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'Howls of Feminist Outrage'

At least two female scientists have responded with a mix of boredom and gagging at the latest set of articles proclaiming that boys are better than girls at science and math. Upon the occasion of the US House of Representatives passing a law called "Fulfilling the potential of women in academic science and engineering," the New York Times' John Tierney took the opportunity to ask if we should discuss new studies that claim to validate the idea that there is a difference in science aptitude that is intrinsic to the sexes. And in May, the Daily Mail Online featured an article by Professor Richard Lynn, who wrote, "One of the main reasons why there are not more female science professors or chief executives or cabinet ministers is that, on average, men are more intelligent than women."

"Yawn, yawn, and yawn again," replies DrdrA at Blue Lab Coats in response to Tierney's article, which she says is a topic that has been done to death. And to Lynn's article, she says, "Puke, puke, and puke again" -- especially to his assertion that the article is predicated on a lifetime of research and that his "explanation" will most likely produce "howls of feminist outrage."

And Isis the Scientist, at the On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess blog, says much the same thing: "Dr. Isis is bored to tears with John Tierney … And I do mean booooooooooored, little darlings." But since Tierney has rehashed the subject, Isis says she might as well respond. For one thing, she says, Tierney clearly ignores studies done outside the US, in countries with more equality between the genders, that show the divide disappearing. In Iceland, girls are better than boys at math and science, and Japanese girls are not only better than their male counterparts, but they also outperform American boys in those areas. "Maybe in his next column Tierney will argue some type of evolutionary difference between the boys and girls in these other countries and American boys and girls," Isis says. What needs to change isn't female aptitude to science and math, she adds, but outdated thinking and cultural attitudes that teach women they're doing something wrong by pursuing demanding careers.

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