Academic Specialties By Sex
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January 09, 2013, 02:42 AM
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The Chronicle of Higher Education has a fun interactive graphic of the sexes of the authors of a couple of million academic papers going back to 1665. For the last 20 years, the most male dominated field studied is math, then operations research, then philosophy, and economics. In philosophy, the most masculine subfields include space and time and set theory, and the most feminine moral philosophy. 

In general, women researchers find living things more interesting, especially young living things.

Especially feminine subfields include sociology of gender, anthropology of dance ethnology, cognitive science of early childhood development, pollution and occupational health of cancer risk, and mycology of yeast.

The single most masculine subfield in the study is the mathematics of Riemannian manifolds.

The usual way to think about this is that this represents a crisis. Steps Must Be Taken to smash the glass ceiling holding women down in Riemannian manifolds so that they can bring their valuably diverse insights to solving Riemannian manifolds, whatever those are. The sacred goal of Diversity requires homogenizing every field of intellect!

On the other hand, my view (being a Larry Summers-like thought criminal) is that children and other living things are important, and I`m glad that smart women are working enthusiastically on subjects that they find fascinating.

In contrast, luring would-be dance ethnologists into studying Riemannian manifolds is just going to waste the time of the current Riemannian manifold experts and annoy the natural dance ethnologists. And bribing smart female cancer researchers to go instead into Riemannian manifolds strikes me — somebody who had cancer back in the 1990s and is greatly appreciative of the work of cancer researchers, male and female — as not a win-win proposition for society as a whole.