Thinking about fields in which smart women are actually under-represented

Had the thought that smart, stress-resilient women are under-represented among aircraft controllers. This is a job that requires a great deal of parallel processing and trivial memory retrieval, which are already within the female wheelhouse. This follows from my observation that highly intelligent women tend to be extremely intelligent in the particularly feminine ways, which include the ability to herd cats (children), perception of internal character and power dynamics, and seeming to have eyes on the backs of their heads. Conversely, they seem to pick up on only a couple of traditionally masculine traits which don’t really help them in the conditions they seek out: competitiveness and direct conflict, high energy, and bluster. This happens because they seek out male company of approximately the same level of talent, and these men have the masculine traits mentioned in much greater proportion than the average man.

This seems to be generally true for similar jobs with similar demands, simply because these jobs ought to be dominated by females to the tune of 95-99% (similar to the proportion of men in computer science), but smart women are unlikely to matriculate into such fields to begin with. Police dispatch, for instance, presupposes a person who looked for a low-level, unglamorous police job to begin with. In contrast, smart women today are generally pushed toward graduate studies, wherein they are unlikely to produce interesting new ideas simply because creativity and genius are an overwhelmingly male phenomenon.

The sex differences in these traits- parallel processing and memory retrieval- really are very extreme according to my casual survey. Probably around two standard deviations for parallel processing and at least one for trivial memory retrieval (I attribute the male over-representation among Jeopardy! superstars to greater overall male variation- extreme outliers are almost always male).

This thought excludes the Temple Grandin archetype, which is probably more suited to managing engineers what with the extra spatial aptitude

My hypothesis about spatial impairment is that it occurs mainly in some but not all males with Asperger syndrome, and not in females, and that it may even be so that females with Asperger have higher spatial ability than normal females. As a result, females with Asperger may sometimes be good at practical technical work (technical work done with one’s hands), whereas males with Asperger tend to be impaired in practical technical work (but not in theoretical technical work). A possible explanation for this difference is hypothesized by me in the article Spatial ability and autism.

Paul Cooijmans

This comes with a relatively slight cost to the feminine virtues (which are sorely lacking among engineers).


About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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