<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Harvard president thinks women are intellectually "different" from men

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Harvard president thinks women are intellectually "different" from men

Last week at an academic conference, the president of Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers, suggested that innate differences in sex may explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers.

Yesterday he said he stands by his comments but regrets if they were misunderstood. "I'm sorry for any misunderstanding but believe that raising questions, discussing multiple factors that may explain a difficult problem, and seeking to understand how they interrelate is vitally important."

A difficult problem, indeed. One that you yourself have created, Dr. Summers.

Nancy Hopkins, a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, attended the conference but walked out when Dr. Summers made his ill-advised remarks. "When he started talking about innate differences in aptitude between men and women, I just couldn't breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill," Dr. Hopkins said. "Let's not forget that people used to say that women couldn't drive an automobile."

Memo to Dr. Summers: Those "innate differences" are real, all right—women, obviously, are smarter than men.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/18/national/18harvard.html

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