Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others?

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  • Additional Information
    • Author-Supplied Keywords:
      culture
      gender
      science
      STEM
      underrepresentation
    • NAICS/Industry Codes:
      541710 Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences
      541712 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology)
    • Abstract:
      Women obtain more than half of U.S. undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, yet they earn less than 20% of computer science, engineering, and physics undergraduate degrees (National Science Foundation, 2014a). Gender differences in interest in computer science, engineering, and physics appear even before college. Why are women represented in some science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields more than others? We conduct a critical review of the most commonly cited factors explaining gender disparities in STEM participation and investigate whether these factors explain differential gender participation across STEM fields. Math performance and discrimination influence who enters STEM, but there is little evidence to date that these factors explain why women's underrepresentation is relatively worse in some STEM fields. We introduce a model with three overarching factors to explain the larger gender gaps in participation in computer science, engineering, and physics than in biology, chemistry, and mathematics: (a) masculine cultures that signal a lower sense of belonging to women than men, (b) a lack of sufficient early experience with computer science, engineering, and physics, and (c) gender gaps in self-efficacy. Efforts to increase women's participation in computer science, engineering, and physics may benefit from changing masculine cultures and providing students with early experiences that signal equally to both girls and boys that they belong and can succeed in these fields. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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    • Author Affiliations:
      1University of Washington
      2Ohio State University
    • ISSN:
      0033-2909
    • Accession Number:
      10.1037/bul0000052
    • Accession Number:
      120560983
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      CHERYAN, S. et al. Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others? Psychological Bulletin, [s. l.], v. 143, n. 1, p. 1–35, 2017. DOI 10.1037/bul0000052. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=asn&AN=120560983&custid=s8280428. Acesso em: 10 dez. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Cheryan S, Ziegler SA, Montoya AK, Jiang L. Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others? Psychological Bulletin. 2017;143(1):1-35. doi:10.1037/bul0000052.
    • APA:
      Cheryan, S., Ziegler, S. A., Montoya, A. K., & Jiang, L. (2017). Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others? Psychological Bulletin, 143(1), 1–35. https://doi.org/10.1037/bul0000052
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Cheryan, Sapna, Sianna A. Ziegler, Amanda K. Montoya, and Lily Jiang. 2017. “Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others?” Psychological Bulletin 143 (1): 1–35. doi:10.1037/bul0000052.
    • Harvard:
      Cheryan, S. et al. (2017) ‘Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others?’, Psychological Bulletin, 143(1), pp. 1–35. doi: 10.1037/bul0000052.
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Cheryan, S, Ziegler, SA, Montoya, AK & Jiang, L 2017, ‘Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others?’, Psychological Bulletin, vol. 143, no. 1, pp. 1–35, viewed 10 December 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Cheryan, Sapna, et al. “Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others?” Psychological Bulletin, vol. 143, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 1–35. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1037/bul0000052.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Cheryan, Sapna, Sianna A. Ziegler, Amanda K. Montoya, and Lily Jiang. “Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others?” Psychological Bulletin 143, no. 1 (January 2017): 1–35. doi:10.1037/bul0000052.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Cheryan S, Ziegler SA, Montoya AK, Jiang L. Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others? Psychological Bulletin [Internet]. 2017 Jan [cited 2019 Dec 10];143(1):1–35. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=asn&AN=120560983&custid=s8280428