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Submission + - SPAM: Feminist Discovers Why Women Can't do STEM

Stinky Cheese Man writes: "Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis" by Laura Parson of the University of North Dakota is difficult to distinguish from parody. Apparently women and minorities are intimidated by catalog descriptions of STEM courses. The STEM course descriptions analyzed by Ms. Parson implied "that not only would students be held to difficult high standards, but also that there was also a base of knowledge that was required to be successful in the course. [This] created an impression of extremely difficult courses, which ... would be prohibitive for those not confident in those areas, such as women and minorities."

Furthermore, scientific knowledge itself is considered to be male-biased. "STEM syllabi explored in this analysis promoted the male-biased STEM institution by reinforcing views of knowledge as static and unchanging, as it is traditionally considered to be in science, which is a masculine concept of knowledge." This is opposed to the "feminist view of knowledge" in which "knowledge is constructed by the student and dynamic, subject to change."

Ms. Parson feels that "the individualistic, difficult and competitive nature of the STEM classroom" creates a "a chilly climate that marginalizes women".

Thanks to Tyler O'Neil at PJ Media.

Submission + - New species "Baracktrema obamai" named by President Obama's distant cousin (latimes.com)

tomhath writes: B. obamai is a flatworm that infects black marsh turtles and southeast Asian box turtles in Malaysia. Scientists study turtle parasites because they are believed to be the ancestors of the flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a disease that kills between 20,000 and 200,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization.

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