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How Climbing Helps Women and Girls...


Original Post
Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

Yes, you read correctly.

https://youtu.be/NYD_pTc-YHs

I ran across the bit above recently, and it really struck me how different their numbers were from my experience with our little community called climber.

I am a volunteer route setter at the local university gym. The female/male ratio there is close to 50/50, climbers and staff both. In asking these great young people about their majors and plans for their life, almost all are STEM majors with ambitious plans to do good. 

Climbing fosters self confidence like nothing else. All of us, every time we go out, face fears, learn to problem solve on the fly, break big problems into manageable bits, the list goes on and on.

Does climbing help women and girls with these skills? You betcha.

Also boys, men, even old ladies.

Happy Friday, all. If it is doable where you are, get on something fun this weekend. It's good for all of us!

Best, OLH

Mark Says · · Aspen, CO · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 395

This doesn't make me hate bouldering any less.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Huh?

Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 110

ok, so you're trying to put a correlation on women who climb and that theyre more likely to be the ones in STEM.

three of my climbing friends are female scientists as well (landscape archm, stem cells, and nueroscience, specifically)

but plenty of my other female climbing friends are not in STEM-like racial philosophical lit, firefighting, climbing coaches, land conservation, im in athletic training. so, im not sure about the correlation. 

it could be an interesting survey/study though. i wonder if any correlation to age started climbing too. as I started after college.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310
snowman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 735

Anything, including climbing, that rewards girls for just being more than just "pretty", is a very good thing in my opinion.

JonasMR · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 8

Did you just trick us into watching a frigging Microsoft commercial?  Not cool, dude.

Eric L · · Roseville, CA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 115

Some crimp, some mantle, and some STEM.  Makes perfect sense - climbers are morelikely to stem than non-climbers.

GabeO · · New Haven, CT · Joined May 2006 · Points: 306

Well first of all, correlation does not prove causation.  So even if women in STEM fields were overrepresented in climbing (which I consider a plausible assertion) it could simply be that the women and girls who have the problem-solving mindset, the stick-to-it-iveness, and the tendency to be reductive are more drawn to both STEM fields and climbing than other women and girls.  

To suggest that there really is a causative, rather than just correlative link, you'd need to suggest that *after* taking up climbing, women and girls are more likely to either enter STEM fields or to do better than their peers if they were already there.

That's a link I'd love to think is true, but I'm not sure I see.

GO

Mae Rae · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 20

STEM on, ladies!

IcePick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 100
JonasMR wrote:

Did you just trick us into watching a frigging Microsoft commercial?  Not cool, dude.

Yes indeed.  Helen is actually in PR for Microsoft Idaho. 

She has been baiting all of us this whole time gathering info from our profiles and creating a new database for Microsoft’s new venture into outdoor sports.

Josh Squire · · East Boston, MA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 68
Guy Keesee wrote:

Are you implying that being assertive and stepping up are MALE traits? And do you not see a problem with women having to put up with "bro" behavior to be successful? 


Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 110
Josh Squire wrote:

Are you implying that being assertive and stepping up are MALE traits? And do you not see a problem with women having to put up with "bro" behavior to be successful? 


  double facepalm!
#smashpatriarchy 

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053

H, your control group is flawed..............

  1. You are at a university gym, this could explain a bunch of STEM kids being there.
  2. Your 50/50 M/F or F/M ratio is also skewed and both groups would (at a college) still have a large number of STEM kids. (Is your school geared mainly toward STEM programs?)

That said, your observation that climbing teaches determination and problem solving in anyone male or female is a good one and that Women and Girls might benefit from it is good.

I would suggest looking at numbers M/F or F/M at non-school climbing gyms and the correlation between occupations in both groups to get a feel for whether your theory has merit.

I have known some real-world under-achievers that could climb like chimps............... ;)

PS These thoughts are merely observation and not intended as male validation or man speak.


Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 745
John Barritt wrote:

H, your control group is flawed..............

  1. You are at a university gym, this could explain a bunch of STEM kids being there.
  2. Your 50/50 M/F or F/M ratio is also skewed and both groups would (at a college) still have a large number of STEM kids. (Is your school geared mainly toward STEM programs?)

That said, your observation that climbing teaches determination and problem solving in anyone male or female is a good one and that Women and Girls might benefit from it is good.

I would suggest looking at numbers M/F or F/M at non-school climbing gyms and the correlation between occupations in both groups to get a feel for whether your theory has merit.

I have known some real-world under-achievers that could climb like chimps............... ;)

PS These thoughts are merely observation and not intended as male validation or man speak.


+1

I am presuming OLH is talking about Boise State University, given her location, and not about, say, Boise Bible College.

The largest enrollment programs at Boise State are Biology, Nursing, Computer Science, a few more, but these are on the top... So the majority of students there are... in STEM fields. So, of course it would make sense that the majority of students in the university climbing gym would be from STEM fields.

It is always a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing. Does climbing make you more assertive/daring/problem-solving/whatever? Or does climbing appeal more to people with those qualities in the first place?

And this may be changing, too, as climbing goes from a fringe sport that people had to actively work to get into, to a fun activity that kids get introduced to at birthday parties, complete with an ability to sign up for a summer camp at the gym, and multiple levels of "pre-team", "team A", "team B" etc. for kids who think it is a fun thing to do.

It sounds kinda cool to say that climbing teaches you to overcome obstacles, to persevere, to be braver, cue in a picture of a girl on a summit gazing at the mountains around her... But come on, does scampering up the multi-colored gym walls really do that in ways that are significantly different than, say, gymnastics? Swimming? any other organized youth sport? Does toproping in a gym take more guts than falling off the beam in the middle of your back flip, in front of a crowd of people, and getting right back on, beam rash or not, and executing that same back flip perfectly?

Climbing is special to me, and I am likely to attribute a lot of good things in my life to it. But I am sure a dedicated bike racer feels the same about the benefits of racing, and skier feels that way about skiing, and swimmer feels that way about swimming.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
Lena chita wrote:Climbing is special to me, and I am likely to attribute a lot of good things in my life to it. But I am sure a dedicated bike racer feels the same about the benefits of racing, and skier feels that way about skiing, and swimmer feels that way about swimming.

I am quoting upthread for emphasis -

Anything, including climbing, that rewards girls for just being more than just "pretty", is a very good thing in my opinion.

I suspect you would agree with this statement.

Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 745
amarius wrote:

"Anything, including climbing, that rewards girls for just being more than just "pretty", is a very good thing in my opinion."

I suspect you would agree with this statement.

Who wouldn't? :)

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310
Josh Squire wrote:

Are you implying that being assertive and stepping up are MALE traits? And do you not see a problem with women having to put up with "bro" behavior to be successful? 


Being assertive is a human trait....   Males have a different way... but not always... of asserting themselves.

And women do not have to put up with Bro behavior.....   


If you read what I said...  I said "the successful women engineers know-know how to act like a man..... "  


I am talking about work ....  Josh, do you know successful women mechanical engineers???  


I also know women who are successful Marines... they can out Bro the bro's. 


and it's not a bad thing to act like a man.....  most Men don't act like men IMHO





 



amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
Guy Keesee wrote:

And women do not have to put up with Bro behavior.....   

Very true, but what if the people responsible for promotion within a company only promote bros who love locker room talk? What if putting up with Bro behavior is the only way to retain employment? What if a job is unique enough to have limited employment opportunities? What if saying anything against bro behavior blacklists one within a company, or industry?


Mae Rae · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 20
amarius wrote:

Very true, but what if the people responsible for promotion within a company only promote bros who love locker room talk? What if putting up with Bro behavior is the only way to retain employment? What if a job is unique enough to have limited employment opportunities? What if saying anything against bro behavior blacklists one within a company, or industry?


What if someone tried to respond to every hypothetical you could imagine?

We'll probably find out...

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310
amarius wrote:

Very true, but if the people responsible for promotion within a company only promote bros who love locker room talk? What if putting up with Bro behavior is the only way to retain employment? What if a job is unique enough to have limited employment opportunities? What if saying anything against bro behavior blacklists one within a company, or industry?


amarius.....     I think you are not thinking this out....  All I am saying is successful women mechanical engineers need to have some bro traits... nothing about blacklists, sex or anything else. 

Blacklist are fiction.... if you can deliver the goods, you are needed. 

Chew on this.....    You design a new chain drive, for the 30mm rotating gun... some of your colleagues think that it is not robust enuf and call out your new design in a planning meeting......    you need to stand up and justify your design using data, test results and past history. Now because you are a women, these guys figure they can push you into changing what you made, do you hang in and fight with the bros because you know it works better than anything made before it.  The answer is Yes, you stand up and fight.

When I was young, my Dad referred to "stand up and fight" as "act like a Man"    

If you want to come up with a better saying--please go for it. 

I am not trying to be sexist- and making generalities is never right.... but I know a women who is in this situation right now and she told me...  "I need to stand up and act like a man" 



Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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