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The Gender-Equality Paradox in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

Stoet, Gijsbert and Geary, David C (2018) 'The Gender-Equality Paradox in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education.' Psychological Science, 29 (4). 581 - 593. ISSN 0956-7976

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Abstract

The underrepresentation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is a continual concern for social scientists and policymakers. Using an international database on adolescent achievement in science, mathematics, and reading (N = 472,242), we showed that girls performed similarly to or better than boys in science in two of every three countries, and in nearly all countries, more girls appeared capable of college-level STEM study than had enrolled. Paradoxically, the sex differences in the magnitude of relative academic strengths and pursuit of STEM degrees rose with increases in national gender equality. The gap between boys’ science achievement and girls’ reading achievement relative to their mean academic performance was near universal. These sex differences in academic strengths and attitudes toward science correlated with the STEM graduation gap. A mediation analysis suggested that life-quality pressures in less gender-equal countries promote girls’ and women’s engagement with STEM subjects.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cognitive ability, cross-cultural differences, educational psychology, science education, sex differences, open materials
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2019 11:50
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2019 11:50
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23979

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