Skepchick Quickies 2.25

Skepchick Quickies 2.25

On February 25, 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African American to be sworn into the United States Senate (and he was representing Mississippi).

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By Mary
Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for the links. I always love Jezebel’s articles making fun of sexists.

    • Me too, and I love reading Lindy West’s writing. When she writes something, I sit down, get comfortable, and get out the popcorn. And I make sure my husband is nearby so I can yell out the best quotes.

  2. While I agree that that photo of the AP tests is suspicious, I don’t think four covers is a sufficient sample size to draw any firm conclusions. This could be the result of simple oversight. Or the pictures could have been assigned randomly.

    Since there are more than four AP tests, this should not be difficult to check…

    • Thanks to Amazon, I have a longer list. The cover models I found for the Princeton Review’s 2013 edition [they are different from previous year's editions, of which I did not see many] are:

      Chemistry: white female [This was the first one I saw. It seems to put NDT's conclusions into doubt.]
      US History: Asian female
      English language: black male
      Calculus AB and BC: black male
      Psychology: black male
      Biology: white male
      Physics B: white male
      Physics C: [a different] white male
      Statistics: Asian female [a brave choice]
      Environmental Science: white male
      World History: white male
      English literature: black female
      Spanish: white female
      SAT: white female
      ACT: Asian female
      US Government and Politics: white male [an even braver choice]
      Economics: white female
      Human Geography: white female
      SAT [math]: white female
      European History: black male

      So, in the math and science tests, [chemistry, calculus, psychology, biology, both physics, statistics, environmental science, economics, and SAT math] the score is males 5, females 4. I’m thinking that NDT is looking at a biased sample. I would not be surprised if the photos were randomly assigned.

      Oh, and I should note that several of the models have their faces on multiple tests. Also, I apparently cannot distinguish between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites on the basis of black and white photographs. [Assuming that they thought to include some Hispanic models, which I imagine they did.]

      • 5 males and 4 females. I don’t think that’s statistically significant.
        But then, I’m not an … um … Asian female, so don’t take my word for it.

      • Thanks for taking the time to look into it!

  3. I can’t see the photos in that particular link. But from what I’ve gathered, the issue is that there are fewer female models on the cover compared to male. Correct me if I’m wrong. I’m curious what would happen if the cover photos were removed altogether.

    • There are two female models and two male models. The issue that Dr. Tyson raises is that the females are on the English and history books, while the males are on calculus and physics.

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