Is there a gender-equality paradox in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)? Commentary on the study by Stoet and Geary (2018)

Sarah S. Richardson*, Meredith W. Reiches, Joe Bruch, Marion Boulicault, Nicole E. Noll, Heather Shattuck-Heidorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In the corrected version of their 2018 article, Stoet and Geary (Corrigendum issued 2019) responded to our identification of a mismatch between their numbers for women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with tertiary degrees and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2015) data they sourced. They clarified that their numbers do not represent the percentage of women among STEM graduates, as they had originally stated. Rather, their numbers represent a ratio, which they claim measures the “propensity” for women compared with men to earn a tertiary degree in STEM in a given country (p. 584). The use of this measure in combination with the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), a contested (Else-Quest & Hamilton, 2018; Hawken & Munck, 2013) composite measure of nation-level gender equality increasingly employed in similar studies advancing the hypothesis of a gender-equality paradox (e.g., Falk & Hermle, 2018), raises methodological and empirical questions about their claims that there is a gender-equality paradox in STEM and that a larger gender gap in STEM achievement in high gender-equality countries is evidence of baseline sex differences in career and educational preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-341
Number of pages4
JournalPsychological Science
Volume31
Issue number3
Early online date11 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

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