Monday, March 03, 2008

Biology and Work

Yesterday I posted on the studies involving sexual differences in children and how to teach them better. Today a controversial article on sexual differences comes out in the National Post. It postulates that the scarcity of women in the upper echelons of business is due to biology! A few quotes:

Forget the patriarchy, long blamed as the major culprit against gender equality at work--a new book argues that biology may be the cause of what often precludes women from conventional success in the workplace.

Oxytocin, the hormone that drives women to nurture their young, may be behind women's failure to seize the corner office; sex differences in cognitive self-assessment may explain why women withdraw themselves from extreme competition at work; and the way their brains are wired may give males undue advantage in the winner-takes-all competitive spirit that drives many high-powered offices.

When it comes to the biological underpinnings of competition, the sex differences are also significant. Male performance is boosted simply by having to compete, while female performance is automatically lowered by competition, according to studies that tested fourth-grade schoolchildren under different running scenarios in gym class.

The rest of the article can be found in today's National Post

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