Gender and Politics in the media

Academia: Political Science Is Rife With Gender Bias. Gender: Chelsea Manning and the Politics of a Pronoun.

If Men Do It … Inside Higher Ed …The idea that men may be inclined to think highly of themselves did not seem to surprise the largely female audience here, where those statistics were greeted by some laughter. The paper presented here doesn’t say that this self-citation pattern is solely responsible for the citation gap (the implication is that sexism is in fact at work), but that this is some of the explanation.

In comments of other panelists and from the audience, there was no dispute of the idea that men self-promote themselves more than do women and cite men more than women. The question was what to do about that.

Walter said that there is a role here for journal editors. She said that it should be seen as totally legitimate for a journal editor, receiving a submission with hardly any women cited, to ask why, and to suggest that the author consider some work by women. And she said that departments, based on this study, should hesitate about using a citation index at all, given the bias in the field.


‘Women’s issues’ skew the science careers debate The Conversation The so called “leaky pipeline” of women in academic science, technology, engineering and maths is a big issue, representing a major loss in talent and creativity.

Only 15% of professors in these fields are women and despite drives by politicians, learned societies and individual institutions, we still don’t really know what the problem is or how to tackle it. Often, childcare, career gaps and women’s reluctance to self-promote are identified as issues organisations need to address in order to facilitate women reaching higher academic positions; but are these really women-specific issues?

The demands of childcare are often held up as one of the key roadblocks to the progression of women in academia. However, the idea that childcare is a gender issue reinforces the idea that women should be responsible for the home and the “double burden” felt by many women. The association between women and childcare also means that male academics who want to take paternity leave or work part time for childcare or domestic reasons face similar, if not greater discrimination against doing so. There is even evidence that male scientists regret parenthood decisions more than female scientists.

Political Science Is Rife With Gender Bias, Scholars Find Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription) … In that paper, “The Gender Citation Gap,” Ms. Walter and her colleagues found that even after controlling for many variables—including what the subjects wrote about, the methodology they used, and where they worked—women were cited less frequently than men were. In their review of more than 3,000 journal articles published from 1980 to 2006, articles by men received an average of 4.8 more citations than were articles by women. (The average number of citations per article over all was 25.)

The authors came up with two explanations: Women tend to cite their own work less than men do, which can have a multiplying effect as time goes by. And men, who dominate the profession, tend to cite other men more than they cite women.

Chelsea Manning and the Politics of a Pronoun The American Prospect …At first blush, the question of how to refer to Manning may seem pretty easy to answer. The reaction from The New Republic‘s Ryan Kerney was basically “what’s there to be confused about?” The AP Stylebook—the industry-standard manual for copy editors—says you should go with the person’s preference:

Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics (by hormone therapy, body modification, or surgery) of the opposite sex and present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.

But as pointed out by Quartz Global Editor Gidion Lichfield, who took to the Huffington Post to complain about the lack of guidance for journalists on transgender issues, the issue is not straightforward. How would you, for instance, rewrite the following sentence?:

In Iraq, Manning kept the fact that he was a gay man under wraps.

There’s an array of related questions: Was Manning always a woman? Or was Manning a man until the announcement? Does the gender change take effect once hormone therapy starts? Or after Manning’s received a diagnosis of “gender identity disorder” from a physician?

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