04/13/2005: Guy Things and Sports Trivia
I was trying to recalling a 6th grade experience of seeing a Cubs v Mets game in NY City at Shea Staduim when I mentioned to Len:
"...but I was only in 6th grade - and not having that "girl disposition" to remember every sports FACTOID which EVER occurred as part of my right of passage into adolescence -as is the case for you GUYS -I wasn't taking copious notes either in my Greymatter. *smile* But I'm sure you could tell me ALL about it."
Presume for a minute that all the flap about Lawrence Summers and the "differences between men and women" in the acedemic fields of math (or engineering) are "true" to some statistical percentage. Or that the recent "Gender" DNA differences mean something on a statistical basis as a reason few women *pursue* math at the advanced levels as men.
"Why" is the question...as to "what makes this the case" if it is indeed the case?
I think this "sports trivia right of passage" is a key ingredient of the above "difference" between Men & Women on topic of this mathematics points...because, if I was to posit a societal distinction -- it would be that Guys...from a very early age, begin this "mathematical" and "statistical" discussion and memorization as it related to all sports facts and trivia.
And it's not just the *who won or lost* and the final score, but very sophisticated statistical stuff like RBI's averages over the season or against a particular teams, hitting or scoring percentages per game, per season. And just a host of this kind of complicated mathematical type of "scorekeeping" which is then exchanged among their peers (unless one is a complete Geeky outsider to the social world of boys) and on up through adulthood.
It isn't necessary to even LIKE every sport...or know all of them...any single sport will do. They all have relevant mathematical "trivia" to keep track and score-cards about.
But there's no "comparable" girls experience to this phenom. I can't think of single girl activity that compares by the *early age* at which it begins, or covers such complex - mathematical fomulas and stats for them to "meditate", *muse*, and *female-bond* over throughout life. (Blancing checkbooks nothwithstanding. LOL)
So what do you think? Do I have an interesting idea here? It seems to the have the ring of "plausible" if not a kernel of "truth" in life experience to it? And it explains many things about this issue at a very general level (subject to somene being "crazeee" enough to get a grant and study it officially.)
I am not proposing that men and women aren't different, but simply that we could better use and understand those differences and re-create this world view, to make it better functioning and better for the vast majoirty of people if we abandoned the "male modeling" as the goal to strive for (and making women perform in this male paradigm) as the predominate world view and shifted these prioroties around to a "feminine model." But also if we understood these differences better as a whole (than ignore them as merely PC-incorrect to discuss at all.)
Len points out how in:
"Alan Schwarz's _The Numbers Game_ (a history of baseball statistics)
it's interesting how many people in math-intensive professions (not just
mathematicians but actuaries, economists, accountants, operations
researchers, sabermetricians, etc.) got their interest in number
crunching through being introduced to baseball statistics."
I sent an e-mail to Mr. Schwarz...and I'll see if he responds with any *thoughts.*
So ponder this one.
Karen on 04.13.05 @ 05:56 AM CST