Parasitic worms get sucked into gender bias row amid claims of names being sexist | Science & Tech News


Parasitic worms have been sucked into the line of gender bias after a report claimed the naming of the creatures was gender biased.

A team of scientists, led by parasitologist Robert Poulin, scoured studies in eight journals published between 2000 and 2020.

About 2,900 species have been discovered during this period – including 200 in 2007 alone.

However, of the 596 species named after prominent scientists, only 111, or 19%, have recognized females, according to experts at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

And of 71 scientists honored with the Latin names of two or more species, only eight were women.

Eight scientists who had given their names to six or more species were men.

“We found a consistent gender bias among species named after eminent scientists, with male scientists being immortalized disproportionately more frequently than female scientists,” said the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal. Society B.

He said gender bias had shown “no evidence of improvement over time over the past two decades”.

They also cited a problem of “etymological nepotism and cronyism” in the naming of helminths.

The report noted a “tendency of taxonomists to name new species after a family member or close friend has increased over the past 20 years.”

And he warned that scientists might also regret naming species after celebrities who might later “fall out of favor”.

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