Hormones Can Go To HellSeptember 7, 2011 No Comments
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Wait. Whatever it is, it doesn’t really matter. Your job has already been predetermined.
Scientists are now saying that “a person’s exposure to certain sex hormones in utero strongly predicts career choices made later in life.” The more testosterone you get while you’re cozy inside your mother’s womb, the more likely it is that you will end up with a job in science, technology, engineering or math.
So this is why women are underrepresented in the sciences. Hormones dictate what we will do with our life. Testosterone means that we will want to work with “things.” You will love microscopes, computers and calculators. If more estrogen is flowing through your veins, you will want to work with “people.” Chances are, you will be more compassionate, caring and nurturing.
But there’s a major oversight. The psychologists at Penn University who performed this study leave “nurture” out of the equation all together. I guess hormones may in part decide job preferences (although I’m still skeptical), but we can’t neglect the variety of other factors that influence our career paths. Perhaps there’s pressure to be a doctor from your parents, your relatives want you to pass on the teaching torch, or maybe your friends want to start a modern day Bloomsbury Group.
I’m not saying that biology has nothing to do with it. We have a certain genetic makeup that we can’t ignore, but it’s too limiting to conclude that hormones rule our professional lives.
So screw hormones. They can go to hell and we can then encourage women to get into these male-dominated fields (and men to get into female-dominated fields). It’s not that they’re not capable, it’s that they have not always been accepted with open arms.
Let’s not let sex hormones determine what we do in life.
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