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Article

Why Not STEM? A Study Case on the Influence of Gender Factors on Students’ Higher Education Choice

1
Department of Computer Architecture and Computer Technology, University of Granada, 18014 Granada, Spain
2
Department of Statistic and Operational Research, University of Granada, 18003 Granada, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Michael Voskoglou and David Pugalee
Mathematics 2022, 10(2), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/math10020239
Received: 5 November 2021 / Revised: 6 December 2021 / Accepted: 7 January 2022 / Published: 13 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in STEM Education)
The gender gap in STEM-related job positions is a fact, and it is closely related to the low percentage of women studying STEM degrees. This poses a problem because Europe, as well as the United States and the rest of the developed countries, keep demanding the best engineers and scientists to continue developing innovative products. This problem can thus be approached by answering, firstly, the following question: Why are women not studying STEM degrees? In this paper, we summarize the factors, found in literature, that influence students—both boys and girls—to not study STEM, particularly engineering, computer sciences and technology. We study these influence factors in a sample of N = 338 students from a secondary school placed in the south of Spain; we carry out a survey in order to find out if those students fill out the same answers other researchers have found and published in the related literature. Our main conclusions are as follows: The results confirm that the number of women in technical courses decreases when the level of the course increases; the lack of role models is not an impediment for girls to feel comfortable; unlike boys, girls will not choose engineering, even if their scoring in STEM is good; and we found that girls and women see themselves as not capable of studying an engineering degree more than boys and men do. These results contribute to a deeper understanding of the situation regarding the gender gap in STEM fields in ages in which both girls and boys must choose their future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: STEM; gender gap in STEM; engineering perception; high school education; women in science STEM; gender gap in STEM; engineering perception; high school education; women in science
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MDPI and ACS Style

de las Cuevas, P.; García-Arenas, M.; Rico, N. Why Not STEM? A Study Case on the Influence of Gender Factors on Students’ Higher Education Choice. Mathematics 2022, 10, 239. https://doi.org/10.3390/math10020239

AMA Style

de las Cuevas P, García-Arenas M, Rico N. Why Not STEM? A Study Case on the Influence of Gender Factors on Students’ Higher Education Choice. Mathematics. 2022; 10(2):239. https://doi.org/10.3390/math10020239

Chicago/Turabian Style

de las Cuevas, Paloma, Maribel García-Arenas, and Nuria Rico. 2022. "Why Not STEM? A Study Case on the Influence of Gender Factors on Students’ Higher Education Choice" Mathematics 10, no. 2: 239. https://doi.org/10.3390/math10020239

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