U.S. News contributor, Gaby Galvin, wrote an article about a recent study titled “Why Are Some STEM Fields More Gender Balanced Than Others?” originally published in the October issue of Psychological Bulletin.
The stereotypical image of a computer scientist, engineer or physicist doesn’t line up with how many girls see themselves or their interests, the report says. These factors contribute to why women and girls don’t feel comfortable in some STEM fields.
While the gender gap in STEM has received more attention in recent years, the “boys’ club” image of many of the fields still exists. In 1984, 37 percent of computer science majors were women, but by 2014 that number had dropped to 18 percent, according to a recent study from Accenture and Girls Who Code. To combat the decline, educators must encourage girls to pursue computer science in middle and high school, according to the study.
“Really what I’m trying to do is not say we need to kick the ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ boys out or make them do worse,” Cheryan says. “We need to broaden the image of the field, and make it more accessible, and say you can be that or you can be interested in art or something else.”