In one of our Madagascar Email List articles , we observed that women were under-represented in digital professions. In 2017, the digital sector employed only 33% women. How to decipher this trend? Especially since there is a persistence of naturalistic prejudices on cognitive and behavioral performances between men and women – in other words, men are good at math, women are literary – a legacy of the nineteenth theory of Paul Broca, and that of “two brains” . Is there an objective and scientific explanation for the under-representation of women in the digital sector; what do neuroscientists think? No gentlemen, you have no cerebral

predisposition for digital technology and women for literature! Catherine Vidal – neurobiologist, explains in her conference “ Does the brain have a sex? ” That apart from the distinct reproductive functions, there is no difference between the sexes in the development of skills in general. If we take the example of mathematics, the first stage of development takes place between the ages of 3 months and 5 years in both girls and boys – without any difference. After 5 years, stereotypes and formatting enter the scene and muddy the waters. For example, Catherine Vidal explains that if you give 8-year-old girls and boys a 3D mental rotation test:

Ladies When You Think You Are

boys perform better than girls. However, as she explains, boys are more familiar with mechanical or technical games (even video games) – which promotes the development of mental representations – than girls and therefore have training that they do not have. necessarily. However, if the girls are asked to play Tetris video games for 10 hours, the differences in results are eliminated. Electrician, Lego, Repair, Craftsmen, Elektroniker This highlights the concept of plasticity of the brain which is, according to Catherine Vidal, the capital element to put forward when we are interested in the brain: that is to say that according to


the regular activities of ‘an individual, certain areas of the cerebral cortex are more or less developed, but nothing is frozen in time, everything will depend on the individual’s practice. Catherine Vidal also explains that in addition to the formatting which works in favor of boys in certain disciplines, the emotional load induced by the threat of the stereotype can also impact the performance of girls. For example during a mental arithmetic test, if the message sent to the girls just before is positive, there are 28% errors. On the other hand, if it is negative (of the type: “it’s more of a test for boys”), there are on average 42% errors.

And At This Point You Retort

This example highlights the weight of packaging and the role of the environment. We always come back to the notion of cerebral plasticity … This does not prevent some researchers from continuing to produce studies supposed to demonstrate structural differences in the brain male / female – the Ingalhalikar study produced in 2014 uses brain images taken by MRI, to highlight differences in skills, depending areas that stand out as the most active. However, an MRI image is taken at an instant T and is neither representative of the individual’s past nor of his future, it therefore has no predictive role and therefore cannot be used

to generalize a behavior or define a character. And yet, these brain snapshots can have a huge impact on the credit that will be given to the results of a study – this manipulation of images has even given birth to a new discipline:neuroethics . What should be remembered: in terms of studying an individual’s cognitive abilities, we cannot dissociate the innate from the acquired, in the sense that we cannot quantify them. . There is indeed no difference between men and women when it comes to cognitive ability. The differences are between individuals, regardless of gender, and the environment plays a fundamental role – intelligence is

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