Why So Few Women in STEM

Title: Why So Few Women in STEM

Link: pdf (134 pages)


Drawing on a large and diverse body of research, this report presents eight recent research
findings that provide evidence that social and environmental factors contribute to the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering. The rapid increase in the number of girls
achieving very high scores on mathematics tests once thought to measure innate ability suggests that cultural factors are at work. Thirty years ago there were 13 boys for every girl who
scored above 700 on the SAT math exam at age 13; today that ratio has shrunk to about 3:1.
This increase in the number of girls identified as “mathematically gifted” suggests that education can and does make a difference at the highest levels of mathematical achievement. While
biological gender differences, yet to be well understood, may play a role, they clearly are not
the whole story.


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