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Additional resources for Athena Unbound: The Advancement of Women in Science and Technology
A typical response was that of a four-year-old boy who said, ‘ . . ’ The strength of the male identification with technology was also indicated by a boy who referred to a picture of a woman at a computer as ‘he’. Yet in several instances rigid classifications by sex appeared to be less fixed as some of the children were able to identify both sexes with the role of the scientist. ’ ‘Something in a science. She’s looking. Doing gravity. Making things fly. Someone who makes things we never saw before.
The consequences of female socialization have a concomitant deleterious effect for young males as well, in the demand that they ‘maintain the image of the aggressive, detached, active male’ (Gould, 1978). Neurological differences between right and left side brain development, or distinctive identifications and attachment between mother and daughter, have provided insight into the more verbal, relational and nurturing characteristics of females (Chodorow, 1978; Miller, 1976; Gilligan and Brown, 1990).
This may reflect why women, when questioned in college about the background of their science interests, frequently point to particularly important teachers they had, often as early as the third or fourth grade, who provided them with new channels of communication and new expectations. In contrast, graduate students in our studies frequently cited both parents, and most often the father, as highly encouraging. Fathers have been found to be particularly supportive of their daughters’ mathematical abilities (Eccles and Jacobs, 1986).