An essay about women in science

Learn how to write an essay that suggests reasons for and solutions to a problem.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

In most universities there are more male students than female students on science courses. What is the reason for this? What could be done to balance out the numbers?

In higher education, science subjects are typically dominated by male students. This negatively impacts the world of work, as fewer females then go into the science, technology and engineering sectors. This essay will explore the reasons for the lack of gender diversity in science and suggest ways to create equal opportunities in this area.

The most likely reason for the imbalance is that society reinforces the idea that boys and girls have different interests and abilities. We see this from a very early age when little boys are given cars and Lego while girls get dolls. The former are encouraged to build things whereas the latter learn to care for others. Later on, we are told that girls are better at languages or boys have better spatial awareness. In fact, there is no evidence that biological differences between the sexes make one gender more talented than another at a particular subject. It is society, not nature, that tells us girls should favour arts and humanities and leave maths and physics to the boys.

Coupled with this is the lack of positive female role models youngsters see doing science-related jobs. Cartoons and stories often show the crazy scientist, genius inventor, or adventurous astronaut as a man. Furthermore, there is an unfortunate perception that scientists are geeky, have poor social skills or that their work is lonely and detached from the rest of the world. These are false stereotypes portrayed by the media, but they may mean that girls do not identify with scientists, and see science as an unappealing career path. If girls saw more positive female role models in science it would give them more confidence and a greater sense of belonging in those subjects.

Given these points, it is important to tackle this issue right from a child's early education. By the time young women are at university, it may already be too late to disprove the view that science is 'not for them'. Hence, for very young children gender-neutral play needs to be encouraged. As children get older, both the education system and the media must raise awareness of female achievements in the field of science, as well as exposing them to a more diverse set of characters in books and films. We need to find ways to show young girls that science is fun, interesting, and, most importantly, theirs too.

Tips

  1. Read the question carefully. If the question asks you to discuss the reasons for a problem and suggest solutions, make sure you do both.
  2. In your introduction, restate the question in your own words and say what your essay will do. This essay will outline the reasons for … and offer solutions to the problem.  
  3. Plan the paragraphs of your essay before you write. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that summarises the main idea of the paragraph.
  4. Develop your position fully by extending your ideas and using examples to support your arguments. Use linking expressions like Coupled with, Furthermore, In fact and Given these points to show what is coming next.
  5. Try to use a wide range of vocabulary. Use natural-sounding collocations like equal opportunities and role model. Avoid repetition by using synonyms or words with similar meanings: girls, young women, femaleschildren, youngsters. You can also use the former and the latter to refer to things you have just mentioned.
  6. Build the conclusion from the ideas in the essay rather than introducing new ones.

Discussion

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Submitted by Rita25 on Tue, 15/11/2022 - 01:18

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In my country, Engineering has been dominated by male students for several years whereas female are more keen to pursue career in hospitality and health care Industry. However this has changed over the period of time, there has been a sharp rise of female students pursuing studies in Engineering.
Archictecture, Naval and Electrical Engineering are feilds typically dominated by men, Nowadays we've seen a lot of women entering and pursuing their interest in these field. Media must have influence women to step up and compete with their male counterparts. Therefore Diversity in education and profession setting should be reinforce.

Submitted by siromigu on Thu, 28/04/2022 - 02:02

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in my country, Sri Lanka equal opportunities has been widely available for a long time. My mother was a doctor who qualified in the 1960's. during her time there were only a few females pursuing medicine but later when I joined the same university in the 1990's, my batch comprised of roughly one third of females. And now the majority of students studying medicine are female. This I think is a great achievement towards developing equality among genders. One of the main reasons is the high literacy rates in my country, where the parents understand the importance of education and encourage their daughters to pursue a career of their choice and even sometimes insisting that they enroll in the field of science.

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Submitted by Hennadii on Wed, 15/12/2021 - 14:04

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Well, I think the gender situation in education in my country is the same as in others. We also have more boys in technical faculties and more girls in humanitarian ones. Why? The reasons may be the same - just how it was in the past and now and, obviously, will be tomorrow. The power of habits and gender stereotypes.
When I studied at radio technical faculty about twenty years ago we hadn't any girls in our group. Not a one. There were just a few of them at the whole faculty in my days. We weren't happy about that then ))
Anyway, I think it's clear that the situation now is a bit different. When the IT-sphere became more important more girls started to choose this profession and now we can find more gender-equal situation in this profession. And it looks absolutely normal nowadays.

Submitted by Ehsan on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 10:27

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The situation in my country is similar to the situation mentioned in the article, with the difference that my country is an Islamic country and girls face more restrictions than other parts of the world. However, they try to be active in the community and to balance the situation.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 17:19

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After reading the essay topic, I have thought of it. In fact, the nature would not give the difference between female and male in science. This awareness is dominated by society. It is true that from early age of child should direct to his interest, and maybe some girls would not like to play with dolls. But, parents will buy one for her, although it was unappealing play for her. In past, it could be happened seeing as girls got married early and have got her children. Science were for them a wrong career path. However, right now thanks regarding to new development of technology, female have a role model in science. Particularly, in field of engineering, medicine, language, and space. As I know, Valentina Tereshcova, she was a first women pilot into space from Unite Soviet Union. Like these examples are more in our life now.

Submitted by Miyu on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 03:06

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In my country, Japan, most students who major in medicine have been male for a long time. Why is the number of male students who is majoring in medical science much more than the female? What could be done to balance out the numbers? I have two reasons about former question. Firstly, the doctors who work in hospitals are so busy all day, and the working time is so irregular, that the strong body could be needed in the working places. In addition, some patients need the emergency treatment in officer’s break time, or midnight. For this, females could not stand the tight schedules compared with males because of the difference of physical strength. Secondly, females cannot go through many experiences to pile their career up as childbirth and taking care of their baby. No time would be affordable for the females to work in the hospitals while they were focusing on their children. I have an idea for latter question. To work home is better. Female doctors can double things to take time to consultation and to take care of their children at their houses. In these days, a service which patients can be available to be examined online is developing. I think the way to work will spread to around the world from now on, so the demand for doctors who can join in online consultation will be increase. Moreover, the number of females who can accept those needs will begin to increase more than before.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Wed, 20/05/2020 - 19:32

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In Nigeria, females mainly dominates subjects like arts, humanities and home economics while males particularly dominates subjects like science, technology and engineering.
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Submitted by Magedelabd on Fri, 08/05/2020 - 20:58

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The army and the police studying is limited for male and the remaining kind of education is almost equal.

Submitted by Rahma Mahmoud on Sun, 15/03/2020 - 08:39

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In my country, I think most males are going for medical, engineering and accounting studies. On the other hand, females are familiar with education career or translation or administration jobs like sectary and corrdenator. I think it's related to community limits that deter females from doing whatever they want. There is a general tendency to criticize any lady who breaks these restrictions. The community wants you to cope with their traditions and not go out of them. They say Female is a gentle creature. She should let this complicated stuff to a man who is well experienced and can handle stressful situations.

Submitted by hrahmani on Wed, 12/02/2020 - 13:57

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The subject for my comment will be answering the question "Which subjects have more female students and which have more male students in your country?" rather than writing an essay about it! I am not planning to discuss the reasons for different gender fraction in higher level educations in my country and their cons and pros. I just think that many social and cultural issues are entangled with this subject. Hence, I will just report some numbers and make a short conclusion. I have not done a survey regarding the number of male or female students in different major university subjects. Hence, I only report my own observations regarding this issue. I did a BSc in physics in a university in Iran. The total number of students in our class was 60 where 40 out of them were females. This high fraction of girls was not limited to physics but also much more in the chemistry subject where out of 30 students there were only 5 boys. However, in the math branches a reasonable gender balance could be observed. Therefore, in average, ladies were more in number in the basic science subjects in my university. Furthermore, the female domination was rising during four years of my bachelor. The situation was completely different when I started my MSc still in physics though in a different university. We were 4 boys and 4 girls. However, in the chemistry related subjects females were more numerous than males. However, I do not recall a particular number for their domination. However, the situation changed for the PhD career, as I observed there were more boys succeeding to pass the PhD entrance exam. Therefore, in all the branches the inequality were in favour of boys, for the PhD career. To conclude, in my country the fraction of female students in higher education is rising and there exist branches of science with a massive domination of ladies.