Research and Reports
Girls' experiences in the elementary grades and in high school have a strong effect on whether they decide to pursue careers in fields traditionally dominated by men, according to a report by the Association of American Colleges.
Factors including different socialization patterns, peer pressure, sexual stereotyping, lower teacher expectations, and a lack of female role models "can explain why too many young women entering college are not as well prepared for advanced mathematics and science coursework as their male peers, and why they are not as likely to be interested in typically male careers,'' write the authors of the report, which was released this month.
The researchers, Julie Kuhn Ehrhart and Bernice R. Sandler, note that while more women are enrolling in college, they are still underrepresented in fields such as science, mathematics, engineering, computer science, and business.
Girls are "less likely to take a full college-preparatory series of mathematics and science courses,'' and are "potentially 'filtered out' of many college majors'' that require a more quantitative background, they write.
Copies of the report, "Looking for More Than a Few Good Women in Traditionally Male Fields,'' are available for $5.00 each by writing the Project on the Status and Education of Women, Association of American Colleges, 1818 R Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009.