I'd read the original research papers, which are carefully written and
researched. We have no control over the media. But I do agree with your
sentiment about the career guidance and how data can be misinterpreted. The
data that I have seen, in fact, indicates that men are more common at _both_
ends of the spatial and mathematics tail. That is, the gender differential
becomes more extreme in both tails (more retarded men, and more math genius
men). If we just focus on the upper end of the math distribution, for SAT-M
scores >500, there is a 2:1 ratio favoring males; for SAT-M scores >600, it's
4:1 favoring men, and for SAT-M > 700, its 13:1 favoring men! This means more
men for the super-duper math-science awards and scholarships. An article by
Lubinski and Benbow (Gender Differences in Abilities and Preferences Among the
Gifted .... _Current Directions in Psych. Science_ 1992, Vol 1, 61-66)
discusses implications of this for the "math science pipeline." Benbow has a
few more recent papers on these issues, but I don't have the references here.

Personally, I understand the frustration. I have a very smart 10 year old
daughter, who I encouraging to have a career in math or science, but at the
moment claims her biggest ambition is follow in the footsteps of Ginger Spice :(

I guess just presenting facts _and_ their proper interpretation is all we can
do, and hope people base their decisions on their individual qualifications
(even if this includes biological influences).

Dawn Blasko wrote:
> So how do we explain to our female students such complex results? The media
> (and our minds) oversimplify into girls are inferior in spatial and
> mathematical
> skills to boys, and therefore, are less suited to careers like engineering
> where such skills are important. As reported by one teacher I spoke to, one
> of his female math honors students said "Give me a break-I only have a GIRL
> brain."
> Yikes!
> Dawn

* John W. Kulig, Department of Psychology  ************************
* Plymouth State College      Plymouth NH 03264                   *
* [EMAIL PROTECTED]       http://oz.plymouth.edu/~kulig       *
*  "I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest      *
*                parts of the earth" - Psalm 139                  *

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