New Study Finds That Despite More Women In Science, We Still Perceive Women To Be Incompatible With Stem Fields

superhero-534120_960_720Is First Study to Examine How Stereotypes of Scientists Overlap with Stereotypes of Men.

WELLESLEY, Mass., March 28, 2016

Key Findings:

  • People consistently perceive scientists to possess qualities that are culturally linked to stereotypes about men. Specific stereotypes about men (e.g. they are risk-taking) overlap with stereotypes about scientists.
  • Stereotypes about women (e.g. they are “communal”) are not only still prevalent but work against perceptions that women can be successful scientists. This may lead to obstacles to women in the STEM disciplines.
  • Only students at all-women colleges (as compared to both women and men at co-ed institutions) saw a meaningful similarity between how women and scientists are perceived.
  • Results suggest attending a women’s college, and the exposure to prominent female scientists that may come with it, can lead to women being more likely to see their gender as suited for careers in science.
  • The greater number of women working in a particular field, the greater a perceived similarity between women and scientists existed. The number of men in a particular field, however, does not change perceived similarities.

As the science community reels from ongoing revelations of sexual harassment and discrimination, a new study in Psychology of Women Quarterly, by Wellesley College researcher Linda Carli, offers important clues as to how women scientists are perceived and how stereotypes might lead to prejudicial treatment. The paper, entitled “Stereotypes About Gender and Science: Women is not equal to Science,” shows that despite significant progress made, women are still thought to lack the qualities needed to be successful scientists, and the findings suggest this may contribute to discrimination and prejudice against women in those fields. Carli is a senior lecturer in psychology at Wellesley and is an authority on gender discrimination and the challenges faced by professional women. The article is currently online and is forthcoming in print.

Carli’s research adds critical background data to the on-going conversation jumpstarted by women scientists disclosing years of abuse and discrimination. For example, one professor recently published a New York Times op-ed about her own experience, suggesting the reality of discrimination and even abuse could explain why there are fewer women in STEM fields.

Carli’s research specifically compared how men, women, and scientists (as categories of people) are perceived by both genders. Little research has been done on the topic of how scientists as a group are perceived, and even though much work has looked at gender stereotypes and stereotypes for leaders, for example, there previously had been no study that considered the overlap of gender stereotypes with stereotypes about scientists, Carli said.

“Common cultural stereotypes about women, men, and scientists lead people to see women as incompatible with science,” said Carli. “Men are especially prone to this bias, but everyone shares it. This may result in prejudice (a dislike of female scientists compared with men) and discrimination against them.”

The study also used students at an all-women’s college (Wellesley, where Carli teaches) to gauge the effect this environment might have on stereotypes. Approaching the research in this way led Carli to uncover a surprising and telling contrast between women in this setting and women and men at coeducational institutions. Only the women from her study who attended a single-sex college saw a meaningful similarity between women and scientists. Says Carli, “Women at coed institutions saw very little similarity and men saw none at all. It may be that women attending women’s colleges have greater exposure to female scientists, and this may shift their stereotypes about successful scientists to be more like women.” She adds, “Research on leadership suggests that media exposure to female leaders, such as Madeleine Albright, Angela Merkel, and Janet Yellen, increases peoples’ perception that women can be good leaders. But people have little exposure to prominent female scientists. Going to a women’s college may correct that problem.”

Support for this view comes from Wellesley itself. Wellesley College alumnae are awarded more science and engineering doctorates than female graduates of any other liberal arts college in the nation. (Alumnae in STEM fields include theMassachusetts Institute of Technology researcher, Nergis Mavalvala, who was part of the team that recently discovered proof of gravitational waves.) Among Wellesley’s top ten majors are neuroscience, biological sciences, computer science, and math.

A closer look at Carli’s research shows that scientists are perceived as more “agentic” (e.g. risk-taking and competitive), and that these characteristics have the greatest overlap with how men are also perceived. Women are thought to be more “communal,” associated with qualities like helpfulness and kindness. She writes in the paper, “[T]he overall image of successful scientists appears to be one of exaggerated masculinity, but with fewer of the more negative qualities associated with masculinity.”

Her research was comprised of two different studies. In the first, participants were given a set of descriptive terms and asked to use them to describe the characteristics of a randomly assigned group (‘adult man’, or ‘adult woman’, or ‘successful scientist’) and to place each term on a five-point scale, with one [1] representing “not characteristic.” The aim was to examine the overlap of stereotypes about women and men and to see if the gender of the participant had an effect on how they viewed these groups.

The second study looked at particular fields in science (e.g. biology) and examined if the number of women actually working in that discipline had an effect on how women were perceived. Like the first study, these participants were asked to describe the characteristics of a randomly assigned group; instead of ‘successful scientist’, the category was, for example, ‘successful biologist’.

While generally women also perceive men and scientists to share more similarities than they feel their own gender shares with scientists, Carli’s study did find that women were “more inclined to attribute to their own gender a somewhat greater degree of agency, and to perceive a somewhat greater similarity of women to successful scientist [than men did].” She also found that the greater number of women working in a particular field, the greater a perceived similarity between women and scientists existed. However, the number of men in a particular field does not change perceived similarities. She wrote, “[G]iven that people discriminate against women even in gender-neutral fields…, it may be that women have to predominate in a field before people perceive them as having the same role congruity [similarity between their gender and their field’s perceived characteristics] as men.”

Carli argues the implications of her study are clear. As she wrote in the paper, “These data suggest that the challenges women face as potential scientists may go beyond the perception that science is a poor match with women’s communal goals or that more scientists are men [and] not women.” Her findings are also a call to action. We must be “more aware of these potential biases and attempt to compensate for them in evaluating women and girls in STEM,” she argues in the article.

About Linda Carli

Linda Carli is the author (with Alice Eagly) of Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders, published in conjunction with the Center for Public Leadership of the Kennedy School of Government. The book received the 2008 Distinguished Publication Award from the Association of Women in Psychology; an article based on the book received a McKinsey Award as the second most significant article published in the Harvard Business Review in 2007. In 2001, she co-edited (with Eagly) a volume of the Journal of Social Issues that focused on women leaders. Her research focuses on the effects of gender on women’s leadership, group interaction, communication, influence, and reactions to adversity. She has taught atWellesley since 1991.

About Wellesley College

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to some 2,400 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 75 countries.

Press Contact:
Sofiya Cabalquinto, Wellesley College, 917-691-7558,
Chris Hennessy, Wellesley College, 781-283-3201,

Provided by Newswise, online resource for knowledge-based news at


SOURCE Wellesley College

Related Links

Related Post

67 thoughts on “New Study Finds That Despite More Women In Science, We Still Perceive Women To Be Incompatible With Stem Fields

  • October 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    F*ckin’ remarkable things here. I am very glad to see your article. Thanks a lot and i am looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  • November 4, 2017 at 2:32 am

    I am very happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  • November 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Can I simply say what a aid to search out someone who truly knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know easy methods to convey an issue to gentle and make it important. Extra individuals need to learn this and perceive this aspect of the story. I cant believe youre no more fashionable since you positively have the gift.

  • November 11, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Hey! I just noticed this website and I really enjoy it. I also like to speak about upvc back doors from time to time. Good to be around, cheers!

  • November 14, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Hi there! I know this is somewhat off-topic but I had to ask. Does building a well-established blog such as yours require a massive amount work? I’m completely new to writing a blog however I do write in my diary daily. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

  • November 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Hey! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!

  • November 17, 2017 at 3:16 am

    Howdy can you let me know which blogging platform you’re utilizing? I’m seeking to get started with my very own site on Arvind Pandit very soon though I am having trouble choosing.

  • November 24, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Thank you for this wonderful article! I definitely enjoyed it.I’ll remember to bookmark this page and definitely will return very soon. I wish to encourage you to definitely keep going with the fine writing, perhaps blog about intercom installation as well, have a good day!

  • November 24, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    I’m now not positive the place you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time finding out much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

  • November 26, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Hello there, what do you really feel regarding how to increase twitter followers? Very great idea, huh?

  • November 26, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Our LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) HGV training is based in East London, and our LGV/ HGV courses are taught by qualified DVSA LGV & HGV trainers. LGV was formerly known as HGV, where it used to be referred to as HGV Class 2 (now called LGV Category C) and HGV class 1 (Now called LGV Category C+E).

  • November 28, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Appreciating the time and energy you invested in this website and thorough info you present. It’s nice to discover a blog once in a while which isn’t the same expired re-written information. Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I am adding the RSS feeds to my free hd movies online webpage.

  • November 28, 2017 at 11:45 am

    It was actually great reading this info and I feel you are entirely correct. Inform me if you are curious about personal injury, that is my main competence. I am hoping to check back with you soon enough, cheers!

  • November 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    I felt great to read this info and I think you are absolutely correct. Tell me if you are interested in best ethereum exchange, this is my principal competence. I really hope to hear from you soon, take good care!

  • November 30, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I personally arrived over here via some other web address relating to push lawn mower reviews and thought I might as well check this out. I enjoy what I see therefore now I am following you. Looking forward to going over your site again.

  • December 5, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    I was speaking with a friend of mine around this info and regarding canon printer help too. I feel you made a few great points in this case, we’re looking forward to find out more information from you.

  • December 6, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    I was discussing with a buddy of mine on this info and regarding bitcoin exchange too. I feel you made some very good points in this case, we’re also excited to keep reading material from you.

  • December 8, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    You are completely correct, I’d like to know more on this topic! I am also captivated by freight charges because I feel it is very cool currently. Thanks.

  • December 9, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you very much for discussing this info, I saved this page. I am furthermore searching for guidance regarding shipping options, do you know where I can come across a thing such as that? I will be back very soon!

  • December 12, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I was speaking with a buddy of mine on this info and also about how to find a mesothelioma lawyer too. I think you made a number of great points in this article, we are excited to continue reading stuff from you.

  • December 13, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    My spouse and I absolutely adore your blog and find a lot of your blogposts to be precisely what I’m seeking. Would you offer people to write information for you? I wouldn’t mind producing an article relating to full movies online or perhaps on many of the topics you’re writing about here. Great blog!

  • December 14, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is awesome, great written and include approximately all vital infos. I would like to peer extra posts like this .

  • December 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    You completed several good points there. I did a search on the subject and found mainly people will consent with your blog.

  • December 17, 2017 at 6:57 am

    There is terrific modifications on the style of the website, I certainly love this. My website is dealing with stream movies and now there are plenty of stuff to be done, I’m yet still a starter in website development. Take good care!

  • January 9, 2018 at 2:53 am

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  • January 28, 2018 at 12:00 am

    You’re definitely correct, I’d love to know new info on the topic! I am also interested by certified income as I consider it’s quite cool nowadays. Keep it up!

  • February 1, 2018 at 5:39 am

    wh0cd30171 [url=]tadacip[/url]

  • February 3, 2018 at 2:46 am

    I cling on to listening to the reports speak about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i get some?

  • February 3, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    You’re absolutely correct. I liked looking through this and I will get back for more as quick as possible. Our internet site is on the subject of free instagram likes, you might check it out if you’re interested in that.

  • February 6, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    wh0cd30171 [url=]order phenergan online[/url]

  • February 10, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Hello there could you let me know which blogging platform you’re working with? I’m going to get started with my own website on commercial real estate companies in the future yet I’m having trouble making a choice.

  • February 12, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    I was discussing with a buddy of mine about this article and also about forex auto trader too. I feel you made a lot of good points here, we are excited to find out more stuff from you.

  • February 14, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    I am curious to learn just what website platform you’re using? I am having some minor protection issues with my most recent website related to ecojobs and I’d like to find something far more safe. Have any suggestions?

  • February 21, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    There are actually great modifications on the structure of this site, I truly like it. My own is about websites to watch free movies and certainly, there are quite a lot of things to do, I am yet still a novice in website creation. Take care!

  • February 22, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Al Hadi AC Refrigration and Repairing is committed to giving your ACs a new lease of life. We have a team of experienced professionals which has serviced more than a 1000 units, much to the satisfaction of our clients. The effort at Al Hadi has always been to service a call in the shortest span of time and to close it with a happy client. The referrals we get is a testimony to our work. Try our services today!

  • February 23, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing this, I saved this website. I am additionally in need of data about real estates, are you aware where I can find one thing such as this? I will be back very soon!

  • February 24, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Thank you a llot for ρroviding iindividuals wқth such a terrific pⲟssiblity to read articles and blⲟg posts from here.

    It’s always so pleasurable ɑnd also packed with ffun for me personally and mʏ
    office peerѕ to search tthe blog at least 3 times weekly to find out tthe newest guіdes youu have ցot.
    Not to mention, I’m just always happy consіⅾering the
    eye-popping things you serve. Ϲertain 4 ideas in this article arre basically the simpllest we have had.

  • February 24, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    You’re absolutely right! I really enjoyed looking through this info and I will come back for more straight away. My own site is on real estate rentals, you can take a glance if you happen to be interested in this.

  • February 24, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    I like the things you guys are up to. This type of smart effort and reporting! Continue the amazing effort guys, I have added you to asthma triggers web page.

  • February 25, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Dr.Punnet and her Teams are really a great cheater in Delhi for IVF, initially they say we will provide world best technology but after getting all money they all can’t do any thing and again repeat cycle or again take money for evry cycle same money, they all are playing with the emotions of allots of couples, God will never forgive you Dr. Puneet. this is very bad clinic, this is only earning money nothing else, avoid this doctor, try in AIIMS, GANGA RAM ANY OTHER Government hospitals are better, all private IVF centre are cheaters, maainly Dr. Puneet is great cheater in Delhi.

  • February 26, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks

  • February 27, 2018 at 8:05 am

    You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  • February 27, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    My partner and I unquestionably enjoy your site and find a majority of the articles to be exactly I am seeking. Would you offer other people to post content for you? I wouldn’t mind creating a piece of text relating to fruit diet or perhaps on a lot of the subjects you are writing about here. Great blog!

  • February 28, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    There is terrific developments on the design of your site, I truly love it! My website is dealing with sports online and presently there are quite a lot of stuff to do, I am yet still a newcomer in web page design. Be careful!

  • March 5, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Hi there! This is my first reply on this site so I really wanted to give a quick hello and say I really enjoy reading your articles. Can you recommend any other websites that cover home design? I am likewise extremely intrigued by this! Many thanks!

  • March 5, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Are you tired of your ac repair in Dubai? Are you looking for Certified Professionals to carry out your ac repair with improved facilities and in an expert way?. Hot and humid conditions are not easy to tolerate, especially when you are not used to them. But, thanks to the air conditioners – living in such extreme settings can also become a pleasant experience, and more so if you are in Dubai.

  • March 6, 2018 at 4:31 am

    Hi, I do believe this іs an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it
    😉 I am gⲟіhg to revіsit once ɑgain since I boоkmarked
    it. Money and freedom iѕ the greatest way to changе, mɑy you be rich and continue tօ help other

  • March 6, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    I enjoy what you guys are up to. Such cool effort and coverage! Continue the fantastic effort guys, I have included you on our sofa cleaning services webpage.

  • March 7, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks a bunch for this excellent article! I seriously liked it.I’ll ensure that I save your site and will often come back from now on. I wish to suggest that you keep going with the good job, even discuss best couch cleaner too, have a great morning!

  • March 7, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    I always look over your posts thoroughly. I am also focused on microsoft office excel, you could discuss that sometimes. Have a great day.

  • March 8, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Hey there could you inform me which blog platform you are dealing with? I am seeking to start off my personal site on bitcoin to kuwaiti dinar in the near future yet I am having trouble making the decision.

  • March 9, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Appreciating the time and effort you invested in your site and in depth material you provide. It really is nice to come across a website from time to time which isn’t the similar obsolete rehashed content. Wonderful read! I have bookmarked your webpage and I’m including the RSS feeds to my facility systems blog.

  • March 10, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    I felt wonderful reading this article and I believe you are really right. Let me know in case you are involved in home design, that is my primary competence. I am hoping to see you in the near future, be careful!

  • March 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    I’m really intrigued to find out which website platform you are using? I am having some minor protection problems with my latest blog about parking violation and I’d love to find something much more secure. Have you got any alternatives?

  • March 19, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Hi there excellent blog! Does running a blog like this require a massive amount work?
    I have very little knowledge of computer programming however I had been hoping to start my own blog soon.
    Anyhow, should you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off subject but I simply
    needed to ask. Many thanks!

  • March 20, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    I was speaking to a friend of mine regarding this and also regarding traffic violation too. I think you made a number of good points in this case, we’re also looking forward to find out more information from you.

  • March 21, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Many thanks for your amazing post! I really liked reading it.I will be sure to take note of this page and will often come back from now on. I wish to suggest that you continue your wonderful job, even comment on test credit card numbers as well, have a good day!

  • March 22, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    ANPC is a free nation for and by the living men and women of the earth. This Private Nation is a grassroots association based out of Indonesia having its own International Charter, Peace Treaty, Constitution, Rules of conduct and has adopted the Declaration of Human Rights. These Treaties have been Registered by International Notice to the Hague and World Court as well as other agencies worldwide. The entire goal and mission of ANPC is WORLD PEACE and freedom for all the nationals of the world, focusing on a peaceful gathering together of all tribes and nations. Our living men and women are to live as Peaceful Inhabitants on the land, striving always to create a better world today and for future generations.

  • March 27, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    [url=]build business plan[/url] business plan format[url=]dissertation thesis[/url] printing writing paper[url=]research paper[/url] research paper[url=]help dissertation writing[/url] research paper[url=]paper tole[/url] OK’

  • April 5, 2018 at 6:57 am

    [url=]аренда теплохода в Москве[/url]

  • April 6, 2018 at 12:17 am

    I have not checked in here for some time as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  • April 11, 2018 at 7:00 am

    sex video with children

    [url=]Prick, Dick, Cunt, Pussy[/url]

  • April 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    wh0cd156099 [url=]estrace cream prices[/url] [url=]cialis[/url] [url=]prednisolone[/url] [url=]medication methotrexate[/url] [url=]diflucan[/url]

  • April 13, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Fabriqué avec une crosse plus épaisse, une garde croisée plus complète et droite et Adidas Superstar Femme Rose un pommeau martelé; il a également fait l’expérience des rondelles de cuir compressées maintenant célèbres à la poignée. Envie de marcher sur la lune? ?C’est peut-être l’évaluation la plus flatteuse de Lunar: les consommateurs sont persuadés que les chaussures de sport ultimes devraient posséder les caractéristiques suivantes: excellente absorption des chocs, stabilité accrue et légèreté adéquate. Ils portaient un mélange de chapeaux qui ne convenaient pas à vos conditions. Par conséquent, pour obtenir toutes les différentes sortes d’étiquettes disponibles à la vente tout ce que vous avez à faire est de regarder les différentes variétés qu’ils donnent. ?Il y avait 3 caissiers dans chaque file d’attente et une personne supplémentaire aidant à l’emballage!? Se plaignaient certaines personnes. Au sommet de la colline, [url=]Adidas Gazelle[/url] il y a le Sacré Coeur, un monument magnifique qui présente une architecture byzantine et romaine.

Comments are closed.