A recent conference on primatology was closed to men

From:    Rick Ellis
Subject: Men barred from primatology conference

I found this in Usenet, it should interest a few people here:  ;-)

From: throop@cs.utexas.edu
Organization: U. Texas CS Dept., Austin, Texas
Newsgroups: soc.men,soc.women,sci.bio

A recent conference on primatology was closed to men.

According to the 28Sep90 issue of Science, the conference, "Women
Scientists Look at Evolution: Female Biology and Life History," was held
in August at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  Science writer
Jennie Dusheck reports:

 "Two of the main organizers of the conference, Adirienne Zihlman (USCS)
and Mary Ellen Morbeck (U Ariz)... insist female scientists speak more
freely on such topics when males aren't around.  What is more, they add,
women scientists think differently about those topics thean men do -
possibly even understanding them better because they are women."

	Duscheck then quotes several male and female primatoligists who were
"appalled" or otherwise objected to the exclusion.

  "Zihlman and Morbeeck, both physical anthropologists, say they didn't set
out to exclude men when they began putting the conference together.  But
when they first drew up a list of potential participants, it just happened
to consist entirely of women.  The next step was simply deciding not to
add any token males to give some semblance of balance.

  "Having arrived by accident at an all-female conference, the organizers
rationalized the exclusion of men...

  "Zihlman and Morbeck also say that male posturing and filbustering slow
conferences down.  Without them, they say, exceptional progress was made.
Glows Morbeck `At the end of the first day, we were where we'd be after 3
days of other conferences.  At the endo of 2.5 days, we were miles ahead.'"

  The article raises the possibility that not only were men excluded, but
that their research was also excluded.  Some of the particpants claim that
"Research done by women on females...is qualitatively different from
research done by men.  Silvana Tarli (U of Pisa, Italy) is an example of
those who hold that point of view: `It was necsessary that the particpants
be all female since [the conference] had to do with female life history
strategies.  Males cannot find out what is important in female
reproduction.  They've never experienced it.  How can they judge, value,
or lable things they have never experienced themselves?'"

  Primatology is not a field closed to women.  35% of the members of the
American Society of Primatologists are women, and women's participation in
the field began in the 1920s.

Not covered in the article:
  How was the conference funded?
  How many participants were there in the conference?
  Was this conference an official function of the American Society of

  Will a proceeding be published?
  Are there any applicable laws prohibiting such discrimination?

Sputtering with amazement,
David Throop

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