ERIC Number: ED327393
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988
Gender Differences in Selecting Undergraduate Science Majors.
Marion, Scott F.
A major concern of science educators is the lack of talented females selecting science careers. In spite of attempts during the past few decades to create equality in all facets of life in the United States, many sexual stereotypes persist. The research presented here is designed to examine the relationship of sex to the relevant factors influencing the decision to choose a college major in the technical sciences. Data from students in the High School and Beyond sophomore cohort who had participated in surveys in 1980, 1982, 1984, and 1986 (n=188) were analyzed and a path model was constructed. While noticeable gender differences did emerge in this study, there was a very small direct effect of gender on the dependent measure of science major. Many of the strong paths showed similar results for both sexes, for example, the path leading from family background through ability, achievement, and advanced courses, to college major. Separating the analyses by sex helped to point out some interesting path differences. The most interesting difference involved the path for females--from self-efficacy through science and mathematics attitudes, to advanced courses, and then on to college major. The same path was virtually absent for males. A list of 16 references is included. (CW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A