Taking A Stand
English Comp. I
July 1, 2013
Women in STEM Fields and Stereotypes
For years society has created many different stereotypes for several different types of individuals. The Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) fields intimidate most women since society has capitalized it to be a male dominated field. This could be because men were the first to study the STEM fields and have succeeded greatly. Yet it is very rare for women to succeed in the math and science field due to the fact that they feel as if they didn’t have the potential to succeed simply because they are females. What most people don’t know is that when someone is open to the element of a negative stereotype about which they belong, they perform worse on the task related to that negative stereotype. This effect creates a problem when women try to enter the STEM fields because of the belief that men are better at math than women and that men make better engineers and scientists. When someone is told that he or she is not good at a certain skill he or she begins to believe it and eventually start to perform inadequately. Shelly Correll, a sociology professor, created a study where she told the subjects (women) that men scored higher in the first test (even though they all scored about the same) and the subject scored lower in the second test.
Women often feel under pressure because of the need to fulfill the expectations of men. This pressure can often cause women to score lower in math and science because they are under the impression that men are better at math, thus they will not do as well and they tend to do poorly. Different studies have been performed to prove that these stereotypes can distract them from performing just as well as an equally skilled man would. Another huge discouragement for females, when they first consider going into the STEM fields, is not seeing as many other women in those...
Cited: Fisk, Susan. "Negative+Math+Stereotypes=Too few women How gendered beliefs funnel women away from science and engineering (and what can be done about it)." The Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Standford University , 14 Feb. 2011. Web. 27 June 2013. .
Pronin, Emily. "Women and Mathematics: Stereotypes, Identity, and Achievement." http://apcentral.collegeboard.com. College Board, 7 Apr. 2009. Web. 28 June 2013.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document