Sexism in academia

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Sexism in academia is the experience of sexism in an academic setting, usually higher education. There is controversy over the extent to which women being statistically under-represented in any specific academic field is the result of gender discrimination or other factors such as personal inclination.[1][2]


  • "Half of all M.D. degrees are awarded to women (and an astounding 77 percent of veterinary medicine degrees); slightly more than half of the doctorates in the life sciences go to women today – that figure was 13 percent in 1970. But still (pace Larry Summers ) women lag in the math-based sciences such as engineering."[3] - Emily Yoffe - posted February 8, 2011


Charges of discrimination against women[edit]

Kim Gandy, then-president of the National Organization for Women, said:[4]

Summers' suggestion that women are inferior to men in their ability to excel at math and science is more than an example of personal sexism, it is a clue to why women have not been more fully accepted and integrated into the tenured faculty at Harvard since he has been president.

Rebuttal to discrimination charges[edit]

Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, of the Department of Human Development, Cornell University, wrote:[5]

Women’s current underrepresentation in math-intensive fields is not caused by discrimination in these domains, but rather to sex differences in resources, abilities, and choices (whether free or constrained).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bird, Sharon (March 2011). "Unsettling Universities’ Incongruous, Gendered Bureaucratic Structures: A Case-study Approach". Gender, Work & Organization. Vol. 18 (No. 2): 202–230. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0432.2009.00510.x. 
  2. ^ Pinker, Steven (2002). The blank slate : the denial of human nature in modern intellectual life. New York: Viking. pp. ch 18. ISBN 978-0-670-03151-1. 
  3. ^ Yoffe, Emily (2011-02-08). "Sexism in Academia". Slate. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  4. ^ "NOW Calls for Resignation of Harvard University's President". 2005-01-20. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  5. ^ "Understanding current causes of women's underrepresentation in science" (PDF). 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]