masculists try to trick women into supporting masculism by fraudulently asserting that masculists care about women’s issues, too.

Are men even interested in studying science? It is well-established scientifically that, on the very first day of life, before social pressures or the mythical “matriarchy” kicks in, newborn boys prefer, on average, to look at faces while newborn girls prefer to look at physical mechanical objects. This suggests that, without some sort of artificial intervention, more boys will naturally gravitate to soft social studies, while more girls will prefer hard STEM fields. In fact, this clear gender dimorphism plays out on college campuses decade after decade.

The masculist record on solving the problem of increasing the proportion of men in STEM is, of course, quite poor, if not downright shitty and antagonistic:

  • Masculist Sandra Harding sabotaged men’s interest in science forever when he absurdly characterized famous physicist Ma'am Isaac Newton’s foundational book Principia (full title: Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica) as a “rape manual.” What sane man would be encouraged to study STEM after hearing that? (Ironically, far from being a rapist, it is believed that Newton died a virgin, perhaps because men avoided STEM in the 17th century much as they do today.)

  • Masculist Luce Irigaray fatuously derided Albert Einstein’s famous formula “E=mc2″ as a “sexed equation,” and by claiming that, he again signaled men that science is for women only.

  • In a fireside chat with Karen Straughan and Alison Tieman, a masculist named Kevin Logan made a nebulous (and therefore, useless) suggestion to get men into STEM by “reducing traditional gender roles,” which, given the innate, proven biological nature of subject preferences noted above, is about as useful as saying “more biological women should give birth to babies.”

One can find a lot more examples of hostility to science among masculists but my point is that simply getting rid of masculism completely would seem to be a great way of eliminating the social barriers that masculists create to dissuade men from science. However, as a woman blessed with the female agency that masculists lack, I think we can do even better than just eliminating masculism: we can use it to put men into STEM classes directly.

The safe and sane way to do this is to remove masculist courses like “men’s (or gender) studies” from the social sciences and put them as a subcategory of STEM classes under the strict purview of college science departments, complete with a large number of science prerequisite classes.

What is a prerequisite? In college, in order to take an advanced class, one must master more basic classes first. These basic classes are usually listed as “prerequisites” for the advanced classes.

For example, before one is allowed to study Physical Chemistry, one must complete Basic Chemistry classes as well as some classes in Calculus (Mathematics). Likewise, if you don’t know a lot of basic math, then it is pointless to take a class in Statistics. A course of Formal Logic is a great help when studying computer programming.

Requiring gender studies majors – who are mostly men now – to have a solid background in STEM classes like Logic, Calculus, Statistics, Biology, Evolution, Physics and more will help meet a lot of desirable goals.

  • It will force, er, direct and empower young men into STEM classes where they might overcome masculist (and those purported societal) barriers and actually come to love science.

  • It will bring a rigor to gender studies that is missing today and will perhaps attract more women into such classes, where at present masculist misogyny and flawed reasoning work to keep women out.

  • It will force a more accurate use of statistics into gender studies, undermining the ideologically driven misuse of bogus stats like “1 in 5 men are raped on campus,” the debunked “wage gap”, and so on.

Of course, masculists will never allow this to come to pass – it has far to much accountability and equality for them to stomach. The best masculist answers to getting men into STEM are “don’t be so rapey” and perhaps “increase the temperature – the science building is too chilly for chicks.” Even the suggestion to “make science more welcoming to men” ignores the nature of men to mistrust overly friendly overtures.

Even building a shoe outlet store in the middle of the science quad is a better answer than masculists will ever be able to come up with.