Given the significant challenges stereotypes and societal gender expectations present,
women pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees and
careers remain grossly underrepresented in the United States. The purpose of this thesis is
to investigate whether women who have faced adversity in the attainment of secondary
education are more likely to pursue STEM post-secondary degrees, compared to those
that did not experience adversity. The data used came from the National Center for
Education Statistics’ (NCES) Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study. A
male population of students with and without adversity was also tested for STEM
participation for comparison. The proportion of males and females pursuing STEM
degrees was measured in respect to two different adversity indicators: income and race.
The findings show that minority students pursue STEM degrees at a higher proportion
than their white counterparts; this finding is stronger for woman than for men.
Girls Gone STEM: Understanding the relationship between early adversity and willingness to compete in STEM fields.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.