Sex Roles

, Volume 58, Issue 3–4, pp 251–265 | Cite as

How Undergraduate Engineering Students Perceive Women’s (and Men’s) Problems in Science, Math and Engineering

  • Harriet Hartman
  • Moshe Hartman
Original Article


This paper compares perceptions of problems for women and men in the fields of science, math, and engineering among undergraduate engineering students surveyed at a mid-Atlantic American university over a period of 5 years. Gender differences in these perceptions are analyzed, as are changes in these perceptions over the course of the undergraduate years. Undergraduate exposure to female role models in these fields has little impact on these perceptions, but exposure to professional engineering experiences reduces the seriousness with which some problems are perceived, especially by women. While perceived problems do not seem to be related to engineering self-confidence, they are related to men’s satisfaction with engineering, and to women’s intentions to persist in the engineering field after graduation.


Academia Gender attitudes Gender differences Stereotypes Work roles 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyRowan UniversityGlassboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyBen-Gurion UniversityBeer-ShevaIsrael

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