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How science has fed stereotypes about women

A new book shows how biased research branded women as inferior

By
11:00am, August 29, 2017
old photo of woman at grocery store

NOT INFERIOR  Charles Darwin used his theory of evolution to argue that women were intellectually inferior and had not evolved for a work life outside the home. A recent book dispels that and other flawed notions about women.

Inferior
Angela Saini
Beacon Press, $25.95

Early in Inferior, science writer Angela Saini recalls a man cornering her after a signing for her book Geek Nation, on science in India. “Where are all the women scientists?” he asked, then answered his own question. “Women just aren’t as good at science as men are. They’ve been shown to be less intelligent.”

Saini fought back with a few statistics on girls’ math abilities, but soon decided that nothing she could say would convince him. It’s a situation that may feel familiar to many women. “What I wish I had was a set of scientific arguments in my armory,” she writes.

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