Join World Pulse now to read more inspiring stories and connect with women speaking out across the globe!

The primary difference contributive to disproportionate findings of engagement among men and women in various fields:

The following is a long read. So, I have made an mp3 file. So, that those who don’t want to hold their eyes open through the whole post can simply listen to it, like one listens to an audiobook. The mp3 is ten minutes and fifty-five seconds long.

The primary difference contributive to disproportionate findings of engagement among men and women in various fields:

Well, that title certainly is wordy. But, if you bear with me I value your assessments of whether it rings true at the end. What I'm about to say is not going to be favorable about women. And, in a go-girl era of "women are wonderful," as Christina Hoff Sommers calls it, saying unfavorable things about women, as a man, runs the risk of being called a "misogynist." Well, I assume that risk, as I hope that more rational minds will prevail.

I used to think that the historical absenteeism of women in decisive positions was due to the sexist limitations placed on their access to education and their general fulfillments as people. Now, I believe that the historical absenteeism of women had more to do with unengaging demeanors — that by comparison to men, women were doing less.

When a genre doesn't exist, there cannot be existing social constructs preventative to women within that genre, ready to hold them back as they push forward. When a genre doesn't exist it is only the fires lit under the backsides of the people interested that pushes the genre forward. That is, we should be able to say that when laws are not preventative to exploring an interest for a field that doesn't exist yet, that if the pioneers become disproportionately male, that it is an indication that more men were voluntarily exploring that area of study, in their leisure. How many times have we heard about the father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel, the independent fathers of calculus, Wilhelm Leibniz and Isaac Newton, the fathers of philosophy, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, or our founding fathers? Elizabeth Ellet wrote a two volume account entitled "The Women of the American Revolution," highlighting the women of those times, as if history did not provide an accurate portrayal of the persons central to founding our country, writing its laws, defining its new style of governing. Maybe history did not round out the full picture for us of contributions large and small; but, for the most part, it told us the main players. And, they were men.

I first started to think this way after living through the internet era. Before living through that time, I believed that women could do anything a man could do, and as importantly at the same rate; they just needed equal access, I reasoned, for the various fields to approach parity. Allow me to list a few top domain names of the internet and a peculiar commonality among them all. Google, MySpace, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, Ebay, Yahoo, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Baidu. Now, the peculiar commonality: All of them were founded by men. Were women not allowed to make websites? Could they not major in Computer Science? If they had a suspicion about the marketplace, an idea they thought would become profitable, were limits to access placed upon women preventing them from exploring their suspicions? Absolutely not, for all those questions.

I once spent to thousand dollars on one domain name. Throughout my life, I estimate that I have owned fifteen domain names. It is not just that the websites I've listed were exceptional. I believe they are liken to the tip of a tidal wave of men trying. If it is mostly men who buy domain names, who are putting attempts out there, then when successes do happen, the pool of people from whom it happens from will be mostly men too.

Those stories illustrate "the what." Now, the important question — "the why"; why are so many fields disproportionately male? First, let me say that I don't think that my answer will be vindicated until at least a hundred years into the future. It will take that amount of time before a glaring realization emanates in society at large that women haven't been held back since the turn of this last century and men are still prominent in the upper echelons of most fields. When that becomes the case and that realization becomes pervasive in society, so much so that no reasonable person would claim that a societal effort was underway hindering women, that is when people will begin to seriously question what's behind it, why it all is happening. Maybe then, someone will remember what I wrote, many years earlier, here. But, I don't need, nor seek, the credit. So long as society finds the truth, however uncomfortable, I'm satisfied.

In a word, the primary difference contributive to disproportionate findings of engagement among men and women is "energy." Having energy entails that when the thought arises to engage in something, mustering the will to do it is less of an effort.

When a man drove through the crowds of Times Square, crashing his vehicle into a pole, a nearby bouncer sprung into action and tackled him, holding him to the ground. A second gentleman, seeing the commotion, ran over to help. He put his hands around the neck of the offender, to aid holding him until police arrived.[1] When a man began to yell hate speech on a train in Portland, Oregon, two other men intervened to calm down the passenger. They were stabbed by him as a result. Those men later died at the hospital. There, an opportunity presented itself. Men engaged.[2][3] On only his second day on the job, a sixteen year old young man saw a customer collapse on the floor and ran over to do CPR.[4] With energy the will to act is met more easily. Clearly, I'm not saying that "Women can't tackle an offender, give CPR, nor intervene with an aggressive passenger." I'm saying "they aren't doing so in comparable numbers to men."

I haven't forgotten when my mother received a shot at the doctor's office. We later learned that it was an anabolic steroid. In my mother's words, she said, "I felt so good. I hadn't felt that good since I was pregnant." She gained so much energy that day, that she just started cleaning up the house. It was as if she could finally meet the demands of what she felt she should do around the house. We've since tried to get another shot of that anabolic steroid, and to get its name. But, the doctor declined dispensing it again. Though she probably told us its name. I've since forgotten it.

I use to joke about anabolic steroids that "Side effects include qualifying for the Olympics, and breaking world records." That doesn't sound too bad to me. How about to you? As you know, athletes are tested for banned substances, as well as to get a sense of their natural production of anabolic steroids. If their bodies are naturally over productive in that regard, it's fine; they can compete. But, if they have artificial enhancements, they're said to have an unfair advantage. The point, though, is it is not practicing, nor training, that effectuates that advantage; it is the involuntary accumulation and production of one's natural steroids that does so.

For men, normal ranges of testosterone are 280 to 1100 nanograms per deciliter of blood. For women, the numbers are 15 to 70 nanograms per deciliter of blood. And, what are the influences of testosterone? INfluences include, an increased sex drive, increased muscle mass, and stamina. For women, normal ranges of estrogen in saliva concentrations are 50 to 300 picograms per milliliter. In men, saliva concentrations are 20 to 70 picograms per milliliter.[5][6] And what are the side effects of estrogen? Increased breast size, gynecomastia in men, and increased weight gain. Those don't sound conducive to energy to me.

I use to referee high school boy's and girl's basketball games. There was an understanding that developed among us referees that since we could choose who played first, that we would choose to allow the girls to play first, as sort of a warm-up for the boy's games. The action was less intense, the calls to notice were fewer, the number of baskets were fewer during girl's games. It was somewhat like what can be quantified and stated about the WNBA games by comparison to the NBA games. But, allow me to ask the overall question. If there are permeating influences in society of the sort I'm suggesting, are they only manifest in overtly physical tasks? That is, should we only assume that strength and comparative weakness is relevant solely for matters like lifting fifty pounds? What if, for every action humans can engage in there is a required measure of energy to do those actions?

In chemistry there is a phrase called "activation energy." It is the minimum amount of energy needed for a chemical reaction to take place. Borrowing that phrase, the minimum amount of energy needed to do a certain action can be met provided sufficient stamina in a personIf what I am saying is true, a prediction it provides is that for more arduous tasks more men should be found doing them when not required by work nor school.

In a round-robin chess tournament where one has four opponents total, players have two hours to play the first forty moves. They are then given an additional hour to reach move sixty. With only four opponents, and all games reaching move forty, one could have spent ten hours playing that tournament. If all games reached move sixty, players could have spent fourteen hours on the tournament. By simply increasing the number of total opponents to five instead of four, the initial timeframe could be fifteen hours with a potential for twenty hours if games reached move sixty. The highest rank a professional chess player can achieve is the title of "Grandmaster." Grandmaster norms entail that a person has reached a rating of 2500, or more. The average chess player has a rating of 1400. Ratings are objective because there is a formula to adjust its increase or decrease given wins and losses and the rating of your opponent. Of 1,443 professional Grandmasters, 31 are women (2.2%).[7] I posit that perhaps the reason so few women are grandmasters involves the frequency with which one must meet the marathon-esque task of round-robin tournaments. That task is more easily met with energy.

Finally, where are women making gains? In education, women are graduating at rates larger than men and with more honors as they do. Unfortunately, I do not celebrate that fact because the qualities I deem meriting are originality, insights that others don't have, demonstrating finesse, and mastery, but not how adept one is at memorizing the insights of others and repeating them at the appropriate times, such as on a test or quiz. And, you don't get uncommon results such as those from common uses of time. You don't get uncommon results by resigning to the expectations of your times. Making all A's and excelling in school does not require any of the merits I've listed. Women are also pervasive in caring professions, like nursing, social workers, and veterinarians. It may be that biology can influence society as oppose to the popular theory that any and everywhere society is influencing biology. That is, the number of women in caring professions may be an indication of preferences rather than fields that "need more work" to approach parity. So, it truly is on the periphery of work and school where a gauge should be applied to assess our tendency towards progress, innovation, "pushing the envelope," as it is called. And those areas are so disproportionately male that they do not reflect the demographics of the larger society.

Please, post your comments below.

[1] [2] [3]‘we’d-probably-be-dead’-girl-thanks-men-for-saving-her-from-alleged-killer-white-supremacist/ar-BBBDubd?li=BBnb7Kz [4] [5] [6] [7]

Girl Power
Northern America
Like this story?
Join World Pulse now to read more inspiring stories and connect with women speaking out across the globe!
Leave a supportive comment to encourage this author
Tell your own story
Explore more stories on topics you care about