Sample Philosophy Critical Thinking Paper on Sex and Career Development

Sex and Career Development

Introduction

Looking at the current statistics, there is no doubt that the number of male scientists and mathematicians in higher institutions of learning is higher than the number of female scientists and mathematicians. In addition, the same applies outside higher institutions of learning. Some experts claim that the trend continues because only few female students exhibit talents in sciences and mathematics. Other experts attribute this trend to biological factors (Halpern et al., 2007). While this is the case, certain unique cases demonstrate that biological factors do not influence these career differences in science and mathematics. Thesis: this paper argues that sex differences in careers related to mathematics and other sciences have no biological basis.

Argument

To start with, even if there is no doubt that the number of men in science related careers is higher than the number of women in these careers, it is not easy to establish the relationship between biological factors and careers in sciences. According to Geary (1999), establishing such a relationship is a complex task that many studies have not been able to establish. As a result, the few studies that establish such relationships tend to overlook some factors that are not biological at the expense of biological factors. This being the case, it is quite obvious that other factors such as cultural practices and personal interests, which are not biological factors, influence career development among women. As a result, sex differences in careers related to mathematics and other sciences have no biological basis.             

Once again, there is doubt that sex differences in science related careers do not have biological basis. If anything, cultural practices and communities’ ways of doing things contribute significantly to these differences. With regard to this issue, cultural practices across the world teach that women are homemakers. As a result, even the most developed communities that act against this practice find themselves attributing some home related duties to women (Halpern et al., 2007). Consequently, as young women grow up, they tend to choose careers that favor the duties their communities and cultural practices expect them to perform. Furthermore, careers in sciences and mathematics tend to be time consuming (Geary, 1999). This means that if female students are to pursue these careers, then they have to devote much of their time advancing these careers. Given that not many female students are willing to do this because of the duties they play in their families, then female students tend to shy away from these careers not because they are female, but because they have to balance between their cultural duties and careers. As a result, sex differences in careers related to mathematics and other sciences have no biological basis.                

Looking at what is currently taking place in vocational colleges especially in countries where students choose careers for themselves, it is quite evident that biological factors do not influence career development significantly. If anything, personal interest plays a significant role on this issue than biological factors do. While addressing this issue, Geary claims that only few female students with competencies in mathematics and sciences tend to develop their careers in mathematics and sciences (Geary, 1999). According to Spelke (2005), this happens because female students do not have interests in science careers. On the contrary, male students with competencies in mathematics and sciences tend to develop their careers in these fields because their interests are in these fields. In relation to this fact, there are fewer women in science and mathematics careers not because of biological factors, but because women do not have interests in science related careers. Accordingly, sex differences in careers related to mathematics and other sciences have no biological basis.  

Furthermore, current studies show no differences in cognitive abilities among male and female infants at the foundations of scientific and mathematical thinking. Spelke, in particular, demonstrates that male students do not comprehend science and mathematics better than females do. According to her, if there is any inconsistency between the two, then the inconsistency is too small (Spelke, 2005). The studies also show that even if minor differences in cognitive abilities develop later on, such differences do not equal the differences that male and female depict in their science related careers (Halpern et al., 2007). These studies depict that other factors other than biological ones influence career differences. As a result, sex differences in careers related to mathematics and other sciences have no biological basis.         

Conclusion

This critical analysis paper demonstrates that it is not possible to establish the relationship between career differences and biological factors because other factors influence career development. The paper argues that studies that establish such relationship tend to overlook non-biological factors. The paper also demonstrates that cultural practices and the way communities conduct themselves affect the way female students choose their careers. In addition, the paper demonstrates that personal interests among other non-biological issues affect career development among female students. Above all, the paper demonstrates that the time that students take developing their science related careers discourage female students from pursuing these careers. As a result, sex differences in careers related to mathematics and other sciences have no biological basis.         

References

Geary, D. (1999). Sex differences in mathematical abilities: commentary on the math-fact retrieval hypothesis. Contemporary educational psychology, 24, 267-274.

Halpern, D. et al. (2007). The science of sex differences in science and mathematics. Psychological science in the public interest, 8(1); 1-51. 

Spelke, E. (2005). Sex differences in intrinsic aptitude for mathematics and science? A critical review. American psychologist, 60(9), 950-958.