Science Can Shed Light on the Veracity of Gender Biological Differences


man and woman

Engineer James Damore lost his job recently at one of the most prestigious tech companies in the world, Google, to a memo he wrote. The document was supposed to be internal, yet it leaked outside. The topic was about biological differences that explain gender gaps within the workplace. However, there were other bright, science-oriented minds who were convinced that there exist crucial differences between genders that impair them from sharing a similar career path. Nonetheless, science has actually brought evidence to support a hypothesis for gender similarity.

Former Google Engineer Resorted to Biological Differences to Explain Gender Gaps at the Workplace

In today’s world, women came to be underrepresented at the level of leadership positions in their professional lives. This made former Google engineer James Damore share his views on this topic in an internal memo. His paper resorted to the biological differences between the two genders that make it impossible for men and women to attain same success in difficult areas such as mathematics, science, and engineering.

However, science has a different take on this. A developmental psychologist at Harvard, Janet Hyde, specialized in gender differences. One of her most important works is a review of 46 meta-analyses. All these works were focused on psychological gender differences that appeared between 1984 and 2004.

The Compendium of Scientific Meta-Analyzes between 1984 and 2004 Indicate Insignificant Gender Differences

One of the main findings of this review is that 78% of studies agreed on one point. There is next to zero differences between men and women. The only significant disparities placed girls above boys in terms of language, spelling, and agreeableness. On the other hand, boys recorded slightly better results on sexuality, aggression, and motor performance.

Therefore, the palpable differences between the two genders are hardly powerful enough to divide them into two camps of different skills within the professional world. Engineer James Damore did rely on science as well to make up his case. However, he tended to exaggerate the findings.

For instance, one of the mentioned studies found personality differences between cultures. However, the scientific text concluded that these discrepancies are mild and they don’t generate a large impact.

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