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双语:女生为何不擅长理科?

2016-01-27    来源:听力课堂    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

"Wow, you suck at math," the male says to the other male. In the next image, a female is seen scrawling the exact same equation on a chalkboard. "Wow,girls suck at math," the same male onlooker states.Although humorous, the comic speaks of a pernicious view that continues to affect women and society. Despite the continued progress with females in the workforce, there is still a notable absence of women leading math and science professions. It isn't simply men who perpetuate the stereotype that women are not as innately inclined to these subjects—far from it! Several studies have shown unconscious biases across the board toward women in regard to their skills in math and science. Even some well-meaning teachers are being shown to believe these stereotypes, and thus the oppression of girls—some who could very well retain the skill set to be math and science prodigies—continues as women choose more "feminine" professions and men lead the pack when it comes to math, science, technology and engineering. Below, we are counting down the top 10 reasons you (yes, you) believe that girls are bad at math and science. Alongside these reasons, we will be providing research studies and analyses that debunk these beliefs.

"哇喔,你的数学糟透了,"旁观的男生对小伙伴说。另外一幅图中,旁观的男生没变,写方程式的是一个女生。"天哪!女生的数学糟透了!"男生如是说。尽管看起来挺幽默,这则漫画却影射了一个不好的观点,一个持续困扰女性群体乃至整个社会的观点:尽管女性在人才市场的情况已不断改进,但理科领域的女性领军人物少之又少。长期以来,男性都认为女性根本没有理科慧根,可原因不仅仅如此,甚至还相差很远。数项研究发现,人们的确对女性理科能力存在广泛的偏见,甚至还有几位好心的专家指出:即使女孩们选择了"女性化"的职业——其中不乏一些条件不错,可能成为理科精英的女性,她们也还将受到这种偏见带来的压力,而男孩子则继续在理科领域遥遥领先。下面,我们就列出你(没错!就是你!)认为女性不擅理科的十大原因,同时,我们会用研究和数据一一拆穿这些谬误。

Bias

偏见

We all know that you shouldn't hire someone under bias or prejudice, and although we still have a long way to go, there has been significant progress in hiring processes that work to ensure that discrimination is not a factor in the process. Still, with the average woman continuing to earn less than men overall, there is still plenty of room (as in, acres and creditworthy of room) for improvement.

目前,社会招聘程序已取得显著进步,确保整个过程免受歧视或偏见的影响。因为我们知道,招聘就不应心怀成见,尽管为达到这一目标,我们还有很长一段路要走,目前女性整体人均工资水平仍低于男性,我们的进步空间还很大(按照目前这种速度来的话)。

Not all employers who make biased decisions while hiring actually intend to be biased in their decision. What if someone has an implicit or unconscious bias that is affecting their decisions? Sometimes even the most well-meaning of employers fall victim to their subconscious, and this in turn can have an impact on the people we seeing leading fields like math and science (among others). A 2008 study placed employers in one group and "job candidates" of different gender in another group. The researchers gave candidates a math test which entailed, "…adding up sets of two-digit numbers in a 4-minute math sprint. (There searchers did not tell the subjects, but it is already known that men and women perform equally well on this task.)" In spite of the simple math task being one that both genders could excel at, it was found that when employers were given a photograph of the candidate (which was the only information they had on the candidate), "…men were twice as likely to be hired for the simple math job, no matter whether it was a man or woman doing the hiring…"Moreover, the employers were given an Implicit Association Test, which revealed unconscious biases in regard to perceived ability for men and women in mathematical professions.

并不是所有做出带有偏见的决定的雇主就心怀成见。如果说是他们的潜意识左右了他们呢?有时候,即使一些心怀善念的雇主都会受其影响,反过来,这也会影响我们看待理科等顶尖领域中所谓高知的眼光。2008年一项研究将雇主和应聘者分成两组。每位应聘者都会做一项测试:"4分钟内完成两位数加法速算。"(当时,双方对这项研究都不知情,但大家都已知道,受测的男女表现不分伯仲)在这一测试中,男女的表现都相当出色,但当拿到受测对象的照片时(这是雇主仅有的关于应聘者的唯一信息),男性被录取的可能性整整高出了一倍——无论雇主是男是女,同时,雇主们还做了一项內隐联想测试,测试结果也暴露了人们潜意识中对男女理科能力高下的判断。

Self Fulfilling Prophecies

自我实现预期

A self-fulfilling prophecy is defined as, "Any positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events, or people that may affect a person's behavior toward them in a manner that causes those expectations to be fulfilled…An employer who, for example, expects the employees to be disloyal and shirkers, will likely treat them in a way that will elicit the very response he or she expects."

自我实现预期是指人们对环境、事件、他人都会抱有的某种或好或坏的期待,这些期待会影响人们待人接物的行为,从而使这些期待变成现实。例如:一位雇主觉得自己的雇员是一群不忠的混吃等死之辈,那他对待雇员的方式可能让雇员真的变成他想象中的那样。

In the above example, we saw how bias from employers could lead to such self-fulfilling prophecies, and girls and women have been shown to unconsciously secure their fates as those that either shy away from math and science professions, or whose ability to perform well in these subjects is hindered by internalization of biases. From a very young age, girls and boys are bombarded with messages about how their gender dictates certain facets of their personality as well as their aspirations. Boys may strive for success in math and science because they are led to believe that their gender provides them with innate skills in these subjects, while girls may experience anxiety at school while being handed math and science projects after being led to believe these subjects will never be their strong suit. A 2012 study published in Psychological Science sought to investigate the impact that entity theories(defined as the belief that innate qualities can dictate your skill set) had on children. The study involved 144 children between the ages of four and seven who were all instructed to play a matching game involving 3-D block images. During the first round of the game, one of there searchers told some of the children that the boys playing the game were more successful,while a second group was told that one of the females had excelled at the game, and a third group was given no information.

上面的例子揭露了偏见是如何影响雇主的自我实现预期。相应的,女性也常无意识地选择明哲保身:有些人远离涉及理科的领域,有能力驾驭这些学科也逐渐在泛滥的偏见中黯然失色。人们从小就被灌输了大量诸如"性别决定性格"、"性别决定志向"的理论。男生决心在理科上大展拳脚,因为人们说男生生来就是学理的料,女生却常常在接到理科项目时感到焦虑,因为人还说,理科从来都不是女生的强项。2012年,一项出版在《心理科学》的实验试图揭示实体理论(即天分决定技能论)对小孩的影响,实验对象是144名4-7岁的儿童,他们将在接受指导后玩一个3D图像的连线游戏。第一轮游戏期间,一位研究员告诉第一组:男生更会玩这个游戏,告诉第二组:其中一名女生已出色完成游戏,第三组没有任何提示。

The impact of those statements was evident in the second, more challenging round of the game. As summarized by Slate: "The scores of those who were given the gender prompts fell by an average of 12.8 percent. By contrast, children who were told about another individual child's success or failure stayed about the same. Scores fell 2.9 percent among the kids who heard nothing."

这些话在更加激烈的第二轮游戏中收到可立竿见影的效果。实验结果如下:第一组分数下降12.8%,第二组分数持平,第三组分数下降2.9%。

Both Genders Believe the Stereotype

男性女性都相信"女性不擅理"

It isn't simply men who are perpetuating the stereotype that girls and women are bad at math and science—many females believe it too! In our first example where employers were found to have biases against women in regard to mathematical ability, the female employers were found to have just as strong as a bias as the male employers. Furthermore, various STEM research studies have shown that "…barriers like stereotypes, gender bias, and a discouraging classroom atmosphere can deter women from pursuing careers in these areas and may explain why there are so few female scientists and engineers." Another STEM research study noted, "Femininity is linked to math anxiety towards math and doing worse in math, so it may be difficult for women to feel both feminine and confident in their math abilities."

长期以来,使"女性不擅理"这一理论根深蒂固的不仅仅是男性,女性也相信这一理论。第一个例子中,雇主普遍对女性的数学能力存在偏见,其中,女雇主的成见并不比男雇主少。STEM(科学,技术,工程,数学)研究发现,成见、性别歧视、压抑的课堂氛围都会使女性在面对理科职业时望而却步,这也是女性科学家、女工程师如此之少的原因。还有STEM调查表明,女性特征与数学焦虑、不擅数学息息相关,所以让一个散发着女性光辉的女生对数学充满信心是相当困难的。

Ability Varies by Country

在不同国家,女性理工科的能力千差万别

When it comes to a nature versus nurture argument regarding females and their abilities within math and science, nurture would reign supreme according to recent studies. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, "…15-year-old girls around the world, outperform boys in science – except for in the United States, Britain and Canada."

研究发现:在男女理科能力的种族大比拼中,后天培养起着主导作用。据经济合作和发展组织称,除了美国、英国和加拿大之外,其他国家和地区中十五岁左右的女性都会在理科上表现得比男性更出色。

Further research showed that, "…countries with the poorest degrees of gender equality also have the widest gulfs between male and female mathematical performance." Conversely, the USD apartment of Education found that girls, "…who have a strong self-concept regarding their abilities in math or science are more likely to choose and perform well in elective math and science courses and to select math and science-related college majors and careers." None of this evidence is surprising, but it is disconcerting to think that girls and women who would otherwise be excelling in math and science and who may also have potential to expound upon these talents with successful—and profitable—careers within the field are pursuing different trajectories due to the biases against them.

调查还发现:一个国家,男女越平等,男女间数学能力上的差距越小。而美国教育部却发现了一个不同的结果:那些对自己工科能力具有强烈认知的女性会在工科选修课上表现出色。同时,她们也会更偏向于选择在大学进修理工类相关专业,毕业后从事理工类相关工作。上述的调查结果并不令人惊讶,令人惊讶的是:那些本可以在理工科游刃有余的姑娘们,那些本可以在理工类职业中扬名立万的姑娘们,为何就因为社会偏见而选择了其他职业呢?

Women Choose "Love" Over Math and Science

感性胜于理性

On an unconscious level, some women feel that pursuing careers in math and science will make them less romantically desirable. During middle and high school years, girls—particularly heterosexual girls—are liable to conform to what society purports to be "attractive" and"desirable" to the opposite sex. Girls are taught to be delicately feminine while boys are taught to be brawny and masculine.

女性在潜意识里认为追求理科学位会令自己缺乏浪漫因子。进入中学的姑娘们——特指直女——开始遵循社会对女性的要求,变得"具有吸引力"和"令人觉得性感",女孩就应该变得优雅有女人味,如同男孩就应该健壮有男人味。

In 2011, Psychology Today made note of different studies that showed women believed men would find them less desirable if they pursued mathematics or science careers and that women also cared about math less when having "romance on the mind." "In one study, male and female undergraduates saw images related to either romance (romantic restaurants, beach sunsets, lit candles) or intelligence (eyeglasses, libraries, books), in order to get the students thinking about their romantic or achievement-related goals. Later, they rated their interest in math, technology, science and engineering. The researchers found that among men, interest in these subjects was not influenced by the images they had seen. But among women, those who viewed romantic images expressed far less interest in math and science. (Interestingly,women who viewed intelligence images expressed the same level of interest as the men!)"Psychology Today went on to note the implications these types of stereotypes have for men as well, i.e., just as women may shy away from careers that are perceived as "masculine", men may shy away from careers that are perceived as "feminine", such as those within teaching,counseling and the arts.

在2011年《今日心理学》曾指出,各类研究表明女性普遍认为:工科女性缺少男人缘,而满脑子桃色念头的女生也的确不太关心理工学科的内容。"在一个高校学生的文理职业理想,研究人员先让他们分别观察感性图片(如浪漫的餐厅、黄昏的沙滩、燃烧的烛光)和理性图片(如眼镜、图书馆、书籍),然后开始测试学生对数学、技术类学科、工程学的兴趣度。研究发现,男生感兴趣的学科并不受所看图片的影响。但在女生当中,观察感性图片的人则对数学和科学很不感冒。(有意思的是,观察理性图片的女生对理工类学科的兴趣度与男生是一样!)"《今日心理学》后来又指出,此类刻板印象对男性也具有影响。也就是说,就像女性怕被喊成"女汉子"而怯于去获取更多学位,男性同样怕被视为很"娘"而不愿意去取得诸如教育、咨询或艺术相关的学位。



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