A male's experience of being a gender minority

Oded Goldreich [July 2005]

Summary: In this essay, I report my experience of being a fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and make two comments about gender and academics. Firstly, I confront the standard academic atmosphere in which personal agendas play a too dominant role with the atmosphere at Radcliffe where candid interested in the issues themselves played a more central role. I note that the different gender statistics was one of the few parameters of difference in the two atmospheres, and speculate that its effect was second to none. Secondly, I report on the effect that my awareness of being a gender minority had on my performance at the meetings, and conclude that women and other minorities may feel much more threatened in academic environment in which negative stereotypes regarding them seem to exist. I speculate that this may cause them to perform below their true ability.

A full version of the essay is available in PS and PDF formats.

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