The attitudes do not stay inside people’s heads

Women in STEM fields have a laundry list of stories about men telling them they aren’t clever enough to be there.

A new study published Wednesday adds to a growing body of hard evidence to back up those stories.

It finds that men in STEM subject areas overestimate their own intelligence and credentials, [and] underestimate the abilities of female colleagues, and that as a result, women themselves doubt their abilities — even when hard evidence such as grades say otherwise.

It’s a wonderful loop, isn’t it – men think they’re better than they are so they forge confidently ahead regardless and they feel entitled to tell women they’re not good enough so women are kneecapped, so men think they’re even more better than they are and so on forever.

The students worked in groups and as partners and when asked to rate themselves compared to their closest workmate, the men thought they’d be smarter than 61 percent of their colleagues. Women put the number closer to 33 percent.

“This echoes what has been previously shown in the literature; a review of nearly 20 published papers on self-estimated intelligence concluded that men rate themselves higher than women on self-estimated intelligence,” Cooper and Brownell wrote in their report, published in Advances in Physiology Education.

“More and more of these studies are painting similar pictures,” Brownell said.

Yes, I’ve seen them before, and I bet we all have.

So what’s the result? STEM fields are full of Damore-type men telling women they’re not smart enough, or, more euphemistically aka deniably they’re more into relationships than mathematics. Also, in a thrilling new bonus, they have platoons of thinky men telling us all that this is Free Speech and must be not only protected but encouraged and widely disseminated and greeted with rapture. How dare Google fire Damore just for fitting this pattern of Mediocre Men Telling Women They Are Too Stupid Empathetic to Work at Google?

Ilana Seidel Horn, a professor of mathematics education at Vanderbilt University, says it’s been shown that girls and women doubt their own mastery of a subject more than boys and men do.

“Really bright girls often don’t feel like they know something unless they very much understand it, whereas boys are more comfortable saying they understand something without having an actual deeper understanding,” Horn said.

It’s more of a guy thing.

The attitudes do not stay inside people’s heads. Pearson said she felt the disdain of her male classmates regularly.

“I can’t even tell you how many of my early successes (awards and grants) were attributed to my being the only girl, and ‘they had to’ give the award to a woman,” Pearson said.

“I am reasonably successful by a variety of measures, but I still doubt everything I do. And it’s because a lifetime of being told I don’t belong and I’m not good enough that got into my head.”

Even the most confident girl or woman might begin to doubt herself when confronted with such attitudes from fellow students, teachers and colleagues, Brownell said.

Drip drip drip.

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