Re: Anthropology of Science

Fri, 6 Oct 1995 15:36:00 PDT

Rohrlich writes:

"No, of course science isn't inherently sexist. But it started out in
patriarchal societies, where women were refused admittance to the
colleges and universities. ... Also, the absence of egalitarian values
influences choice of subject matter, hypotheses and conclusions."

While women, as a class, may be one of the most prominent instances of
individuals being denied full opportunity to participate in a discipline
merely because of a trait they share, science is not exactly a paragon of
virtue when it comes to males either (even if reference is just made to
those of European descent). There is no shortage of male individuals who,
because of dissenting viewpoints, differences of background, and the like,
have been effectively denied full participation as scientists. Even when sex
is fully removed as a criterion for full participation, individuals--female
and male--will still be subjected to discrimination. I don't despair at this
fact; I simply recognize that scientists are no better or worse as persons by
virtue of being scientists and all those aspects we have as humans which lead
to what we view as discrimination, inequlity, and the like afflict
scientists as much as non-scientists.

D. Read