[FoRK] Women With Both High Math and Verbal Ability Appear Less Likely to Choose Science Careers Because Their Dual Skills Confer More Career Options

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at jarbox.org
Mon Apr 8 17:31:12 PDT 2013

On Apr 8, 2013, at 3:44 PM, Lucas Gonze <lucas.gonze at gmail.com> wrote:
> Which opens the question of why women usually see STEM work as so
> unpleasant. Why wouldn't they seek it out just for the fun of it?

It is probably similar to the reasons men usually see STEM work as unpleasant. While STEM is majority male, that male majority is still a minority among males.

I think Stephen touched on an important part of the reason. It is difficult to excel at STEM (read: have an attractive career) unless the foundations are laid years before you get to college. Teenagers as a demographic do not view most STEM careers as sexy, high-prestige occupations and therefore are less likely to spend a significant amount of time focused on developing the necessary foundations, coincidentally or not. Adults are more practical and realistic about occupational choices but it is a bit late to start considering a STEM career by that point if you want to maximize your social status. 

Teenagers do not have a general aversion to STEM. There are a number of socially attractive and sexy but nigh worthless STEM occupations like marine biology that seem to attract no shortage of interest from teenagers. 

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