Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Links ...

  1. Charu Sudan Kasturi in The Telegraph: Kendriya Vidyalayas reject girl quota proposal.

    The Kendriya Vidyalayas have rejected a central panel’s proposal to reserve 50 per cent seats for girls and suggested alternative affirmative action, exposing rare differences within the government over quotas.

    The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), which governs 981 schools catering to over a million children, has suggested fee waivers and scholarships instead of quotas to help girl students.

    The rejection of the quota proposal was accepted by human resource development minister Kapil Sibal, who conducted the meeting as chairperson of the KVS, top sources on the board said.

  2. Sharon Begley in Newsweek: Pink Brain, Blue Brain:

    For her new book, Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps—And What We Can Do About It, Eliot immersed herself in hundreds of scientific papers (her bibliography runs 46 pages). Marching through the claims like Sherman through Georgia, she explains that assertions of innate sex differences in the brain are either "blatantly false," "cherry-picked from single studies," or "extrapolated from rodent research" without being confirmed in people. For instance, the idea that the band of fibers connecting the right and left brain is larger in women, supposedly supporting their more "holistic" thinking, is based on a single 1982 study of only 14 brains. Fifty other studies, taken together, found no such sex difference—not in adults, not in newborns. Other baseless claims: that women are hard-wired to read faces and tone of voice, to defuse conflict, and to form deep friendships; and that "girls' brains are wired for communication and boys' for aggression." Eliot's inescapable conclusion: there is "little solid evidence of sex differences in children's brains."

  3. Alison Booth in Vox EU: Gender, Risk, and Competition:

    Women are underrepresented in high-paying jobs and upper management. Is that due to gender differences in risk aversion and facing competition? This column describes an experiment in which girls were found to be as competitive and risk-taking as boys when surrounded by only girls. This suggests cultural pressure to act as a girl could explain gender differences that are not innate.

    Here's another quote:

    "If risk avoidance is viewed as being a part of female gender identity while risk seeking is a part of male gender identity, then being in a coeducational school environment might lead girls to make safer choices than boys."

  4. Eli Thorkelson has an interesting piece on Gender Imbalance in Anthropology.