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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimer: 1072-8325
ISSN En ligne: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v6.i2.50
19 pages

GENDER, FAMILIES, AND SCIENCE: INFLUENCES ON EARLY SCIENCE TRAINING AND CAREER CHOICES

Sandra L. Hanson
Department of Sociology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064

RÉSUMÉ

This research examines the effects of gender and a number of family experiences on young people's chances of going into postsecondary science training and science occupations in the years immediately following high school. Data came from the nationally representative, longitudinal High School and Beyond survey. Results show that gender plays a significant role in choices involving early science training and occupations—especially training. Amongst young men and women with comparable resources and qualifications, young women are less likely to make the science choice. The family experiences and expectations examined here are not a major factor in understanding gender differences in access to science training and occupations. Although much of the literature describes the domains of science and of family as being at odds, results from this research suggest that family experiences play a rather minimal role in predicting who will enter science training or occupations in the early post-high school years. When family variables do have an effect, they are not always negative and the nature of the effect varies by the time in the life cycle that the family variable is measured, by type of family experience (orientation vs. procreation), by outcome (science major vs. science occupation), and by gender.


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