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Bias Called Persistent Hurdle For Women in Sciences

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image from Why So Few?

Credit: American Association of University Women

Cultural biases are still hindering the progress of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers, according to an American Association of University Women report supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation. The report analyzed decades of research to accumulate recommendations for getting more women interested in STEM fields.

Lead author Catherine Hill says that although the study recognizes differences in male and female brains, "none of the research convincingly links those differences to specific skills." However, the report found several cultural factors, such as the fact that female postdoctoral applicants had to publish three more papers in prestigious journals, or 20 more in less-known publications, in order to be considered as productive as their male counterparts.

The study also found research indicating that girls' performance declines as a result of any suggestion that they are poor at math. The report says that girls are less confident about their math skills than boys with equal levels of achievement.

From The New York Times
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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