Sex Roles

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 175–183

The Role of Stereotype Threats in Undermining Girls’ and Women’s Performance and Interest in STEM Fields

Feminist Forum

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-011-0051-0

Cite this article as:
Shapiro, J.R. & Williams, A.M. Sex Roles (2012) 66: 175. doi:10.1007/s11199-011-0051-0


In the present manuscript we draw on the Multi-Threat Framework to explore gender-related math attitudes and how they put girls and women at risk for stereotype threats. Gunderson et al. (2011) detail how negative stereotypes about women’s math abilities are transmitted to girls by their parents and teachers, shaping girls’ math attitudes and ultimately undermining performance and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The social psychological phenomenon of stereotype threat complements this approach and demonstrates the additional ways in which gender-related math attitudes undermine girls’ and women’s interest and performance in STEM domains. Considering the phenomenon of stereotype threat also identifies how stereotypes and other gender-related math attitudes can undermine women’s and girls’ interest and performance in STEM domains even when women and girls have positive math attitudes.


Multi-Threat Framework Stereotype threat Gender stereotypes Math attitudes STEM 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Anderson School of ManagementUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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