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A discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists

In health and biological sciences, for example, women's representation among U. We investigated whether variation a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists proportions of women in scientific disciplines is related to differing levels of male-favoring explicit or implicit stereotypes held by students and scientists in each discipline.

We hypothesized that science-is-male stereotypes would be weaker in disciplines where women are better represented. The prediction was supported for the explicit stereotype, but a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists for the implicit stereotype. Implicit stereotype strength did not correspond with disciplines' gender ratios, but, rather, correlated with two indicators of disciplines' scientific intensity, positively for men and negatively for women. From age 18 on, women who majored or worked in disciplines perceived as more scientific had substantially weaker science-is-male stereotypes than did men in the same disciplines, with gender differences larger than 0.

Further, particularly for women, differences in the strength of implicit stereotypes across scientific disciplines corresponded with the strength of scientific values held by women in the disciplines. These results are discussed in the context of dual process theory of mental operation and balanced identity theory.

The findings point to the need for longitudinal study of the factors' affecting development of adults' and, especially, children's implicit gender stereotypes and scientific identity. These trends—slow, halting progress into STEM for women and declining interest for men—may explain why leaders in STEM fields are concerned with recruitment and retention of everyone, regardless of sex, but also draw attention to the persisting sex difference in pursuit a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists STEM-related careers.

Even with men's sagging interest, in 2008 they were still more than twice as likely as women to pursue and earn an undergraduate STEM degree. Eliminating the apparent ceiling on women's STEM interest has long been a national priority, its causes and possible remedies the focus of extensive research and debate e. Increasing attention has been paid to the variation in women's representation across different STEM domains e. Figure 1 plots the percentage of women earning the bachelor's degrees awarded in various major STEM fields from 1966 to 2008.

In 2006, among employed U.

Thus, in the professional scientific ranks, biological and health sciences are characterized by relatively high female-male ratios, at 1: The Influence of Stereotypes Recent studies indicate that variability in women's engagement across STEM fields reflects patterns of early-developing childhood interests, and that these interests may be influenced by stereotypes and by inadequate information about the nature of opportunities in different scientific domains Ceci and Williams, 2011 ; Cheryan, 2012 ; Eccles, 2007 ; Kaminski and Geisler, 2012.

Although stereotypes about gender and STEM e. A naturalistic observational study of families at science museums seems to illustrate the independence of explicit and implicit gender—science stereotypes. Here were parents that, ostensibly, were working to expose both their girls and boys to science, yet, unknowingly, were engaging more, teaching more, a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists the boys. If asked, these parents would doubtless say and believe —explicitly—that they are equally committed to the best possible science education for their child of either sex; that's why they were visiting the science museum!

But Crowley et al. Such unconscious sex-differentiated patterns in adults' interaction with children in the science domain are the sort that Galdi et al.

The induced implicit stereotyping differences, in turn, were found to mediate stereotype-consistent effects on the girls' math performance, while there were no effects of explicit endorsement of math—gender stereotypes. If parents' and teachers' unconscious behaviors systematically suggest that certain STEM a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists are more fitting for one sex than the other, the effect on children's implicit stereotypes, accumulating from a very young age, may differentially influence interest, accomplishment and persistence in particular sciences.

Relations between Gender Ratios and Stereotypes Our data allowed investigation of whether variation in female representation across scientific disciplines is associated with differences in the strength of gender—science stereotypes, explicit and implicit, held by men and women in these fields. Current theory and evidence suggests that both explicit and implicit gender—science stereotypes should change as conditions in local environments change, including gender ratios.

In perhaps the most relevant work supporting this idea, Miller et al. Gawronski and Bodenhausen 2006in their associative-propositional evaluation APE model, argue that explicit evaluations, such as stereotypes, ultimately depend on weighing the truth and importance of propositions that come to mind, e. Thus, other factors being equal, physics women should explicitly report a stronger science-is-male association than should biology women.

This is consistent with Eagly and colleagues' social role theory Eagly and Steffens, 1984 ; Eagly et al. Consistent with such a cycle, Inzlicht and Ben-Zeev 2000studying a sample of students from a highly selective private university though not from any particular academic major experimentally demonstrated a connection between gender ratios, stereotypes and academic performance.

They found that women's math, but not verbal, test scores suffered as a function of increased proportion of men in the immediate enviroment. Diekman and Eagly 2000 demonstrated that explicit stereotypes are responsive to changes in women's representation; if gender distributions change, explicit stereotypes follow suit.

Implicit stereotyping, too, should vary with gender ratios. Ratliff and Nosek 2010 demonstrated that implicit associations quickly form in accord with environmental stimuli. Gawronski and Bodenhausen's 2006 APE model specifies that change in implicit evaluation will follow from either a changed structure of mental associations actual strengthening of the associative link between a group and an attribute or from the differential activation of existing structures e.

Thus, for both men and women studying or working in scientific environments with higher male-to-female ratios, we can expect either route to result, on average, in stronger implicit science-is-male stereotyping. Results of studies of change of implicit stereotypes as a function of gender representation in the environment, however, are mixed.

Consequently, Dasgupta 2011 argues that implicit STEM—gender stereotypes are rather intractable, but that their effects can be neutralized a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists the extent that implicit STEM identity is strong, and that the latter strengthens with increased exposure to female faculty and competent STEM peers.

Smyth and colleagues Martin et al. Women's stereotypes, relatively weak to begin with, did not change, but men evidenced statistically significant weakening of their initially strong stereotype. Perhaps the strongest evidence for implicit stereotype change as a function of gender ratios in the local environment comes from change in a leadership-is-male stereotype Dasgupta and Asgari, 2004.

The a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists of women's stereotypes changed a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists the first year of college depending on their degree of contact with female faculty, weakening with greater contact.

Greenwald and colleagues' balanced identity theory BIT of implicit social cognition Greenwald et al. BIT anticipates that change in any one of these three sets of associations—group identity e. Thus, if women's self-identification strengthens with the male-stereotyped field of math, as found by Stout et al. If girls' and women's science identity is strengthened by increased opportunity to interact with female peers and mentors in scientific endeavors as suggested by Dasgupta, 2011then according to BIT we should find weaker science-is-male implicit stereotypes among women in high female-male ratio science fields than among those in low female-male ratio science fields.

In other words, if their self—science associations strengthen, and their self—female associations hold constant, then their counter-stereotypical female—science associations will strengthen—and their stereotypical male—science associations will weaken.

There is abundant evidence that implicit STEM—gender stereotypes are not monolithic, but vary predictably with interest, persistence, and performance in math and science Nosek et al. As predicted by BIT, men and women who identify with science differ substantially in the strength of their implicit gender stereotypes about science and a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists Nosek et al.

For men, stronger science self-concepts are associated with stronger implicit science-is-male bias, while for women stronger science self-concepts coincide with weaker implicit science-is-male bias. Nosek and Smyth 2011studying data from other online volunteers, found a trend of weaker implicit math-is-male stereotyping for both men and women who pursued graduate work in STEM compared to those with only undergraduate training between 0.

Does prolonged exposure to a particular gender-ratio correlate with stereotype strength differences within given fields? That is, do scientists in low-female fields evidence stronger science-is-male stereotypes, and scientists in high-female fields evidence weaker ones, the longer they practice in that field?

Stereotype differences between female and male scientists: Women who are strongly identified with science will have relatively weak implicit stereotypes, while men who are strongly science-identified will have relatively strong ones.

This pattern, already well-established in the literature based on broad classifications like STEM vs. Our data, which includes more detailed distinctions of academic major and profession than collected in other studies of implicit stereotyping in STEM, allows a more fine-grained replication of this well-established pattern. However, owing to a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists endorsement of egalitarian values and social approbation against stereotyping, we expected the explicit stereotyping gender gap to be smaller than for implicit stereotypes.

Stereotype differences as a function of gender ratios in science environments: Science-is-male a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists will be stronger for both women and men in low-female STEM fields than in high-female fields, though sex differences should remain.

For example, women in physics low-female should evidence stronger implicit science-is-male stereotyping than women in biology high-female. The pattern for men in these majors should be similar, even if the means are higher than women's. Again, however, group variation on explicit stereotype means should be somewhat constrained by conscious values and motivations to respond without bias. Prolonged exposure to STEM environments characterized by particular gender ratios will strengthen the corresponding implicit stereotype.

That is, prolonged exposure to low-female environments should strengthen science-is-male stereotyping, while prolonged exposure to high-female environments should weaken it. This hypothesis derives from theory and empirical findings concerning the formation of new implicit associations, and some cross-sectional data that are consistent with dosage effects.

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Nosek and Smyth 2011 found a slight diminution of stereotyping for both men and women reporting graduate study in STEM, compared to those with only undergraduate study, and Miller et al. Neither of these analyses distinguished between types of STEM fields. In the current data, we expect increasing stereotype-strength from age 18 to age 22 among science-declared college students in low-female fields, and a declining trend a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists high-female fields.

Similar patterns should be found across increasing levels of training e.

Original Research ARTICLE

That is, whether for an undergraduate woman majoring in physics or a female professor of physics, the propositions to weigh will likely involve, on average 1 the fact of the majority-male field and 2 assessments of personal, or other women's, accomplishments. If noteworthy scientific accomplishments by women come to mind easier for women who have been in the field longer, we might expect a diminution of the explicit stereotype.

But if the intractability of the gender-ratio in the field is more salient for these women, their stereotype self-reports might strengthen. To the extent that these different framings are idiosyncratically applied by individuals, systematic change across cohorts would seem unlikely. Study Overview We tested these predictions with over 176,000 visitors to a publicly accessible educational website https: Our data are cross-sectional, so differences across age or level of training can only be considered suggestive of change.

A particular a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists of our sample is inclusion of thousands of STEM majors, whereas most other research on implicit STEM associations has been conducted with small samples. A public website, known as Project Implicit, was launched in September 1998 with the purpose of heightening public awareness of implicit social a discussion of the stereotypes concerning scientists and artists, and alerting participants to the possibility that mental associations outside of their awareness or control might differ from their consciously held attitudes Nosek et al.

Though the sample is not representative of a definable population other than that of visitors to the Project Implicit site, it reflects greater age and education variation than the samples of college students that characterize much research. Seventy percent of participants were female, and racial identifications, in order of proportion, were White, 81. An Hispanic ethnicity was reported by 6.