women, minorities and Science

Sabine Dippel sabine at hlrz24.zam.kfa-juelich.de
Tue Apr 16 01:28:17 EST 1996


In article <510048F06B6 at bio.tamu.edu>, JFRUGOLI at BIO.TAMU.EDU 
("Julia Frugoli") writes:
|> 
|> I >think it's
|> >not the level of the parent's education but perhaps the importance or 
|> >emphasis
|> >that your parents place on education...My parents were insistant on us 
|> >doing
|> >our work and getting high grades and applying to good colleges. In 
|> >addition I
|> >think education level does not always mirror intelligence levels...both 
|> >my
|> >parents are extremely intelligent..in fact my father dropped out of 
|> >high school
|> >due to boredom...he was at a very small Midwest school and wasn't 
|> >getting much
|> >out of it...later in his life he took some engineering math courses for 
|> >his job
|> >and got straight A's having never seen algebra or calculus before. Also 
|> >I think
|> >it was less likely for women to go to college or graduate school when 
|> >my mom
|> >was in school....I think the time frame needs to be considered when 
|> >making this
|> >sort of correlation.
|> >
|> >Jen
|> 
|> 
|> 1) actually, it's not my rule-it's some social scientist's theory, with 
|> statistics to back it (yeah, I know-you can do anything with statistics 
|> :) ), but I think Jen touched on an important point-it's the attitude of 
|> the parents toward education, perhaps sometimes reflected in social 
|> class, but not always.  My grandmother only completed 4th grade in 
|> Italy, yet it was important to her that her children have a college 
|> education.  Her children then wanted something even more for their 
|> children.  On the other side of my family, my grandmother completed 
|> Normal school in the 20's (i.e., a very educated woman for her day), my 
|> mom finished law school, and here I am in graduate school.
|> 
|>   Contrast this to my ex-husband's parents, the same social class two 
|> generations ago.  His mother got her GED in her 40s having dropped out 
|> of high school at 16 to marry and have children, and as far as they were 
|> concerned, college was a waste of time (though 3 of their 7 children 
|> completed it, they never helped any of them and were quite proud of it).  
|> And graduate school?  What would any person, especially a woman, want 
|> with more schooling?  What more can their be to life than babies and 
|> hard work? (You can probably guess what they thought of me!)  Their son, 
|> my ex-husband attended college basically to placate MY parents, and 
|> disparages education whenever he can to our children! Let's hope 
|> motherly influence counts for something.
|> Julia Frugoli
|> Dartmouth College
|> 
|> visiting grad student at
|> Texas A&M University
|> Department of Biological Sciences
|> College Station, TX 77843
|> 409-845-0663
|> FAX 409-847-8805
|> 

Yes, I think the attitude of parents towards education counts - though it
may come in in the funniest way. My mother, who is really an outdoor type
and would have liked to become a gardener, but was forced by her parents
to apprentice as a tailor (which she hated), brought across the message that
whatever I choose as a profession will be fine, it is just important that
it is what I want. So there it was not even special encouragement to attend
university, but just a general attitude that I have a right to find the
career which suits me best. Actually, I think it is the best attitude you
can have, because I have also known people who were forced into university,
though they would have liked better to do something else.
My two cents,

Sabine

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