Women’s Choices Keep Them Out of Math Intensive Fields

November 11th, 2011 by Pelle Billing

Take a look at this very interesting video by researchers Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams of Cornell University. They explain why there are so few women in math intensive fields (summary below):

The key points are:

  • Ability: The ratio of men to women is 2 to 1 in the most gifted group (the top one percent). But the ratio of male to female math professors is 4 or 5 to 1. So ability cannot explain why there aren’t more women in math intensive professions.
  • Discrimination: Women are not discriminated against when they look for math intensive jobs.
  • Women’s preferences and choices: Women prefer becoming medical doctors or veterinarians instead of mathematicians or engineers. Women also opt out of the tenure-line.

Read their full paper here.

Thanks to Søren for sending this in!

7 Responses to “Women’s Choices Keep Them Out of Math Intensive Fields”

  1. Tim Says:

    “Discrimination: Women are not discriminated against when they look for math intensive jobs.”

    I am pretty sure some people would argue against that.

  2. Pelle Billing Says:


    Yes, some people would. But now it’s up to them to prove that discrimination exists.

  3. Eagle33 Says:

    I think, instead of always falling back on the sexism or discrimination route when people study why women choose not to major in math intensive fields, they should examine further WHY they do so and not make any judgements.

    There’s so much to be gleamed from that route instead of outright declaring oppression.

  4. kostas Says:

    I agree that declaring discrimination is a positive claim and requires proof but we both know that in the current climate discrimination is the null hypothesis so by default the burden of proof is on the one who claims there’s no discrimination which by the way is practically impossible with the prominence of feministic bias. how would you respond to that?

  5. Pelle Billing Says:


    I would reply that they cannot change the way science works plus we now also have the research linked to above.

  6. Alexander Roslin Says:

    @ Kostas

    Tom Martin is trying to do something against the dominant feminist ideologues. He is sueing the Gender Sudies Department of the London School of Economics because of antimale bias.

    Here his website where he writes something about his experiences after six weeks as heterosexual male Gender Study student (links above in blue)


    Here a post by him on an US MRA website


    If he could succeed, it would be an important signal for all Gender Study Departments worlwide (at least 900), here they are with their websites:


  7. Frauen meiden mathematikintensive Studiengänge nicht weil sie diskriminiert werden, sondern weil sie es wollen « Alles Evolution Says:

    [...] Pele Billing habe ich dieses Video zur Situation von Frauen in matheintesiven Fächern [...]