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ERIC Number: EJ857445
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Sex Differences and Science: The Etiology of Science Excellence
Haworth, Claire M. A.; Dale, Philip S.; Plomin, Robert
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v50 n9 p1113-1120 Sep 2009
Background: Are there sex differences in the etiology of high performance in science in childhood that could contribute to the under-representation of women in scientific careers? In this study the relative contributions of genetic and environmental influences on high performance in science in both boys and girls were assessed using standard twin analyses. Methods: The sample included 3000 twin pairs from the UK Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). Science performance ratings based on the UK National Curriculum were collected from teachers when the twins were 9, 10 and 12 years old. Science excellence was defined as performing above the 85th percentile. Sex-limitation liability threshold models were used to assess sex differences in etiology. Results: We found no evidence for quantitative or qualitative sex differences in the etiology of science excellence, which was moderately heritable (30-50%), and influenced by both shared (40-56%) and non-shared (10-13%) environmental influences. Conclusions: Although boys and girls do not differ genetically in relation to school science performance per se, the under-representation of women in scientific careers may be due to attitudes rather than aptitudes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom