Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gender and (statistical) truth

Mary Kenny in The Telegraph

When the failure of women in general to have attained equal pay or equal leadership in the workplace is publicly discussed, it is still put down to constructs such as "the glass ceiling", or the way in which girls are "socially conditioned" not to aspire to top pay or high leadership.

The evident fact that most women are, by definition, not driven by testosterone-fuelled competitive ambition is seldom suggested. Far from females being "conditioned" by society, it is Nature doing the programming.
If it is true that the gender roles, while not ringed round with steel, are no mere 'social constructs' either, does it not do more harm than good to insist that only the 50/50 ratio is good enough? It is right that there should be no barriers to a woman's advancement towards the top; there are quite a number of women who should be there (my wife among them). However, it is a 'statistical' truth that it is men who are driven to be leaders rather than women. That is, most leaders will be men and most women will not want to compete with them. Most. It is not an absolute truth, because, for the most part, absolute truths swim outside our ken.

(via Ninme)

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