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Lawrence Summers’ Speech on Innate Differences Between Men and Women - A Different Perspective

Thomas C. Fischer

Many years ago, as a young assistant dean, I oversaw the admissions department at Georgetown University Law Center. Taken as a group, I believe Summers is statistically correct in saying that, at a certain age on certain aptitude tests, women score less well in math and science than do men, and score higher in verbal skills. ... When a small sample of women was asked why this was so they cited lifestyle choices (free time, regular hours); to the wish to collaborate rather than compete; to their employability and treatment in other (mostly large law firm) positions. Since these professional choices were not limited to women alone, and were influenced at least to some extent by individual preference rather than aptitude, it seems much better to treat them also as alpha/beta elections than to label them by sex or minority status.

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