Curve Ball-single gender education

morphis at niuhep.physics.niu.edu morphis at niuhep.physics.niu.edu
Thu Jan 8 11:55:44 EST 1998


I hope y'all will excuse the intrusion...

Patricia Schwarz <patricia at theory.caltech.edu> writes:
>Mary Ann Sesma wrote:
>> 
>> I may be throwing a curve ball into these overlapping threads-- AP, Groups,
>> etc,  but  one of the most remarkable educational experiences that I ever
>> had was at a small Catholic women's college--Immaculate Heart College in
>> Los Angeles.    The sisters were all  Ph.D's in their various subject
>> fields.  These ladies did not hold back.  
>
><stuff snipped>
>
>Speaking of nuns and education:
>
>I saw a bar chart comparing by country the percentage of physics
>PhD's awarded to women, and all the Protestant countries were
>crammed together in the under 10% region, the Catholic countries
>filled out the middle of the chart in the 15-35% region, and anything
>above in the 40-50% range was either secularly Islamic (Turkey) or
>formerly Communist (Hungary and Russia).

I would be interested in an analysis of 
1) the average wage of physicists in those
	countries vs. the average professional wage there
2) the average level in the physics hierarchy of women in those countries

My comments are based on my understanding that 1) in the Soviet Union
there were far more female doctors than in the West, but M.D.s were
not a highly paid or respected group and 2) in Italy at least
there are quite a few female physicists but there is (was?  my info
is 5 years old) a very strong glass ceiling.

none-the-less it would be very interesting to know why there is
such a big difference.  I don't think that girls/women are discouraged
>From going into math and science because there is money to be made
there.

>In Londa Schiebinger's "The Mind Has No Sex?" she talks about
>the effect that the Reformation had on the nice network of science
>and math teaching convents that had established themselves by
>that time. There were a lot of popular science and math books
>written by nuns back then believe it or not. 

"popular"?

That's very interesting... Does she talk about how early these teaching
convents had been established?  Just curious, I am interested in 
medieval education... does she spend much time describing the
convents?

>I know people think "Gallileo" when they think of science in
>relation to Catholicism, 

That is actually quite an interesting story, at least as much about
ego as anything else.

>but nuns have done a LOT to further the
>education of women throughout history.

thanks for the interesting post
Robert
an occasional lurker




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