I presume this essay about how women make better programmers was intended as satire…but it fell flat for me. I am so tired of this cartoon version of human evolutionary history that emphasizes the dichotomized roles of men and women, built entirely on grossly oversimplified views about our ancestor’s lives and contrived to reinforce stereotypes. It doesn’t matter whether it’s done to bestow Science’s favor on male or female — it’s bad.
The roots of this division are sadly rooted in humanity’s pre-history. On the plains of our ancestors, male hunters roamed the savannah, chasing down prey, while women remained home to nurture families and gather berries. The males adapted for big movements and fast action, while the women adapted for slow, methodical searching. The traits that made women expert bug-huntresses in the dust have carried forward and given them an advantage at hunting bugs in code. Men simply aren’t adapted to that kind of patient searching. They live for the thrill of the chase.
We’re wandering in Ray Comfort territory here, with this conception of the two sexes evolving and adapting independently. I don’t know about you, but I had both a mother and a father, and they contributed equally to my genetics, and I have fathered both boy and girl children myself. There are differences between the sexes, of course, but to assume that the differential responses to a couple of steroid hormones is so finely tuned that it completely segregates social roles, no crossover capabilities possible, is absurd.
No one has evolved to program. Maybe that’s the point of the joke, but it never ceases to annoy to see biology mangled.