Gender Difference in Science

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Gender Difference in Science

  1. 1. Out of school experiences, interests, and views of scientists of 9 th grade living environment and foundation of science students. Arkadiy Abrakhimov May 13, 2009
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Research conducted in 1990s have shown significant difference between gender and science in the following categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Science interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Out of school experiences related to science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perception of scientists </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Males have interests and of school experiences that deal physical sciences while females have out of school experiences and interests that deal with biological sciences. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interested about if these trends are still present today and if these trends have changed in the past decade. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Research Questions <ul><li>Are there gender differences in students’ interests in science? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there gender differences in students’ out of school experiences associated with science? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there gender differences in students’ perception of scientists? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research Methods <ul><li>Un-Random selection of students in classes of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two 9 th grade living environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two 9 th grade foundation of science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Total of 97 students involved: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>48 males </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>49 females </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A survey was given to the students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each student was given full class period to complete the survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The survey was Likert based and consisted of three parts </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Survey <ul><li>Part I - Interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students were asked: what I want to learn about </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>20 interests were given with Likert scare of 1-4 (1 = not interested, 4 = very interested) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Part II – Out of School Experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students were asked: How often have you done this outside school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>25 experiences were given with Likert scale of 1-4 (1 = never, 4 = often) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Part III – Perception of Scientists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students were asked: How do you picture a scientist to be </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Two choices were given on this part. Either draw a scientist or complete a cluster web </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Results <ul><li>Students’ Interests in Science </li></ul><ul><li>Students’ out of school experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Students’ perception of scientists </li></ul>
  7. 8. Results <ul><li>Students’ Interests in Science </li></ul><ul><li>Students’ out of school experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Students’ perception of scientists </li></ul>
  8. 10. Results – Perception of Scientists <ul><li>Drawing a Scientist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>79% of students drew their scientists as males </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More females gave their scientists stereotypical characteristics (weird smile, wild eyes, funny hair) than males </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cluster Web of Scientists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both sexes considered scientists to be smart, experimental, and very careful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More females considered scientist to be nerds, anti-social, and playing with chemicals. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 11. Conclusion <ul><li>The science interests results show that males are interested in physical sciences while females are interested in biological sciences. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>However, the lack of significance in some physical science interests and out of school experiences might indicate that gender differences in science is shrinking. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The out of school experiences results show that out of school experiences are greatly influenced by gender roles. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Girls are taught to be social, caring, genuine individuals and therefore the biological sciences offer these characteristics. Hence they pursue a health/biological related career. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The perception of scientists results show that scientists are seen as males and deal with physical aspect of science which is not favored by females. </li></ul>
  10. 12. Limitations + Implications <ul><li>Sample Size and Un-random selection </li></ul><ul><li>Location of School </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of the out of school experiences may not pertain to students because the school was located in an urban area. Ex: using a saw, chopping wood, making fire from wood. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teachers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May greatly impact students’ feelings about science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We need more female physics, chemistry, and geology teachers who will inspire female students to pursue a physical science related career </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Males and females at an early age are exposed to stereotypical representation of scientists via TV shows, computers, and magazines </li></ul></ul>

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