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Male Scientists More Prone To Misconduct

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the it's-a-guy-thing dept.

Science 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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300 comments

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Sure we do (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674389)

At last there's a thing that we men can also fake!

Their conclusion, my conclusion. (5, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674417)

Their conclusion: Men commit more misconduct.

My conclusion: Women are sneakier at committing misconduct.

Alternatively (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674495)

Alternatively, women are allowed to get away with it.

Re:Alternatively (4, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675393)

Wow... rather than look at logical behavioral and sociological differences in men and women that might result is this finding, the male response is women are just as bad at men but aren't held to account for their misdeeds. Hhmmmm. Interesting. So in how many societies on the planet are baby boys being slaughtered or dumped on orphanage porches to make way for female babies? How many men are being forced to stay in their houses under threat of death even when staying in that house may include starvation? How many men are surgically mutilated to ensure that they will never enjoy sex and remain faithful to their wives? How many men are being raped, mutilated, burned, disfigured or killed by women committing acts against society? How many men are being hired by women for their large bulges and rippling muscles? How many men have to deal in a daily battle of sexist, matriarchal social norms that cause them to be members of the poorest classes in society, be burdened by frequent abandonment by women, left holding the bag for raising single parent families? You know, they used to keep statistics about Single Fathers who were abandoned by their wives, but the number was so ridiculously small that it disappeared into the statistical noise so they stopped tracking it. How many men have to deal with a female controlled medical system that caters to women's every sexual whim but virtually ignores even the most basic reproductive needs of men? You know... you guys are a bunch of whining ass hats who haven't even gone to the slightest trouble to come up with a world view that reflect anything that has to do with this space time continuum, talk about narrow minded and delusional.

Try this on, just as a possibility. For a woman to succeed in science she has to work 3 time harder than a man, undergo 3 times as much critical scrutiny by a male dominated peer review and sweat 3 times harder about getting it right in the first place. Consider men tend to be more competitive and women more collaborative, so men working more alone might be more tempted to fudge results because 1. They want to beat the competition and 2. There are fewer folks looking over their shoulders. Might it even be possible, that women have stronger social orientation then men and therefore a stronger sense of consequence for their actions. This would be consistent with research that suggest most female misconduct happens after menopause when estrogen drops and testosterone rises.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of snooty little self serving bitches out there who use sex as a way to get ahead. You just want to notice "That Girl" inn't getting patted on the back or "high fived" by the other women in the office for her behavior, because most of us want to succeed on our merits, intelligence and personal dignity, and we see a little trollop screwing her way to the top as a cheater. Winning is less important to us, that contributing and leaving things better than we found them. Perhaps that is the important difference between women and men in general. Winning is great, winning at all costs, not so much.

Re:Alternatively (1)

butalearner (1235200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675529)

I'm sure AC was deliberately being misogynistic, but I assumed the first guy was trying to be funny. I shake my head at the insightful mod, though.

I'm a little disappointed that they didn't conduct a parallel study where they asked a random sampling of people the same question, though.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674575)

Boobs buy a lot of forgiveness.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674615)

Just ask the Womens Studies chicks who claim that women earn 70 cents to a mans dollar.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675091)

Last I checked, men are still expected to pay for a ton of shit, so there ya go: your difference. In other news, a company fall apart if the CFO goes on extended maternity leave.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (5, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675027)

Boobs buy a lot of forgiveness.

Then folks should be forgiving you continuously...

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (5, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674597)

Studies of marital infidelity suggest women are sneakier. They're no more faithful, but they don't get caught as much. Not having the irresistible urge to brag about wrongdoings to their friends at the bar/locker room probably helps.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (5, Insightful)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674883)

Studies of marital infidelity suggest women are sneakier. They're no more faithful, but they don't get caught as much. Not having the irresistible urge to brag about wrongdoings to their friends at the bar/locker room probably helps.

That could be due to the husbands not being perceptive enough to notice as well. Instead of women being more sneaky, maybe men are just more oblivious.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675181)

Or that when you're not the one cheating, you trust your partner.

It's only in retrospect that you can see how everything had one, simpler, explanation. It just didn't make sense at the time.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675185)

I think it's because generally men are still the wooers, wooing someone leaves a trail of evidence. In other words, when you are the pursued and not the pursuing, you don't have to be as active, when you don't have to be as active, your chances of slipping up and leaving a mess someone else might find are less.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (5, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675519)

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. 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.

One growing answer has been polyamory or group marriage where a consenting group of people become all singing all dancing. This provides the members with sexual variety, while allowing group members natural strengths to empower the group and weaknesses being reinforced by other members. We still haven't gotten past jealousy and the idea of "Owning" our partners in this society, so don't expect that 50% divorce rate to improve anytime soon. There are however logical and even fascinating ways of people relating that may have real possibilities in the future.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674645)

My conclusion(after reading TFA): this study failed to account for ratio of male to female scientists. Sure, 68% of incidents may be attributed to men, but are men:women a 50/50 mix at the phd level?

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674761)

The study "didn't fail to account" nothing. Cherrypicking results is academic misconduct.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (1)

buswolley (591500) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675215)

im sure they did their science right. The problem with this study is selection. Presumably women must fight more to get into academia, and to be considered serious. Thus the women frauds are weeded out earlier than men.

Re: Their conclusion, my conclusion. (1)

skitchen8 (1832190) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675303)

This was the same thought I had. There's a huge gender gap in science so it would make sense that if women had to theoretically work harder to achieve the same role, and therefore would work harder to keep their job.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (-1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674847)

You are right. With this data the study seems to imply that women commit by far more misconducts proportionally, as they represent a much lower minority than 32 to 68.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (3, Informative)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675375)

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

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674815)

First, this isn't about violent crime. You'd have to be a nimrod to doubt men commit more violent crimes.

Second my point was that there are often multiple ways to interpret data - as in this case.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675173)

This has nothing to do with sexual advances or tight clothing.

The topic under discussion is "research misconduct" faking results, plagiarism, etc.

I fail to see how your juvenile "Her Cleavage Made Me Do It" mentality is even remotely germane.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675113)

Well, in Canada a woman is almost as likely to murder her spouse as a man is.

So it must be cleaning the maple syrup off the plates drives women nuts.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675203)

Nah, you just lick it off. There's a special place in hell for those who waste good maple syrup, eh?

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (3, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674827)

They aren't terribly specific on what exactly constitutes misconduct, but it seems to be correlated with retracted papers and bad science. Given this, I can't think sneakiness is really going to account for much. After all, no amount of sneakiness really makes up for flawed science because, well, that's the point of science ;). Of course, it could let them get away with bad science and not be accused of misconduct. That I don't know.

But, as a simple musing, I wonder if this is because female scientists feel they are under greater scrutiny, while men have a more old-boys-club outlook that makes them less concerned that they'll get in trouble for misconduct.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674891)

TFS says 88% of faculty members who committed misconduct were men, but were ~88% of faculty members men?

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (4, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675031)

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.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675109)

But that does seem a pretty small sample size to be drawing such conclusions, to be fair.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675235)

Study done by women, news at 11.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (5, Insightful)

AwesomeMcgee (2437070) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675453)

They controlled for percentage being men vs. woman in saying woman proportionate to their percentage in the field did one third of what men did proportionate to their percentage in the field.

However, I would posit there is a cruicial missing control here: Authority. Misconduct is far more likely to be committed by folks in authority than those who aren't, I would like to see the percentage of woman committing misconduct proportionate to their percentage in *authority roles* rather than just their percentage in the whole field, likewise mens misconduct proportionate to their percentage in authority roles. I think this would be much more balanced, as it is a very relevant control they're missing from their statistics.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675175)

I've encountered far more egomaniac male scientists than I have encountered egomaniac female scientists, despite knowing more female scientists. I suspect if you could find a way to more accurately separate out selfish scientists from non-selfish ones, you'd find that correlates much more with intentional misconduct than male/female.

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675447)

Their conclusion: Men commit more misconduct.

My conclusion: Women are sneakier at committing misconduct.

My question: what percentage of scientists are men?

Re:Their conclusion, my conclusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675527)

Or Just there is just a much smaller percentage of women scientists. It would not be supprising that 95% of senior scientist are men!

Feminism is bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674419)

Who gives a shit about the amount of females in life science, other than females ?

The moment there are more male secretaries, there will be more female scientists.

Not exactly (-1, Troll)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674421)

Any woman who wears a shirt which is to tight, to showing, to low. A skirt which is to short, to tight. If she wears make up or is hot, is just as guilty as any man. So well you can believe that lie it's not entirely true.

Re:Not exactly (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674497)

Hard to read - you need to learn about to/too.

And... isn't this akin to the Muslim world, who ask that the women cover themselves so as to not incite the lust of men? If men get excited, it's women's fault.

Nonsense, of course - just in case you thought I was being serious.

Re:Not exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674727)

And... isn't this akin to the Muslim world, who ask that the women cover themselves so as to not incite the lust of men? If men get excited, it's women's fault.

Partly. But American society is fucked up in it's own way in this regard.

Generally speaking the difference between how we tell men to attract women and "sexual harassment" comes down to whether or not she likes it when it comes from the guy doing it. Additionally men are often not taken seriously when the claim to have been harassed.

Re:Not exactly (3, Insightful)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674997)

Your right! If a woman gives a man a pat on the butt and the man complains in 99% of all cases nothing will happen. If that man even looks at a woman with subjective eyes then he can be fired or suspended from work. Women have been able to create a system where men can't even look at them subjectively but they can do almost anything and get away with it.

Re:Not exactly (-1, Flamebait)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674961)

I never said anything about the Muslim world. Second of all if to vs too causes you hardship reading then that is your own issue.

If a woman makes her self all "sexy" or "hot" then she is misconducting herself. If I enter a work place and I have to deal with beautiful women who doll themselves up then I'm put in a situation where my body is being played with even though I might never act. Face it, the second a woman enters the work place dressed up any more then she needs to be she is misconducting herself.

In the same right, if I dress myself up, if I put my self in a state where I know I'm playing with the females around me I'm misconducting myself. I highly doubt this study took into account the fact then women make themselves look good on purpose and in doing so they have misconducted themselves because they want a reaction, which they achieve.

Re:Not exactly (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675093)

Seriously, you need to get laid. That way, you'd stop getting overly excited whenever something without a beard walks around.

Although, I do understand that with your kind of attitude, getting laid by any self-respecting woman could be a problem.

Re:Not exactly (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675183)

The post had nothing to do with not having a girl friend and in fact by your very response you seem to want to objectify women mentally, so by that very post your part of the issue. Everything must be on even playing field, the second you allow one side a handicap you are not longer comparing apples to apples and hence a study or test no longer has meaningful results.

Re:Not exactly (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675213)

By your own admission, you have problems with women around you. I find it unlikely they that they have the same problem with you. I've just stated that the problem is on your side and yours to solve.

Re:Not exactly (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675389)

I'm just going to break down what I wrote because either you misunderstood it or you don't know how to understand a normal post but in either case I'll help you out.

The first post

Any woman who wears a shirt which is to tight, to showing, to low. A skirt which is to short, to tight. If she wears make up or is hot, is just as guilty as any man. So well you can believe that lie it's not entirely true.

I never mention myself or hint that I'm talking about myself or even hint at any relation to me or me not having a girl friend. The entire direction of the post would state that in general any woman who does that is as guilty as any man.

Second Post

I never said anything about the Muslim world. Second of all if to vs too causes you hardship reading then that is your own issue.

If a woman makes her self all "sexy" or "hot" then she is misconducting herself. If I enter a work place and I have to deal with beautiful women who doll themselves up then I'm put in a situation where my body is being played with even though I might never act. Face it, the second a woman enters the work place dressed up any more then she needs to be she is misconducting herself.

In the same right, if I dress myself up, if I put my self in a state where I know I'm playing with the females around me I'm misconducting myself. I highly doubt this study took into account the fact then women make themselves look good on purpose and in doing so they have misconducted themselves because they want a reaction, which they achieve.

Again I never mention myself directly, I use the term "I" to mean any man which is clear to anyone who can understand simple English. Clearly what is meant to be implied by the post is that I'm not targeting the Muslim culture and that any woman who dresses up or any man who dresses up is causing misconduct. The post really if read correctly is very general in use of terms and very general in overall concepts.

Third Post

The post had nothing to do with not having a girl friend and in fact by your very response you seem to want to objectify women mentally, so by that very post your part of the issue. Everything must be on even playing field, the second you allow one side a handicap you are not longer comparing apples to apples and hence a study or test no longer has meaningful results.

Very clear that I've pointed out the last two posts didn't involve me and that the study isn't realistic because it's not testing all the angles. I mention myself once but only to clear up the fact that you somehow gained a false understanding that I didn't have a girl friend.

Amazing attempt at learning to read but you didn't really get the point I guess.

Re:Not exactly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674807)

Go too school.

Re:Not exactly (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674837)

Stop spreading your religious indoctrination.

Re:Not exactly (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675053)

.... I never mentioned religion, but good job extracting meaning.

Male scientists more prone to get caught (0)

sleepypsycho (1335401) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674425)

Female scientist are just better at getting away with it.

Not sure why this is news... (2)

KrazyDave (2559307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674463)

So, the misconduct incidence among male scientists mirrors exactly the misconduct incidence among male non-scientists (by-gender incarceration rates.) Erm...okay.

Misconduct (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674475)

How is this news? I mean, really: In every aspect of society, men are more aggressive and prone to antisocial behavior than women. The headline might as well be reading "Sky found to be blue, water wet." It might be interesting if it turned out that the ratios were significantly skewed only in scientific endeavors compared to the baseline, but I'm not seeing that here. I'm seeing someone study a sample from a specific subculture and realize that... it's just like a random sample from the general population. It isn't new or groundbreaking. It's simply confirmatory... extra empirical findings that support what's already established.

Re:Misconduct (1)

Livius (318358) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674557)

Exactly. I'm sure there's some value in finding more detailed statistics for the scientific community, but we already knew men are disproportionately represented in crime and high-risk activities in general.

Re:Misconduct (2)

headphones54321 (2566843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674967)

I'm don't think what you are saying is proven. The article abstract states that 94% of the misconduct was fraud, not being aggressive or antisocial as you indicate. Is there a well established baseline of men being more fraudulent than women? I would agree with you that men are typically aggressive (thanks testosterone), but dishonest? I'm not sure it flies... It's worth taking a look at the social/demographic aspects of this. The authors are looking for a way to target academic fraud, and knowing who commits it helps identify why, and how to address it.

Re:Misconduct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675117)

Plus, at least historically, society is more prone to punish women more harshly than men for the same misbehavior. (I'm a man, but at least I'm not so chauvinist and deluded to not realize than women, even in this day and age, have a less favorable position in society)

Probably because women can't get away with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674477)

Science is generally a "boys club" profession that isn't friendly to women in general (yes, of course exceptions exist, no need to get indignant). Women have to work harder than men to get the same amount of respect, and can't get away with misconduct as easily because they face more scrutiny. So women who are inclined towards bad behavior get weeded out sooner than men with similar levels of inclination. Those who remain are the ones who either have strong ethical objections to misconduct, or simply don't want to risk their careers.

Re:Probably because women can't get away with it (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674923)

Nonsense.

Women earn degrees at just about every educational lever at a higher rate than men. Women account for the majority of post secondary degrees [ed.gov] in the US.

The old idea that women have to work harder to achieve degrees simply has very little data to support it.

As far as facing more scrutiny, why would that be the case since they are caught far fewer times than men? If some one is going to be scrutinized its most likely the person with a higher than average statistical propensity to bend the rules. In almost every aspect of society, that would be men.

 

Re:Probably because women can't get away with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675103)

The old idea that women have to work harder to achieve degrees simply has very little data to support it.

Then it's fortunate that I never said anything about achieving degrees. I'm talking about research being performed by professional scientists. And so is TFA.

Majority far more likely to collude than minority (1)

Tanman (90298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674493)

I'm willing to bet that this discrepancy is more a factor of groups vs. individuals than male vs. female. Aka "peer pressure" aka "everyone is doing it" etc.

Re:Majority far more likely to collude than minori (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674635)

I'm willing to bet that this discrepancy is more a factor of groups vs. individuals than male vs. female. Aka "peer pressure" aka "everyone is doing it" etc.

And the combination of
1) certain research areas are predominantly male
2) certain research areas misconduct is more profitable

any non-trivial intersection is going to skew the results.

What if it went the other way? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674507)

The opposite result would be unpublishable, and in an academic setting unspeakable. Can it be credible science if only one result was permissible?

Posting as AC for the obvious reason.

Re:What if it went the other way? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674555)

Posting as AC for the obvious reason.

Because you lack the courage of your convictions?

Re:What if it went the other way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674599)

Would the obvious reason be that you don't want obvious trolling to affect your karma?

Given that I can only imagine your answer will be just as enlightening as your original assertion I may come to regret asking this but do you have any evidence of any kind to show that the opposite result would not be published?

I believe it (1)

lurker1997 (2005954) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674521)

I believe it. And I don't care. I would also not be surprised that a higher percentage of male athletes use steroids. Cheating is an unfortunate byproduct of being competitive (although maybe an evolutionarily advantageous one).

It does piss me off though to see garbage like

They then compared the gender balance — or imbalance, in this case

in the summary.

Re:I believe it (3, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Once again - what if it were reversed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674533)

"Women Scientists More Prone to Misconduct"? - such a headline would immediately be met with cries of "PREJUDICE!!!! DISCRIMINATION!!!! SEXISM!!!!!"

Re:Once again - what if it were reversed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674705)

I guess since that isn't the headline we will never actually know.

Though it does seem rather telling that a post like yours shows up before any "I TOLD YOU MEN WERE EVIL!" man-haters got to the party.

Re:Once again - what if it were reversed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674715)

Yes, because this happens all the time - the powerful vagina lobby once again shuts down scientific research it considers unacceptable in its bid to wrest power from the patriarchal hegemony.

Oh wait, no, I'm sorry, you're just a fucking retard, because that doesn't happen.

Speeding Tickets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674541)

Women are more likely to get out of speeding tickets. You have to wonder how many misconducts of women were never reported.

Correlation with gender imbalance not gender (5, Insightful)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674567)

I interprit this as follows. Gender imbalance in a field increases the likelyhood that that the biased for gender contains low quality employees. These people would not have their job in a fair job market. Likewise the other gender will contain higher quality people who were able to overcome the gender bias with exceptional skills.

Re:Correlation with gender imbalance not gender (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674589)

Ya pretty much how I see it as well.

Re:Correlation with gender imbalance not gender (3, Interesting)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674653)

Another theory. Gender imbalance is a clue that some hiring is not based on skill and merit. One could test this by seeing if fields with greater gender imbalance have more ethical violations than similer fields with less imbalance.

Just cheating/biasing or all forms of misconduct? (1)

evanh (627108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674595)

Misconduct is a very broad term.

I know I've been accused of being hard nosed and stirring plenty of times. Had the written warnings and the likes.

But I consider myself pretty honest, to the point of having loose lips.

RTA y'all before you get your skivies in a bunch (4, Interesting)

HPHatecraft (2748003) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674625)

FTA

The trend seems clear, but the authors did admit that "[w]e cannot exclude the possibility that females commit research misconduct as frequently as males but are less likely to be detected."

I remember reading once that as a child Mao Tse-tung often witnessed his parents fight. He concluded the more effective tactics were the indirect ones used by his mother. These recollections lodged in his memory -- it is no mistake that the Art of War, of which many of the tactics described therein are predicated on deceptiveness, became the revolutionary army's bible.

Sample size makes data irrelevant. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674641)

Needs more than 73 cases, please.

Equality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674661)

I think in the interests of equality that more women should be compelled to acts of misconduct to make sure there is even representation.
It would be just silly to suggest that efforts were made to reduce misconduct or that this was a frivolous story based on an extremely small sample.

Well there you go (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674679)

That explains the gender pay gap and glass ceiling; it's easier to appear exceptional than to be exceptional, and one side is more willing to cheat :)

Women make up 16% of scientists in industry (2)

detain (687995) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674687)

This seems like a horrible comparison considering there are only 16% females in the scientific industry compared to men. Not only that but this is collected from data of known misconduct. I could easily see a female as being more likely to get away with scientific misconduct and thus they would not even be represented in this comparison. Used http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=2264&page=5 [nap.edu] as reference for the 16% women scientist figure.

Re:Women make up 16% of scientists in industry (1)

detain (687995) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674713)

Going back even farther to the starting point of the comparison, women made up only 3% of the industry (gradually growing to the current 16%).

Unscientific study (2)

dehole (1577363) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674695)

A remarkable 88% of faculty members who committed misconduct were men, or 63 out of 72 individuals.

Since the majority of the study consisted of men, they should normalize it based on the percentage of men in the study. Considering that only 72 individuals were examined, there isn't a scientific conclusion that can be drawn from this study.

Since they didn't have enough females to make a male vs female comparison, they could have done it as "a percentage of scientists are prone to misconduct".

Re:Unscientific study (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675061)

Unscientific study
And the results are inconsistent as well. 100% of the men and 100% of the women who performed this study did not follow the scientific method and did not collect a significant sample set and yet still published the results. For shame!

Definitino of "Misconduct" is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674759)

not stated clearly. They mentioned fraud, but as only one possible example.

If you read the study, you see that they started by looking at retracted studies.

In other words, this is specifically misconduct on published studies that caused those studies to be retracted.

This is a huge difference between that and say sexual misconduct, or financial misconduct.

Clarify your topics people.

Real point: fraud leads to retractions (2)

Zinho (17895) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674765)

The summary and its linked article are both unclear as to what "misconduct" is being discussed. Fortunately, clarity is available through the original paper [asm.org] :

. . . we found that misconduct is responsible for most retracted articles and that fraud or suspected fraud is the most common form of misconduct. Moreover, the incidence of retractions due to fraud is increasing, a trend that should be concerning to scientists and non-scientists alike.

The study is looking into why scientific papers are being retracted and what trends there are in the retractions.

It's too bad that the summary was so generic it could have meant anything from nosepicking to marital infidelity to fabricating data. This is an interesting topic, and it's sad that the frequency of fraudulent publications is increasing.

I conllude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674773)

When males hit on women co-workers, the women always hates it. When women hits on men, the men almost always likes it. Hope they did not waist too much time telling us what we already know.

Re:I conllude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674987)

Go to school.

Risk adverse (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674791)

Did they correct for risk aversion? Not being adverse to cheating, but being adverse to entering a field where luck / risk plays a pretty big part in success which means more motivation for cheating?

For example, lots more women in lib arts, where pretty much any result is acceptable. In the hard sciences, negative results are pretty much unacceptable, although in many ways they're just as important as positive results.

Examples:

Say you wanna prove women don't make as much money as men in field XYZ. Doesn't really matter what the result is, you get to publish, and in a publish or perish world, you win.

Say you wanna methylate some weird hydrocarbon. And you just Freaking Cannot Do it. Perhaps because its impossible. Oh well I guess you fail and become homeless and live under a bridge. Or you could bend the rules just a tiny bit just this one time....

I would stand by my lifetime observation that women are dramatically less tolerant of risk.

Re:Risk adverse (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675435)

For example, lots more women in lib arts, where pretty much any result is acceptable. In the hard sciences, negative results are pretty much unacceptable, although in many ways they're just as important as positive results.

I don't see how that makes any difference. It's a proven fact that men take risks even when there is not a clear advantage to doing so. In laymans terms, the "hold my beer" effect. While a competitive field may amplify this tendancy, numerous studies have shown it to be present regardless of circumstances and even present when detrimental to the individual/group being observed.

I would stand by my lifetime observation that women are dramatically less tolerant of risk.

Yes... They have to stay home and raise the kids, so if you run off and get yourself killed methylating hydrocarbons and lying to large audiences of men, the future of the human race remains assured. Whether this is due to innate differences in the sexes or because of social pressures can't be answered until our social expectations of men and women are equal. But this isn't just risk averse behavior -- women in general tend towards the average whereas men tend towards the extremes ... For every really intelligent man there's a really stupid one too, whereas those extremes are less common amongst women. Again, whether it's innate or socially constructed is a matter of serious debate presently (and has been for some time).

As far as "negative results" in the hard sciences... You haven't done much hard science have you? Most of it consists of sitting in a cramped room with long rows of equipment and tables, fluorescent lights... and waiting. And waiting. and waiting some more until the machine goes "beep!" and tells you the 1,096th sample was a negative result, just like all the others. Look up the history of the lightbulb -- many hundreds of materials were tried before tungsten was found. WD-40... Whadda think WD 1 thru 39 was? Failures. If you can't tolerate failure, you're in the wrong line of work, bud. The post it note was the result of a failure. Duct tape? Failure! Persistence is what gets results in science, not lying, not risk taking, etc. Every major scientific advance has a huge pile of fail leading up to it.

Every.

Last.

One.

FTFY (0)

organgtool (966989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674819)

New Headline: Male Scientists More Prone To Be Reported Of Misconduct

Males are less likely to report misconduct of women either because we want to have sex with them or we don't want to appear weak and petty to our male co-workers and/or managers by resorting to snitching. That's not to say that we don't commit more misconduct, it just makes it harder to measure.

Why is this on Slashdot?! (1)

Hermit Squirrel (2702673) | about a year and a half ago | (#42674871)

Seriously, why is this here? I imagine the same could be said for any another male dominated industry...if their study was on womans basketball you can sure as hell bet those figures would look better for us men, grrr..

mMod dobwn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42674903)

Wrong conclusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675029)

There are more male scientists than female ones. So its not that males are more prone to misconduct, its to do with there are just more males to misbehave. If you have 500 males and 50 females and count misconduct there will be more males misbehaving just because there are more of them.

Not to mention I work in the medical field with the majority being women and I found women can misbehave all the like and never really get in trouble for it. Like sexual harassement. Ive had numerous women I work with do things that could be classified as sexual harrasement but no one says a thing, but if I did any one of those things then Id be infront of HR faster than you can say "fired before a lawsuit happens".

Ummmm Null Hypothesis Anyone? (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675209)

It looked to me from the article that P=0.24.

That is really not a reasonable basis to draw all these conclusions from.

"Misconduct"? (2)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675251)

After having actually read TFA, I still don't know what they mean by "misconduct." Are we talking academic, i.e. falsifying data or plagiarizing, or sexual misconduct, or what? The article carefully avoids ever joining an adjective to it.

Because come on...in general, does anybody believe males if they report being accosted?

obProfessorFarnsworth (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675257)

Oh sure! Everyone's ALL FOR preserving Hitler's Brain, but the moment you try to put it into the body of a great white shark, then all of a sudden you've gone TOO FAR!

Flatter bell curve for males (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675283)

In almost any study of gender behavior, males tend to fall on the extremes of both ends (the good and bad). We soar higher, but also crash more. Males score the very top in math, but also tend to fill up the very bottom. Male behavior just plain seems to be more varied than females, at least when objectively measured.

It could be because over the course of human evolution, male roles have been more varied than females such that nature gambles more with the male brain so that males can find or create different niches and/or to avoid direct competition with other males.

That's a research paper? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675387)

It's 3 pages long, the last page is half references, the first page is a title page, the second page is half abstract.
It's got one page of content.
It fails to account for gender ratio in each of the job categories. It's not even mentioned other than to say it is comparable with other areas of science.

Women don't do science. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42675411)

Of course women behave better. That's their only hope to compete with male domination.

Mad Scientists... (1)

NormHome (99305) | about a year and a half ago | (#42675443)

At first glance I thought the title said "Mad Scientists More Prone To Misconduct" and thought this could be an interesting article.

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