I wouldn't say I was discouraged from pursuing a career in science.  It would be more accurate to state that I was not encouraged. I was fortunate enough to have parents who were able and willing to pay for my college education, and they would have paid for it whether I had majored in English or Science.  What they refused to pay for was for an acting school in New York, which was my first choice at the time.  But, you are correct in that my brother went to Bentley as an accounting major. Despite the fact that I had extremely high SAT scores, in both Math and English, no one, not my parents nor any guidance counselor, spoke with me about any other option other than attending a Liberal Arts University as an English major.  As I said, my parents and the school counselor didn't discourage me from pursuing a science education(they all discouraged me from pursuing a career in acting), but I do feel that had I been a male, there would have been more of a dialogue, which I believe can be very extremely helpful to most 17 and 18 year old kids. I guess we disagree in the "interest" issue in that you believe that society is responsible for creating separate interests.  I say that some of it is just natural.  My main point is that a woman can be a "girlie-girl" type of woman(very feminine) and still be a brilliant scientist. The differences between the genders  have nothing to do with intellect or competence. And yes, thank god, there are many interests which men and women share, and yes, most men want wives and homes, too, the difference being, in my opinion, that many men consider this an essential part of their plan whereas most women consider this an essential part of their dream.   As for my parents who didn't want me to become a professional actress and never even thought of me as a scientist, I was cast in eight amateur and semi-Professional productions throughout the years.  They came to every single one.  The last one was about six years ago in Naples, and they flew 1800 plus miles for opening night. 
 
Regards,
 
Kate
 
In a message dated 2/25/2005 11:49:01 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
I don't disagree with any of this except the conclusion that you can
label it "interests."  By your own account, you were "interested" in
science and were discouraged from following it.  That is, in fact, my
point.  Had you been male, I doubt that would have happened. 

Being equally uninterested in boxing and soaps, I cannot comment on
that, but no one doubts there are differing "interests" organized by
gender in this culture.  But no one has shown they are innate.  It seems
quite possible for women and men to have many, many of the same
interests, both popular and aesthetic.  That is why we are all on an
Eliot list and why women go to baseball games and men to romantic
movies.  And men, one presumes from their behavior,  also want wives and
kids and houses.