Encyclopedia of Science Education

2015 Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Attitude Differences and Gender

  • Lara Perez-Felkner
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2150-0_351

Attitude Differences and Gender in Science Education

In US secondary and postsecondary schools, it is common to hear talented female students telling their peers that they are “not a [math/science] person,” even if their grades in these subjects suggest otherwise. Girls seem to develop this idea at a young age. Analyses of national data on US youth indicate that there are no notable gender differences in whether students “like science” in fourth grade, but differences emerge in eighth grade and grow stronger by 12th grade: 56 % of boys like science as compared with only 48 % of girls. This data shows that girls also have a greater tendency to report that they are not “good” at science (Bae et al. 2000, pp. 52–54). Fourth grade girls report being more likely to persist in science even if given a choice and less likely to consider science a “hard” subject, but this pattern is flipped by 12th grade, when 36 % of girls say they would not take more science (as compared to 30 % of boys) and...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EducationFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA