biology and botany

Lawrence Kirkendall Lawrence.Kirkendall at ZOO.UIB.NO
Fri Jun 2 14:38:37 CDT 1995

Thanks to P. Stevens for one of the most interesting postings I have read
in a long time.

I can't help but wonder if there isn't a gender dimension to the perception
of botany as inferior to zoology, as being "just flower picking"--i.e. less
worthy of respect than zoology.  I don't know, I am just asking:  Hasn't
botany often been perceived as a "feminine" field, at least unconsciously?
Certainly our culture associates women with flowers more than men, in many
ways.  This association would have "rubbed off":  "men work/have
professions, women have hobbies, women pick flowers, botany must be like a

I have long been fascinated by the fact that (in my limited experience)
botany departments until relatively recently have been among the few
biology departments with women professors (another being genetics).  Until
recently, there also seemed to be more women majoring in botany than
zoology (not an unrelated fact).  Many professions or areas of study
clearly identified with women have long had and still have lower

from 22 June-18 Sept., I will be at  --->  klawrenc at

Lawrence R. Kirkendall                        FAX:   +47 55 31 44 64
Univ. Bergen Zoological Inst.                 VOICE: +47 55 21 23 42
Allegaten 41, N-5007 BERGEN Norway
EMAIL:  Lawrence.Kirkendall at

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