OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Female representation in STEM fields seems to be a hot topic these days.
In a paper titled “Equilibrium Grade Inflation with Implications for Female Interest in STEM Majors,” Naval Postgraduate School professor Thomas Ahn, Duke University economics professor Peter Arcidiacono, Duke University researcher Amy Hopson, and James R. Thomas of the Federal Trade Commission argue that STEM programs at colleges and universities lacking female enrollment can be attributed largely to harsh grading policies in these fields.
The researchers take the position that universities are discouraging students, especially female students, from pursuing STEM majors by allowing differences in grading policies and study time across different fields to exist. They contend that “harsher grading policies in STEM courses disproportionately affect women,” because women are more impacted mentally by receiving poor grades.
The study found that women attain higher grades than men in STEM classes. So it is not that women are not “smart enough” to enter the STEM field.
These researchers basically say that women are too mentally weak and sensitive to handle getting lower grades than they usually would in other classes.
Boys don’t place as high value on letter grades.
The professors suggest that all fields of study in college be graded the same. Now whether than means grading all other fields harder or grading STEM easier does not matter.
If this is true, SO WHAT?!
My solution…leave the grading system alone.
If a particular field attracts more of one gender than another, so be it.
Perhaps STEM will attract only the best and the brightest (both academically and mentally) regardless of sex.