Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Implicit stereotypes and gender identification may affect female math performance

26.01.2007
New research may provide insight as to why, despite progress over the last few decades, women remain underrepresented in math-heavy majors and professions.

In an article published in the January issue of Psychological Science, psychologists Amy Kiefer of the University of California, San Francisco and Denise Sekaquaptewa of the University of Michigan point to an interaction between women's own underlying "implicit" stereotypes and their gender identification as a source for their underperformance and lowered perseverance in mathematical fields.

Studying undergraduates enrolled in an introductory calculus course, the researchers discovered that women who possessed strong implicit gender stereotypes, (for example, automatically associating "male" more than "female" with math ability and math professions) and were likely to identify themselves as feminine performed worse relative to their female counterparts who did not possess such stereotypes and who were less likely to identify with traditionally female characteristics. The same underperforming females were also the least inclined to pursue a math-based career. The findings were demonstrated independently of prior course performance and performance on the math portion of the SAT. Strikingly, a majority of the women participating in the study explicitly expressed disagreement with the idea that men have superior math ability.

This research helps to shed light on why women are less likely to complete a major in mathematics in college, pursue math-intensive careers such as computer science or engineering, and are more than twice as likely as men to drop out of these fields once they begin. One explanation is that to maintain a strong identification with math-related fields, women may come to distance themselves from stereotypically female characteristics, which as the authors suggest, could create personal and professional conflicts for those women who do not wish to abandon their feminine identity. When coupled with strong implicit stereotypes about females' math competence, those women who do maintain strong identification with being female may be particularly vulnerable to leaving math and science fields, regardless of their mathematical prowess. Thus it appears that even when consciously disavowing stereotypes, female math students are still susceptible to negative perceptions of their ability.

Amy Kiefer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psychologicalscience.org/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>