– Aspirations for mathematically related work become more gender differentiated as societal affluence grows. This relationship holds controlling for students’ social class backgrounds, mathematical achievement, and affinity for school, and it is not explained by cross-national differences in the economic integration of women, gender stereotyping of science, or Internet access.
– There appears to be a larger gender gap in more affluent societies.
– Observed patterns of gender segregation reflect more than just women’s greater freedom to indulge tastes for non-STEM work in affluent societies; tastes are themselves more gendered in these contexts.
– Boys’ attitudes towards STEM aspirations are more positive than girls’ nearly everywhere.
– In high-affluence contexts, girls’ predicted odds of aspiring to a math-related job are about half as large as boys’ odds. In low-affluence contexts, their odds are about 80 percent of boys’.
– Girls are significantly less likely than boys to express strong aspirations for mathematically related work, even controlling for differences in mathematical achievement and social background.
– The coefficients for survey year indicate a greater prevalence of strong aspirations in 2011 than in 2003. The overall rise in strong aspirations may be partly attributable to increased pragmatism
among students coming of age in the shadow of the great recession and/or to efforts by governments, nongovernmental organizations, and industry around the world to encourage young people to consider STEM careers.
– Increasing curricular difficulty is associated with decreasing STEM aspirations.
– Students’ at-home Internet access shows a negative effect on aspirations for STEM work that is especially strong among girls. This result is consistent with the idea that young people access Internet content that supports more negative and more gendered attitudes toward STEM.
– Girls who are more exposed to employed women appear to be are less influenced by gender stereotypes and therefore more likely to aspire to male-typed pursuits.
* STEM & gender by country.