Explaining Underrepresentation: A Theory of Precluded Interest

Explaining Underrepresentation: A Theory of Precluded Interest What processes best explain women’s underrepresentation in science, math, and engineering fields in the U.S.? Do they also explain men’s underrepresentation in the humanities? Two survey studies across two U.S. West Coast universities (N = 62; N = 614) addressed these questions in the context of two fields: one male-dominated (computer science) and the other female-dominated (English). Among a set of social predictors—including perceived similarity to the people in the field, social identity threats, and expectations of success—the best mediator of women’s lower interest in computer science and men’s lower interest in English was perceived similarity. Thus, changing students’ social perceptions of how they relate to those in the field may help to diversify academic fields. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Explaining Underrepresentation: A Theory of Precluded Interest

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by The Author(s)
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-010-9835-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

What processes best explain women’s underrepresentation in science, math, and engineering fields in the U.S.? Do they also explain men’s underrepresentation in the humanities? Two survey studies across two U.S. West Coast universities (N = 62; N = 614) addressed these questions in the context of two fields: one male-dominated (computer science) and the other female-dominated (English). Among a set of social predictors—including perceived similarity to the people in the field, social identity threats, and expectations of success—the best mediator of women’s lower interest in computer science and men’s lower interest in English was perceived similarity. Thus, changing students’ social perceptions of how they relate to those in the field may help to diversify academic fields.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 29, 2010

References

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