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06. Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, eds., Human Development

Wendy Williams
Williams Book

Wendy Williams

Why Aren’t More Women in Science? Top Researchers Debate the Evidence (American Psychological Association, 2007). The editors present 15 essays written by top researchers, chosen to reflect the diversity and complexity of views on sex differences in ability. Some essayists even interpret differently the same data on the causes and consequences of so few women in certain fields. The discussions include topics such as the role of prenatal and postnatal hormones on spatial cognition, the claim that female babies are naturally more oriented toward people than are male babies (who are more oriented toward objects), the differences between female and male brains, and social factors pertaining to balancing work and family. In their introduction, the editors define the key issues and put them in historical context. They specifically examine how much of the variance in scientific performance is due to biological factors (such as sex differences in brain organization) versus social factors (such as willingness to work very long hours at one’s job). In their conclusion they synthesize and integrate the disparate views. The book is accessible and appeals to students and nonspecialists, as well as psychologists and other social scientists.

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