Friday, June 03, 2016

New study finds we still perceive women to be incompatible with STEM

Public Release: 28-Mar-2016
New study finds we still perceive women to be incompatible with STEM
Is first study to examine how stereotypes of scientists overlap with stereotypes of men
Wellesley College

Key Findings:

People consistently perceive scientists to possess qualities that are culturally linked to stereotypes about men. Specific stereotypes about men (e.g. they are risk-taking) overlap with stereotypes about scientists.

Stereotypes about women (e.g. they are "communal") are not only still prevalent but work against perceptions that women can be successful scientists. This may lead to obstacles to women in the STEM disciplines.

Only students at all-women colleges (as compared to both women and men at co-ed institutions) saw a meaningful similarity between how women and scientists are perceived.

Results suggests attending a women's college, and the exposure to prominent female scientists that may come with it, can lead to women being more likely to see their gender as suited for careers in science.

The greater number of women working in a particular field, the greater a perceived similarity between women and scientists existed. The number of men in a particular field, however, does not change perceived similarities.


Carli's research adds critical background data to the on-going conversation jumpstarted by women scientists disclosing years of abuse and discrimination. For example, one professor recently published a New York Times op-ed about her own experience, suggesting the reality of discrimination and even abuse could explain why there are fewer women in STEM fields.


No comments:

Post a Comment