Gender & Science News Round-up

Jeannie did some news research and found a bunch of interesting articles related to issues we’ve been discussing in the course, especially regarding :
Last week, we talked about how there the data showed the increasing leaks of women continuing on their study in STEM.  One of our speaker, Chelsea also voiced out her plans on having a family. This article from Huffington Post has listed out the five main reasons why women are dropping out.
NATURE, the science journal also had a similar article concerning the gender bias and leak.  Unequal pay, discrimination and funding problems were all obstacles that women in STEM faces and causes them to drop-off.
A few weeks ago, we mentioned ‘brogrammers’, here are some more data on the percentage of female directors working in the Silicon Valley versus the percentage of female directors in the 100 big public companies in US.  The result shows the lack of women in the executive positions and that tech companies are sexist.
This interesting post shows how toys nowadays are even more gender stereotyped than how it was.  A lego ad in 1981 had a girl dressing in blue jeans holding on to legos happily, it is resisting the hegemony of only associating legos with boys.  Similar to how lego has changed its package to target young girls,  Many cartoon characters had changed their look to make it more feminized.  Such as, the Strawberry Shortcake character used to have short curls, and now, she has long wavy hair.
This is a recent news report from ABC on the issue of SAT.  SAT will make changes in 2016 to try to be more equal to people of different backgrounds.  So SAT prep courses that cheat the SAT will no longer serves as privilege to students with a rich background.  They are also ditching the usage of difficult vocabularies in tests and include passages that are
better known and commonly used in the working place.

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Wesleyan Women in Science

Shannon H. did some research and found out about a student group at Wesleyan University called Women in Science. The article discusses how they are attempting to address the issues of gender inequality in order to have a community of students and faculty supporters, and to have networking and workshop opportunities available for the people of all scientific interests and backgrounds.

I wonder how they compare to GradWISE at UCSD?

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Articles about changes to the SAT

Ati and Madison sent me links to some articles about changes in the SAT, related to the discussion we had in class on Thursday.

Though gender is not at the center of the current discussion about these changes, this older article from the FairTest website talks about gender and issues of access in relation to the SAT:  

FairTest is a group that the Sadkers and Zittlement discuss at length in SFAF because of their great research on demographics and educational testing.

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Former UCSD Comm major is first female engineer at Instagram

Brina Lee, who majored in Comm here at UCSD, was interviewed in ELLE magazine about her experience as the first female engineer employed at Instagram. She reflects on her experiences with gender in engineering, including the challenge of finding older female role models to mentor her–something many male engineers take for granted.

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Title IX and UCSD Athletics

Title IX of the US Education Amendment of 1972 states that:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Here is a link to the UCTV news piece on the controversy over the effects of Title IX on athletics at UCSD that we watched in lecture.

Though most visibly controversial in the field of athletics, Title IX has been an important law for protecting individuals against discrimination in diverse arenas:

Many people have never heard of Title IX.  Most people who know about Title IX think it applies only to sports, but athletics is only one of 10 key areas addressed by the law. These areas are: Access to Higher Education, Career Education, Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students, Employment, Learning Environment, Math and Science, Sexual Harassment, Standardized Testing and Technology.

For more info on Title IX, check out

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When Grownups Take the SAT

Elizabeth Kolbert’s piece in the upcoming issue of the New Yorker magazine describes the author’s experience taking the SATs as a adult and tells the story of a mother who decides to take them in order to help  her son study. In so doing, it reveals that the test is not quite what it claims to be: a measure of the takers’ aptitude for achievement in college. As Kolbert writes:

Whatever is at the center of the SAT—call it aptitude or assessment or assiduousness or ambition—the exam at this point represents an accident. It was conceived for one purpose, adapted for another, and somewhere along the line it acquired a hold on American life that nobody ever intended. It’s not just high-school seniors who are in its thrall; colleges are, too. How do you know how good a school is? Well, by the SAT scores of the students it accepts. (A couple of years ago, the dean of admissions at Claremont McKenna College was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had inflated students’ scores to boost the school’s ranking.) As befits an exam named for itself, the SAT measures those skills—and really only those skills—necessary for the SATs.

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Documentary film review essays

Here are a few examples of essays that review controversial documentary films. All of the essays are fairly short, providing a good model for the length of the essay you are writing. They are all also valuable because they do not only review the film’s aesthetic qualities, but consider them as communication tools that are making arguments and have a social significance and impact.

The first two are about Kony 2012.  The rest are about the global warming film, An Inconvenient Truth.

Mark Drumbal “Child Soldiers and Clicktivism: Justice, Myths, and Prevention” J Human Rights Practice (2012) 4 (3): 481-485.

David Hickman “Jason and the Internauts” J Human Rights Practice (2012) 4 (3): 475-480.

Jenna Coriddi “An Inconvenient Truth.” Policy and Practice. (2008) 6

Eric J. Steig “Another Look at An Inconvenient Truth” GeoJournal (2007) 70 (1): 5-9

Roy W. Spencer “An Inconvenient Truth: Blurring the lines between science and science fiction” GeoJournal (2007) 70 (1): 11-14

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