Girl, don't you think scientific

2018/01/29 Galarraga Aiestara, Ana - Elhuyar Zientziaren Komunikazioa Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

In order to achieve equal participation of women and girls in science, the United Nations General Assembly approved the International Day of Women and Girls in 2016. Although we believe that equal opportunities should be guaranteed, the data show that the gender gap in the scientific field remains evident. For example, according to a study conducted by Emakunde in 2016, there is a big difference between studies chosen by high school children based on gender. Girls bet on health sciences, psychology and teaching studies, while boys prefer engineering. Behind this choice there are stereotypes about the competences attributed to each gender: we have internalized that women are more suitable than men for care tasks and men for technological tasks. But work will not end there, as other factors influence this differentiation, including the physical aspect. The title of an article published in 2016 by researcher Sarah Banchefsky leaves no doubt: But you don't think it's scientific! Banchefsky presents the results of two experiments. One of them showed volunteers photographs of 80 scientists from the Internet. The volunteers had to say what it looked like to people in the photos: in women's cases, the more feminine their appearance, the more likely they are to be considered teachers. There were no differences in men. The second experiment was similar and the result is the same: for women the female image and scientific activities are opposed. The media image of women scientists can influence the stereotypes of women scientists. And when the protagonist is a scientist, if he is a woman, it is very common that there is some reference to his physical appearance. This does not happen if the scientist is a man. The difference also occurs in photographs, in which men usually appear in their working environment, without taking special care in their appearance, while women scientists are decontextualized and adorned. To see if, in addition to February 11, we also remember the rest of the year.

Published in the newspaper Berria.

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