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Male Scientists More Prone To Misconduct 300

sciencehabit writes "Male scientists — especially at the upper echelons of the profession — are far more likely than women to commit misconduct. That's the bottom line of a new analysis by three microbiologists of wrongdoing in the life sciences in the United States. Ferric Fang of the University of Washington, Seattle; Joan Bennett of Rutgers University; and Arturo Casadevall of Albert Einstein College of Medicine combed through misconduct reports on 228 people released by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) over the last 19 years. They then compared the gender balance — or imbalance, in this case — against the mix of male and female senior scientists and trainees to gauge whether misconduct was more prevalent among men. A remarkable 88% of faculty members who committed misconduct were men, or 63 out of 72 individuals. The number of women in that group was one-third of what one would expect based on female representation in the life sciences."
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Male Scientists More Prone To Misconduct

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  • Re:I believe it (Score:4, Informative)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @06:50PM (#42674663)

    The summary (and perhaps the article... I don't know, couldn't care less) is a study in sexism. It states the absolute percentage of male misconduct, not the rate. Then it uses the well known technique of stating the proportional change ("one-third of what one would expect") to make the difference seem really big.

    I certainly believe men are more prone to getting caught cheating in science. I think it's reasonable that they may even be more prone to doing it. But the summary reads like a cancer scare piece or a political message.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @06:57PM (#42674777)

    The same male predominance in crime statistics, (violent and non-violent) is found in nearly every country.

    Women commit 1/10th the amount of violent crimes that men do.
    Unless there are sneaky ways to murder people, I don't think your conclusion holds.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @07:14PM (#42674991)

    Women commit 1/10th the amount of violent crimes which are reported, identified, solved, and prosecuted than men do.

    Fixed that for you.

    Crime statistics need to be taken with a huge dose of salt. Even worse are traffic statistics, which focus only on who is legally at fault as opposed to whose driving behavior was the actual root cause of a collision.
    It's no different for academic misconduct. A man who makes inappropriate sexual advances towards a colleague creates a statistical data point, a woman who intentionally wears revealing clothing to garner favor does not. Just as one example. So the study might reveal that men tend to engage in misconduct more often, or it might reveal that women are better at getting away with it... or better at getting a man to take the fall for their own misconduct.

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @07:17PM (#42675031) Homepage

    The number of women in that group was one-third of what one would expect based on female representation in the life sciences

    So, no.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @07:21PM (#42675083)

    First, I said violent AND NON VIOLENT. You stopped reading when you saw what you wanted to see.

    The behavior traits that affect the commission of crime are arguable exactly the same as those driving scientific cheating or misconduct.

    Others on this topic have posted that women are subject to far more scrutiny than men, and they realize this, and understand that they won't get away with it.

    So for you to assert that they commit just as much misconduct but get away with it more often flies in the face of every other aspect of human behavior, as well as the theory of glass ceiling and undue scrutiny of female researchers.

  • by Dahamma ( 304068 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @07:46PM (#42675375)

    No, that was all accounted for in the article, both in scientific/engineering academia as a whole and life sciences in particular.

  • by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @08:54PM (#42676031) Journal

    You've made a large number of presumptions here, most of which don't hold water. The first is that life sciences have been dominated by men for many decades and only now are beginning to get access from women. I personally had three girl friends who went to prestigious schools (Cal Tech, Stanford and Carnegie Melon) in the 70s and did very well in Biological Studies receiving Masters and PhDs degrees. Each woman was sat down and told that nobody would hire them. Nobody would fund them. That they exactly 0 future in life science and that their only avenue of expression in the field was to go into medicine. All three women became doctors.

    Even today, women only account for less than 38% of the life science researchers. So the fraud finding among female scientists being 12% suggests a 3X lower fraud rate than their male counterparts. They do have to work harder in life science which is still male dominated. The people who will review your work are men. The people who set the directions for rewarding researchers are men. Pretty much all the rule in life science are made by men. The competition is fierce, funding is a winner take all proposition and they only fund publishers of successful research. Men get the lion's share of research dollars. So pretty much everything you said is simply refuted by the facts.

    Things may change in the future, but this is the current state of affairs.

  • Yeah, right... (Score:4, Informative)

    by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @02:26AM (#42678037) Journal

    There used to be strong religious taboos and social morays that kept people faithful, but after the sexual revolution of the 60s and cheap and effective birth control, the gloves are now pretty much off.

    ...and the youngins used to respect their elders.

    Giacomo Casanova was a real guy, you know? []
    And the fact that the ten commandments have to mention infidelity TWICE, while murder only once, indicates how much of that was going around (and kept going around) WAY before "the 60s".

    Actually, there are some excellent articles on primate behavior that suggest there are many reasons for infidelity among both sexes. Its not to hard to figure out why women are sneakier... think people, men outweigh women by 50% or more and have twice the muscle mass. If your spouse can kill you with their bare hands,you tend to unconsciously avoid circumstances where that behavior might be expressed. Duh! Many women are taught from an early age to marry a good provider, but when Mr. Oh My Gawd shows up... stuff happens.

    Why go down to the biological level or even psychological level? Women ARE better at social interaction. That's it.
    Human relationships (including love triangles, rectangles etc.) are literally exactly that - any relationship between two or more individuals. []
    End of story.

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