- For most of history women in the Western world were denied opportunities to seek higher education and develop their talents.
- The dearth of women at the top of their fields is now often the result of compromises made for the sake of family, rather than differences in ability.
- Women who seek eminence face difficult choices regarding when to invest in their careers versus their personal lives. More cultural and institutional support for women could dispel the lingering gender disparities.
Try this simple thought experiment. Name 10 female geniuses from any period in history. Odds are you ran out of names pretty quickly. The message is clear: something is rotten in the state of genius.
Besting most of one's species is an accident of circumstance. The sequences of DNA nucleotides, arranged just so to impart intelligence, curiosity and passion, are part of that fluke event. More serendipitous still are the conditions needed for a person to devote decades to an idea or calling, deaf and blind to the distractions bound up in being human.
This article was originally published with the title Where are all the Female Geniuses?.