Document Abstract

Gendered STEM career choices: altruistic values, beliefs, and identity, IN Journal of Vocational Behavior, Vol 110 Part A Jan 2019, pp28-42

Looks at how altruism and femininity may differentiate membership in STEM (science, technology engineering and maths) fields in the context of the underrepresentation of women in many such professions. Explains that women are well-represented in health, biological and medical sciences but underrepresented in maths, engineering, physics and computer sciences. Outlines the Expectancy-Value theory which provides a framework for understanding career choices. Uses the Maryland Adolescent Development in Context Study, which followed adolescents (from 7th grade up to age 26) to inform the research. Finds that altruism partially accounted for gender discrepancies between STEM disciplines; gender, altruism, and femininity predicted towards life sciences and away from physical sciences. Reports that altruism was substantially more predictive than self-concept of ability. Offers evidence that STEM career trajectories may be influenced by congruency between values, identity, and gendered beliefs about STEM fields.


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Wegemer,Christopher M; Eccles, Jacquelynne S.
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Journal article.

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