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article imageScience Says Women Should Lead Governments

By Carol Forsloff     Feb 12, 2009 in World
If the hand that rocks the cradle really ruled the world, science says we might not be in the trouble we’re in. Some women always suspected that, but why is it true?
Dee Dee Myers, political commentator formerly of the Clinton group, even wrote a book advocating women being in charge. She likely noticed some obvious differences in how both men and women might govern.
Testosterone is what makes the difference, according to science research. Those guys with lots of it govern Wall Street and are in charge of the banks. They occupy most government posts as well. Women work, but often not at the top positions; and apparently that makes the difference.
Tests on the types of fellow who govern big business and the banks show that they have high levels of testosterone. About a year ago, a British study found that some of those investment fellows who get up in the morning with high testosterone levels tend to take more risks because they feel more daring.Conversely those with higher cortisone levels act more cautiously and can figure out how to manage the bubbles, which is important given the bubbles that happened in the economy. Scientific researchers hypothesize that it is the balance that makes the difference, and that when testosterone, that is more involve in risk-taking behavior is paramount and without balance, problems may occur.
Cortisone levels can affect behavior by lowering risk taking, but if they are too high too much caution may imperil decision making that needs to be done quickly and with some daring. So it’s the balance of cortisone and testosterone that can make the difference in management. That’s why perhaps instead of just Goldman in charge, perhaps there should be Goldwoman as well.
But those testosterone fueled fellows are going after some of those women in charge, despite the fact that one of them has shared Barack Obama’s ways. Sheila Blair, head of the FDIC, has been targeted to step down because the guys consider she isn’t swift enough. On the other hand, Bloomberg points out she has favored financial balance that has included aid for both Wall Street and Main Street. She has tried to stay independent in the past from both the Bush Administration and Wall Street in order to make decisions, and many in business media and key folks in Congress like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank like the way she works. But Timothy Geitner, the new head of the Treasury is said to want change. Geitner is cited as a high testosterone fellow, and maybe Blair’s cortisone ways aren’t quite what he wants, some conjecture. But shouldn’t government and finance be looking for women now?
What science says is balance in governance, and that seems what the conclusion is according to the reports cited. So it’s having more women in government, banking and high levels of decision- making that might make the difference. Canadian psychologist Susan Pinker found by examining neurological and biological findings that women are more oriented towards team-building and consensus-making than men are. They are also better at reading visual cues. The Atlantic Monthly that points out Pinker’s research also looks at multiple areas where women’s qualities can help create balance in the world.
So Iceland has led the pack by appointing a gay woman Johanna Sigurdardottir in charge of government. Perhaps, if the guys in charge of the rest of the world value science at all, they might look to getting more women to stand captains of ships so the fate of the world might be balanced.
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