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Missing Women in STEM in China: an Empirical Study from the Viewpoint of Achievement Motivation and Gender Socialization

  • Xueyan Yang
  • Chenzhuo GaoEmail author
Article
  • 23 Downloads

Abstract

Although women are increasingly earning degrees in STEM, they remain under-represented in these fields. An empirical study was undertaken to explain the phenomenon of missing women in STEM in China from the viewpoint of achievement motivation and gender socialization, using data from the Third National Survey on the Social Status of Chinese Women. One-way ANOVAs were used to compare the achievement motivation and two stages of gender socialization among the male and female college students in STEM majors in China. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine the effects of the two stages of gender socialization on achievement motivation. Results showed that the phenomenon was due to lower achievement motivation of women than that of men in STEM majors. The gender differences were gradually shaped by two stages of gender socialization. In the social construction of gender roles, lower career expectations from parents and gender stereotypes from the culture negatively impacted women’s achievement motivation. In the internalization of gender role expectations, traditional gender role attitudes hindered the advancement of women’s achievement motivation. Therefore, an atmosphere of gender equality should be created in order to stop the outflow of women from the STEM pipeline.

Keywords

STEM Gender differences Achievement motivation Gender socialization 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Population and Development Studies, School of Public Policy and AdministrationXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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