sexy science

Wed Mar 12 14:01:18 EST 1997

on  12 Mar 1997 09:22:01 -0800 Anita wrote:
>I would be interested in hearing from the group how you feel about the
>use of the word "sexy" to describe science or a particular project or 
>in science.  This adjective is pretty common it seems to me, but I have
>only heard it used by males, never by women.  I personally do not like
>hearing it, although I have never said anything when it gets used.  At 
>for me when I hear men say this, I imagine it conjurs up images of 
>with not many clothes on; what is "hot" and what "sells".  Although I 
>may find science exciting and thrilling I do not think of it as sexy.
>Anyone else care to share thoughts? Do people think I am over 
First let me say that it doesn't matter if I think you're overly 
sensitive-it bothers you and so people should be aware. 

But now let me add that I, for one, never have thought of a negative 
connotation of sexy-to me it means the same as fun, exciting,"hot"-and 
I've used the term before to describe science (I'm female).  When I 
apply it to science, I think of it as meaning those things, and when I 
apply it to other things, it doesn't evoke images of scantily clad 
women, but of sensuality-which don't have to go hand in hand-especially 
when the term is used by women!  I may be out on a limb here, but I 
think this has a lot more to do with one's upbringing and attitude 
toward things sexual than a put down of women.  I know women and men who 
are mortified by their own humanity, and those who seem to be quite 
comfortable in their bodies-and it bears no correlation that I can 
detect to their gender.  That being said, I will think hard before I use 
the term again, now that I've been told that someone might take offense.

I'll be really interested to hear how others feel about this.

Julie-the only woman in the lab of 10
Julia Frugoli
Dartmouth College

visiting grad student at
Texas A&M University
Department of Biological Sciences
College Station, TX 77843
FAX 409-847-8805

"Evil is best defined as militant ignorance."
																										Dr. M. Scott Peck

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