Researchers seeking to explain why women are less likely than men to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers long focused on females’ purported inferior mathematical prowess. But new research suggests a very different explanation: women’s superior abilities in other areas.
In “Not Lack of Ability but More Choice: Individual and Gender Differences in Choice of Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics,” published in Psychological Science, psychologists Ming-Te Wang, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, and Sarah Kenny of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania argue that women who are fully capable of doing STEM work have broader career options than those available to men because their verbal abilities are superior, on average.
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