Profs lament ‘desire to win’ as a ‘masculine social norm’, That’s why there are relatively few women engineers



That’s pretty funny because I’ve known more than a few women over the years for whom “winning” was/is a driving force.

As for women and engineering, my father was an engineer, and as a financial advisor I had clients who were engineers. I think it’s fair to say – at least in my experience – that engineers are just a different type of person generally. They tend to be a bit weird. They tend to be very detail oriented. They tend, tend, to not be terribly social.They often are just odd. (Again, from my perspective.)

It has also been my experience that many of these engineers tend to like things like Dungeons and Dragons, comic books, Star Trek and that sort of thing. I know I am being wildly stereotypical here but that has been my experience. There are relatively few women (again, in my experience) who like Dungeons and Dragons, comic books, and Star Trek. There are some to be sure, but not many. Maybe whatever the D&D gene is is also the engineering gene? Who knows.*

I know I don’t have the engineering gene. Most people don’t have that gene. I was a polisci major, and there were plenty of women in my department. Maybe some of these women would have become engineering majors if it were not for a “culture of toxic masculinity” in the engineering department, but I seriously doubt it.

(From Campus Reform)

The paper, inspired by an annual Frontiers in Education Conference held last October, warns that engineering schools are dominated by “masculine norms” and a “masculine culture” that hurts women in the field.

These norms include not only the “desire to win” and “emotional regulation,” but also “dominance over others,” the “need to be high performing,” and “hegemonic masculinity.”

Other allegedly harmful male norms include “a sense of invincibility” and “risk-taking,” though the professors do concede that students who display these norms are generally rewarded in society.

The professors go on to frame these traits as hurtful to women, saying that masculinity ultimately perpetuates “accepted practices that legitimize men’s dominant position in society and justifies the subordination of women and other marginalized ways of being a man.”

Click here for the article.

*One side note, I remember my college roommate who was a computer science major told me about his department’s year end party one time.

Ours in the political science department was a good time. Music, multiple kegs, professors tossing a few back with the kids.

The CompSci party’s highlight was a Sony Playstation. Maybe many women just don’t want to go into a line of work where a Play Station is considered a key party ingredient. Maybe women are just better adjusted in that respect.