Gender-Bias- Low Employment Among Women In Professional Fields

Male domination is still a rampant social anomaly, which has led to problems which have been persisting for several centuries, including unemployment, low wages, and other such things.     

Despite the fact that societal norms have progressed with changing times, it is also important to note that deep down, in the behavior of man, nothing much has changed. The world is still a patriarchal place, where men get the upper hand, no matter which sphere they are working in.

This is especially evident when you observe professional fields such as science and technology. In this regard, our research at www.newspsychology.com has found that the number of female employees is deplorably low. In other fields such as construction, agriculture, manufacture and production, even if there are female employees, the salary that they receive is always lower than that which is given to their male counterparts.

Psychological Analysis Of Gender Bias

There can be only one possible explanation for such a disparity between male and female workers. Women are still considered the lesser sex because of their physical disadvantage to men. However, nothing can be further from the truth, and this notion is almost like a popular superstition.

The truth is that, it has been ingrained in people’s minds, and therefore, in their psychology that the place of the women is inside the kitchen and the home. Their prime duty is bear children and to raise them. Changing the age-old mindset of the people is a tasking job, which has to be taken up with full gusto in order to take practical effect, other this bias and disparity is bound to continue.

Gender difference is a serious matter in our society, so it is very needed to reduce this. Our research works are also working on this subject. To get more information about these you can visit our website daily. 

Psychological Factors Contributing To Gender Bias In The World

Despite progressive social movements, bias against women is still a prevalent practice, which is yet to be eradicated. Following are some of the psychological reasons for this bias.

Some would think that being a woman in this current social scenario is a blessing as opposed to the plight of women a century ago. They now have equal rights, equal representation and other equalities which have been constitutionally granted to them.

However, the manner in which these grants are practiced is very different from what the law states. The ratio of men to women in any professional field is scandalously low, and even the distribution of wages by companies is partial towards women. There are several reasons why this bias still continues despite the fact that we live in a ‘progressive society.’

Reasons For Gender Bias

According to our studies at this website (newspsychology.com), one of the main reasons for gender bias is the fact that women are greatly discouraged when they are trying to establish themselves in any professional field. They are repeatedly told, from a young age that they are beneath men, and even if they are not told then the surrounding environment ingrains it into their mind. This affects their psychology for life, which makes them timid when they are trying to walk down their chosen career path. Another reason is that the majority of men actively believe that women are beneath them and that their place is in the kitchen.

However, the problem is that it is more than just a part of their psychology. They truly believe in what they think, which makes the situation worse. Men actually feel that when they deny women their equal rights to employment, wages, etc. they are doing nothing wrong. This is the prevalent attitude, even in today’s society which is primarily patriarchal, which leads to rampant gender bias all over the world. 

Numbers of women in science and technology fields alarmingly low

In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that numbers of women in the science, technology and innovation fields are alarmingly low in the world's leading economies, and are actually on the decline in others, including the United States. (Credit: Image courtesy of Elsevier)
 

NewsPsychology (Oct. 3, 2012) — In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that numbers of women in the science, technology and innovation fields are alarmingly low in the world's leading economies, and are actually on the decline in others, including the United States.

The study maps the opportunities and obstacles faced by women in science across the US, EU, Brazil, South Africa, India, Korea and Indonesia. It was conducted by experts in international gender, science and technology issues from Women in Global Science & Technology and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, and funded by the Elsevier Foundation.

Despite efforts by many of these countries to give women greater access to science and technology education, research shows negative results, particularly in the areas of engineering, physics and computer science. Women remain severely under-represented in degree programs for these fields-less than 30% in most countries. In addition, the numbers of women actually working in these fields are declining across the board. Even in countries where the numbers of women studying science and technology have increased, it has not translated into more women in the workplace.

"These economies are operating under the existing paradigm that if we give girls and women greater access to education they will eventually gain parity with men in these fields," states Sophia Huyer, the lead researcher and founding executive director of Women in Global Science & Technology. "This has dictated our approach to the problem for over a decade and we are still only seeing incremental changes. The report indicates that access to education is not a solution in and of itself. It's only one part of what should be a multi-dimensional policymaking approach. There is no simple solution."

The data show that women's parity in the science, technology and innovation fields is tied to multiple empowerment factors, with the most influential being higher economic status, larger roles in government and politics, access to economic, productive and technological resources, quality healthcare and financial resources. Findings also show that women have greater parity in countries with government policies that support health and childcare, equal pay, and gender mainstreaming. One of the main findings is that few countries collect consistent and reliable sex-disaggregated data in all of these areas, which inhibits their ability to implement effective enabling policies and programmes.

"We found that the absence of any one of these elements creates a situation of vulnerability for economies that want to be competitively positioned in the knowledge economy," Huyer says. "No one country or region is ticking off all the boxes, and some are falling dismally short. This is a tremendous waste of resources. We are wasting resources educating women without following through, and we are missing out on the enormous potential that women represent."

"This broad and ambitious assessment is a critical starting point for measuring the participation of women and girls in science, technology and innovation in emerging and developing worlds," said David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation, "This study identifies key areas of national strength and weakness, and we hope it will help form the basis of evidence-based policy making and aid going forward."

Spearheaded by Women in Global Science & Technology and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, the report was funded by The Elsevier Foundation, which provides grant programs targeting women scientists in the early stages of their careers.

Parents and readers: Beware of stereotypes in young adult literature, researcher says

A newly defined genre of literature, "teen sick-lit," features tear-jerking stories of ill adolescents developing romantic relationships. Although "teen sick-lit" tends to adhere to negative stereotypes of the ill and traditional gender roles, it also explores the taboo realm of sexuality, sickness and youth, says the University of Missouri researcher who named the genre in a recent study. Readers and their parents should be aware of how the presentation of disease and disability in these stories can instill prejudices and enforce societal norms in young adults, notes the researcher.

"Teen sick-lit depicts its chronically ill protagonists, who are usually white middle-class females, merely as vehicles for well people's emotional development rather than as self-actualized women with their own experiences, perspectives, and emotional needs," said Julie Passanante Elman, assistant professor in women's and gender studies in the College of Arts and Science. "As the popularity of fiction aimed at young adults, such as the Twilight, Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, continues to grow, it is important for readers and parents to note the ethical subtexts of the books. Similarly, the proliferation of sick or disabled characters on such television shows as "Glee," "Friday Night Lights" and "Breaking Bad" doesn't always equate to positive portrayals of those characters."

Elman found little to empower the ill in the nearly 100 "teen sick-lit" books she reviewed. Instead, the authors' framing of their ill characters tended to set them apart as abnormal. The will to live for the sick protagonist was often equated to the desire to have a traditional heterosexual relationship, often with healthy counterparts. Characters that did not adhere to traditional gender roles tended to be ostracized or encouraged to conform. For example, one girl who lost an eye to cancer and didn't want to wear make up because it caused an infection in her eye socket was encouraged by her peers to apply make up in a way that didn't bother her eye. Elman believes the emphasis placed on the effects of illness on the girls' bodies related to the importance placed on women's sexual attractiveness by society.

"'Teen sick-lit,' which mostly arose in the '80s', stands in contrast to the progressive young adult literature of the 70s, which often dealt with issues of racism, homophobia and other injustices," Elman said. "'Teen sick-lit' reinforces the idea that an individual must adjust themselves to society in order to succeed, regardless of preexisting cultural barriers, as opposed to taking action to create a more just society."

Elman's evaluation of teen sick-lit wasn't entirely negative. She did find that the books acknowledged and accepted the sexuality of sick people, a subject that is usually avoided by medical dramas. Adolescent sexuality, another taboo, also was a central topic in the genre. Also, some books featured positive portrayals of the sick as fully developed characters. Some of the books portrayed sick people forming romances with other sick people, as opposed to pining for a healthy lover.


Journal Reference:

  1. Julie Passanante Elman. 'Nothing Feels as Real': Teen Sick-Lit, Sadness, and the Condition of Adolescence. Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, 2012; 6 (2): 175-191 DOI: 10.1353/jlc.2012.0011

Gene that predicts happiness in women discovered

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A new study has found a gene that appears to make women happy, but it doesn't work for men. The finding may help explain why women are often happier than men. (Credit: © Yuri Arcurs / Fotolia)

A new study has found a gene that appears to make women happy, but it doesn't work for men. The finding may help explain why women are often happier than men, the research team said.

Scientists at the University of South Florida (USF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute reported that the low-expression form of the gene monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) is associated with higher self-reported happiness in women. No such association was found in men.

The findings appear online in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.

"This is the first happiness gene for women," said lead author Henian Chen, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, USF College of Public Health.

"I was surprised by the result, because low expression of MAOA has been related to some negative outcomes like alcoholism, aggressiveness and antisocial behavior," said Chen, who directs the Biostatistics Core at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine's Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. "It's even called the warrior gene by some scientists, but, at least for women, our study points to a brighter side of this gene."

While they experience higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders, women tend to report greater overall life happiness than do men. The reason for this remains unclear, Chen said. "This new finding may help us to explain the gender difference and provide more insight into the link between specific genes and human happiness."

The MAOA gene regulates the activity of an enzyme that breaks down serontin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain — the same "feel-good" chemicals targeted by many antidepressants. The low-expression version of the MAOA gene promotes higher levels of monoamine, which allows larger amounts of these neurotransmitters to stay in the brain and boost mood.

The researchers analyzed data from a population-based sample of 345 individuals — 193 women and 152 men — participating in Children in the Community, a longitudinal mental health study. The DNA of study subjects had been analyzed for MAOA gene variation and their self-reported happiness was scored by a widely used and validated scale.

After controlling for various factors, ranging from age and education to income, the researchers found that women with the low-expression type of MAOA were significantly happier than others. Compared to women with no copies of the low-expression version of the MAOA gene, women with one copy scored higher on the happiness scale and those with two copies increased their score even more.

While a substantial number of men carried a copy of the "happy" version of the MAOA gene, they reported no more happiness than those without it.

So, why the genetic gender gap in feeling good?

The researchers suspect the difference may be explained in part by the hormone testosterone, found in much smaller amounts in women than in men. Chen and his co-authors suggest that testosterone may cancel out the positive effect of MAOA on happiness in men.

The potential benefit of MAOA in boys could wane as testosterone levels rise with puberty, Chen said. "Maybe men are happier before adolescence because their testosterone levels are lower."

Chen emphasizes that more research is needed to identify which specific genes influence resilience and subjective well-being, especially since studies of twins estimate genetic factors account for 35 to 50 percent of the variance in human happiness.

While happiness is not determined by a single gene, there is likely a set of genes that, along with life experiences, shape our individual happiness levels, Chen said. "I think the time is right for more genetic studies that focus on well-being and happiness."

"Certainly it could be argued that how well-being is enhanced deserves at least as much attention as how (mental) disorders arise; however, such knowledge remains limited."

The study by Chen and colleagues was supported by the National Institutes of Health and a USF proposal enhancement grant.

 

Journal Reference:

  1. Henian Chen, Daniel S. Pine, Monique Ernst, Elena Gorodetsky, Stephanie Kasen, Kathy Gordon, David Goldman, Patricia Cohen. The MAOA gene predicts happiness in women. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2012.07.018

Magazine articles jeopardize and empower young women’s sexuality

While the effects of sexualized media on young women has long been debated, a new study finds that women who read sex-related magazine articles from popular women's magazines like Cosmopolitan are less likely to view premarital sex as a risky behavior. Additionally, the women who are exposed to these articles are more supportive of sexual behavior that both empowers women and prioritizes their own sexual pleasure.

This study was published in a recent article from Psychology of Women Quarterly (published by SAGE).

Study authors Janna L. Kim and L. Monique Ward wrote, "When exposed to explicit textual messages about female sexual assertiveness in women's magazines, readers regarded women's capacity to experience and act on feelings of sexual desire more favorably."

To execute the study, 150 women college students were randomly assigned to read articles from two popular magazines: one set of articles about women's roles in sexual relationships and the other set about general entertainment unrelated to sexual relationships.

In addition to finding that the group of women exposed to the sex-related articles endorsed more risky sexual behavior, the researchers found that white women in particular viewed premarital sex as less risky and endorsed taking on a more assertive sexual role than women of color.

Kim and Ward concluded, "Our results suggest that the complex and sometimes conflicting representations of female sexuality proliferating in the mass media and popular culture could potentially have both empowering and problematic effects on women's developing sexual identities."


Journal Reference:

  1. J. L. Kim, L. M. Ward. Striving for Pleasure Without Fear: Short-Term Effects of Reading a Women's Magazine on Women's Sexual Attitudes. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2012; 36 (3): 326 DOI: 10.1177/0361684312442856

Gender bias in leading scientific journals

Fewer women than men are asked to write in the leading scientific journals. That is established by two researchers from Lund University in Sweden, who criticise the gender bias.

In the 30 August issue of Nature, researchers have published an article showing that a much lower percentage of women than men are invited to write articles in News & Views in Nature and Perspectives in Science.

"We believe that fewer women than men are offered the career boost of invitation-only authorship in each of the two leading science journals," says Daniel Conley, a researcher at Lund University.

The consequences are that women are not as visible as men and are not provided the same opportunities for career advancement. The loss of women in science constitutes a brain drain for society.

When Nature was criticized in 2005 for offering too few women the opportunity to write for the Insight section, Nature increased the proportion of women authors.

"Gender parity can be achieved if Nature and Science are willing to make the effort to include more women in their invitation-only sections" says Johanna Stadmark, also from Lund University.

Conley and Stadmark conclude that equality within scientific research has increased in recent decades and that women today in many ways have the same opportunities as men to work within this field. However, they still believe that there is more to be done.

"Examination of the proportion of men and women who are invited to participate in all areas of science, whether it is as an invited speaker, a workshop participant, or for Science and Nature, is only good scientific practice" adds Daniel Conley.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel Conley, Johanna Stadmark. Gender matters: A call to commission more women writers. Nature, 2012; 488 (7413): 590 DOI: 10.1038/488590a

Sexual arousal may decrease natural disgust response

Sex can be messy, but most people don't seem to mind too much, and new results reported Sep. 12 in the open access journal PLOS ONE suggest that this phenomenon may result from sexual arousal actually dampening humans' natural disgust response.

The authors of the study, led by Charmaine Borg of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, asked female participants to complete various disgusting-seeming actions, like drinking from a cup with an insect in it or wiping their hands with a used tissue. (The participants were not aware of it, but the insect was made of plastic and the tissue was colored with ink to make it appear used.)

Sexually aroused subjects responded to the tasks with less disgust than subjects who were not sexually aroused, suggesting that the state of arousal has some effect on women's disgust response.


Journal Reference:

  1. Charmaine Borg, Peter J. de Jong. Feelings of Disgust and Disgust-Induced Avoidance Weaken following Induced Sexual Arousal in Women. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (9): e44111 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044111

Women speak less when they're outnumbered

 New experiments in group decision making show that having a seat at the table is very different than having a voice.

Scholars at Brigham Young University and Princeton examined whether women speak less than men when a group collaborates to solve a problem. In most groups that they studied, the time that women spoke was significantly less than their proportional representation — amounting to less than 75 percent of the time that men spoke.

The new study is published by the top academic journal in political science, American Political Science Review.

"Women have something unique and important to add to the group, and that's being lost at least under some circumstances," said Chris Karpowitz, the lead study author and a political scientist at BYU.

There is an exception to this rule of gender participation, however. The time inequality disappeared when researchers instructed participants to decide by a unanimous vote instead of majority rule.

Results showed that the consensus-building approach was particularly empowering for women who were outnumbered by men in their group. Study co-author Tali Mendelberg of Princeton says these findings apply to many different settings.

"In school boards, governing boards of organizations and firms, and legislative committees, women are often a minority of members and the group uses majority rule to make its decisions," Mendelberg said. "These settings will produce a dramatic inequality in women's floor time and in many other ways. Women are less likely to be viewed and to view themselves as influential in the group and to feel that their 'voice is heard.'"

For their experiments, Karpowitz and Mendelberg recruited people to be part of a group and discuss the best way to distribute money they earned together from a hypothetical task. In all, the researchers observed 94 groups of at least five people.

On average, groups deliberated for 25 minutes before settling the matter. Participants voted by secret ballot, but half of the groups followed majority rule while the other half decided only with a unanimous vote.

Notably, the groups arrived at different decisions depending on women's participation — swinging the group's stance on the level of generosity given to the lowest member of the group.

"When women participated more, they brought unique and helpful perspectives to the issue under discussion," Karpowitz said. "We're not just losing the voice of someone who would say the same things as everybody else in the conversation."


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher F. Karpowitz, Tali Mendelberg, Lee Shaker. Gender Inequality in Deliberative Participation. American Political Science Review, 2012; 106 (03): 533 DOI: 10.1017/S0003055412000329

Pupil dilation reveals sexual orientation in new study

NewsPsychology (Aug. 6, 2012) — There is a popular belief that sexual orientation can be revealed by pupil dilation to attractive people, yet until now there was no scientific evidence. For the first time, researchers at Cornell University used a specialized infrared lens to measure pupillary changes to participants watching erotic videos. Pupils were highly telling: they widened most to videos of people who participants found attractive, thereby revealing where they were on the sexual spectrum from heterosexual to homosexual.

The findings were published August 3 in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

Previous research explored these mechanisms either by simply asking people about their sexuality, or by using physiological measures such as assessing their genital arousal. These methods, however, come with substantial problems.

"We wanted to find an alternative measure that would be an automatic indication of sexual orientation, but without being as invasive as previous measures. Pupillary responses are exactly that," says Gerulf Rieger, lead author and research fellow at Cornell. "With this new technology we are able to explore sexual orientation of people who would never participate in a study on genital arousal, such as people from traditional cultures. This will give us a much better understanding how sexuality is expressed across the planet."

The new Cornell study adds considerably more to the field of sexuality research than merely a novel measure. As expected, heterosexual men showed strong pupillary responses to sexual videos of women, and little to men; heterosexual women, however, showed pupillary responses to both sexes. This result confirms previous research suggesting that women have a very different type of sexuality than men.

Moreover, the new study feeds into a long-lasting debate on male bisexuality. Previous notions were that most bisexual men do not base their sexual identity on their physiological sexual arousal but on romantic and identity issues. Contrary to this claim, bisexual men in the new study showed substantial pupil dilations to sexual videos of both men and women.

"We can now finally argue that a flexible sexual desire is not simply restricted to women — some men have it, too, and it is reflected in their pupils," says Ritch C. Savin-Williams, co-author and professor in Human Development at Cornell. "In fact, not even a division into 'straight,' 'bi,' and 'gay' tells the full story. Men who identity as 'mostly straight' really exist both in their identity and their pupil response; they are more aroused to males than straight men, but much less so than both bisexual and gay men," Savin-Williams notes.

The researchers are confident that their new measure will aid in understanding these groups better and point to a range of sexualities that has been ignored in previous research.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gerulf Rieger, Ritch C. Savin-Williams. The Eyes Have It: Sex and Sexual Orientation Differences in Pupil Dilation Patterns. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e40256 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040256