No, not evolutionary biology, too!

We've heard so much about bad behavior at conferences, and how sexist attitudes can suppress the contributions of women. And it doesn't seem to matter what the conference is about: tech, gaming, atheism, skepticism, philosophy, you name it. Now Prof-Like Substance describes the scene at evolutionary biology conferences, explaining how many women are hesitant to participate in important events because of the predatory behavior of some men. And she gives a little advice.

So dudes, pull this apart a little bit. First off, the frequency with which inappropriate advances occur is causing some women to avoid after hours social events. Not only does that have consequences, but that very fact in itself should bother you. Also consider that even consensual sexyfuntimes have very different career implications for men versus women. These communities are small and things get around. Finally, are you going to be That Guy who women are warned against being around alone? Do you want the dumb things you say when you're out late to be the reason a woman leaves the field or is uncomfortable attending social events? Consider that maybe your work colleagues are not the best target audience for your affections.

Interesting. She isn't appealing to the altruistic best side of men, who ought to care about what's best for their colleagues, but their self-interest. Sounds like an evolutionary biologist.

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That last paragraph, and especially the very last sentence, made me smile.

By Dtembreull (not verified) on 23 Jun 2014 #permalink

hmm... evolutionary biology too. Isn't part of evolutionary biology the attraction to mate with a member of our species who attracts us? I've been out of the game a long time and I've never tried to pick up a woman I don't know so I'm not sure what the sexist behavior is that is causing the problem. How crass and forward have my (younger) male colleagues become?

You just got to be careful about that stuff, and not be creepy or an asshole. It's natural to be attracted to other smart people who love the same stuff you do, but as the cited post mentions, you don't want to be That Guy - the one that makes women cringe when you approach, or worse makes new female scientists wonder if you actually appreciate discussions with them or are just trying to screw them.