Gender discrimination a factor in women's decision to choose careers outside physical sciences, US study finds

October 26, 2012

According to a new study from Rice University, both male and female scientists consider gender discrimination as a factor in women's decision not to pursue a science career at all or to choose biology over physics. Researchers surveyed 2,500 biologists and physicists at elite PSE institutions in the US, and also interviewed 150 scientists one-on-one about the reasons they believe there are gender differences in scientific disciplines. The study found that male scientists believe that any discrimination in physical sciences classes likely occurred early in their educational history (primary school), while female scientists believe that discrimination is still taking place in present-day universities and departments. While women often explained gender differences between the physical and biological sciences using reasons of emotional affinity, men cited neurological differences as being responsible for personal choices. Rice U News