Women Avoid STEM Degrees to Get Better Grades?

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in books on (#3FV)
story imageCatherine Rampell at The Washington Post has "A message to the nation's women: Stop trying to be straight-A students."

In her analysis of others' findings, she writes of a discouragement gradient that pushes women out of harder college degrees, including economics and other STEM degrees. Men do not seem to have a similar discouragement gradient, so they stay in harder degree programs and ultimately earn more. Data suggests that women might also value high grades more than men do and sort themselves into fields where grading curves are more lenient.
"Maybe women just don't want to get things wrong," Goldin hypothesized. "They don't want to walk around being a B-minus student in something. They want to find something they can be an A student in. They want something where the professor will pat them on the back and say 'You're doing so well!'"

"Guys," she added, "don't seem to give two damns."
Why are women in college moving away from harder degrees?

Re: My Experience (Score: 3, Interesting)

by vanderhoth@pipedot.org on 2014-03-14 11:47 (#J7)

Same here. I started my Com. Sci. program with nearly 400 (not all in one class of course). My university actually reserved, still does, seats for women in the program, which is a huge point of contention because they have a hard time filling them and most of the women who do join, didn't have the grades to be there in the first place and drop out after the first semester.

There were only three women, started with over a hundred, in my graduating class of 70. I'm good friends with one who went on to work for IBM Canada. Of the other two, one's a stay at home Mom, which is still admirable, but you don't need a degree to do it. And I haven't spoken to the other, but I hear through mutual friends she's apparently a hostess for a high end restaurant doing very well for herself. We all graduated at a bad time economically, after 9/11, so I kind of wonder how the rest of my class made out. I'm only still in contact with six, but we're all doing well at jobs in our field.
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