COLLEGE STUDENTS’ VIEWS ON WHO WOULD MAKE A GOOD SCIENCE RESEARCHER

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Abstract
The number of women in the STEM field across academia and the workforce is growing, yet there remains a significant gender disparity. Career choices in science research positions are stereotyped in the gendered context of the intellectual abilities debate. The intellectual abilities debate argues men are successful in intellectual (brilliant) positions, while women will do better in hard work (dedication) positions. Many studies have focused on the developmental perspective of adults and children; thus, little is known about other developmental stages. The purpose of this study was to better understand the gendered aspect of career choices for emerging adults in science research positions. The study contributed to the empirical research on gender stereotyping in science-related careers through a mixed research methodology. This work examined gendered attitudes to explain why some careers are customarily stereotyped to be either male or female oriented. The researcher examined college students’ (N=248) gendered recommendations about two science positions (dedication vs brilliance-oriented science positions) at a large research higher education institution. Results revealed that while both groups recommended females for the dedication job position, for the brilliance job position females are showing a crossover effect. Women from the study demonstrated a new perspective and outlook that women are deserving of these brilliance science positions. Findings suggest that emerging adults are starting to have different perceptions and views on the gendered aspect of career choices, where generational understanding, gender intervention, and changes can influence transformation within STEM fields across academia and the workforce. Overall, the goal of the study is to better understand the gendered aspect of career choices.
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46 pages
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2021-12
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Williams, Wendy M.
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Burrow, Anthony L.
Degree Discipline
Human Development
Degree Name
M.A., Human Development
Degree Level
Master of Arts
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Government Document
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dissertation or thesis
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