This study examined the influence of gender and various background factors on science anxiety. Students (50 women, 37 men) took the Science Anxiety Scale (Mallow, 1994), provided information about high school and college academic accomplishments, described gender-role stereotyping in the home, and evaluated their science teachers and science experiences. Most participants were Caucasian and from an upper-middle class background. Women were not uniformly more science anxious and had a relatively similar science background to men, although they had higher science grades in high school and did report less stringent sex-role socialization in the home. However, students with high science anxiety took fewer science courses in college, had lower SAT-Q scores, and reported that their high school science teachers were not helpful. The findings regarding gender- and anxiety-linked differences are discussed in terms of women's and men's differential interpretations of their abilities, the influence of parental gender typing on pursuit of science, and the gender-appropriateness of studying science.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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