Re: CA Found The Answer?

Suzanne F. Franks (
Mon, 6 May 1996 16:56:29 -0400

Regarding the post about women & mathematics in California:
I would be extremely surprised if it were indeed the case
that female PhD's outnumber males, in California or anywhere
else, even if one considers current PhD candidates.
All of the statistics I am aware of indicate that women
remain far less than 50% of the total of PhD candidates,
PhD holders, and faculty members in physics, math, and
engineering. If California truly had more women than
men PhD candidates I think they would have had to suck
up the entire pool of female PhD students in math in
the U.S.

Nevertheless, if by some miracle women were the majority,
it would certainly be of interest to see the statistics.
I don't have my sources with me here in the lab and
am leaving for vacation for a week, but I will try to post
sources for statistics after I return. Perhaps other
list members can respond in the meantime?
I am really disturbed that such misconceptions can exist
in the minds of teachers. Math is still such an
unfriendly profession for women.
Just a few weeks ago I heard a presentation by four
high-achieving high school senior girls who talked about
the systematic harrassment and discrimination they
experienced in their upper division math classes.
None of these girls wants to go on to a career involving
math, let alone be math majors. They are among the most
highly qualified high school graduates. If such qualified
candidates are being driven away, then where are all
the female math PhD's coming from? Just wondering.

Suzanne Franks

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