In 65 countries, 15-year-old girls performed better than their male peers on a science test given by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In the United States, however, boys outperformed girls. What’s the disconnect in America? Researchers think that stereotypes may have something to do with it.
“We see that very early in childhood — around age 4 — gender roles in occupations appear to be formed,” said Christianne Corbett, co-author of the 2010 report, Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. “Women are less likely to go into science careers, although they are clearly capable of succeeding.” Countries like Asia and the Middle East, where a higher percentage of women go into the sciences, don’t seem to have the same cultural forces at play.
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