Variables impacting the supply of majority female and male scientists and engineers
AuthorMcClure, Gregory Todd, 1995-
Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations.
AdvisorLeslie, Larry L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study is to improve understanding of the reasons women are less likely than men to choose to study collegiate-level physical science and engineering and why women have lower rates than men of working in the physical science and engineering occupations. The theoretical frameworks used to examine these questions are self-efficacy, as formulated by the psychologist Albert Bandura, and peer influence, as suggested by the anthropologists Holland and Eisenhart: It is important to note that self-efficacy and peer influences evolve throughout the lifetime, and differences in genders began to diverge dramatically at adolescence. This study, however, is primarily concerned with post-secondary outcomes and recommendations. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979-1993 (NLSY) with an N = 12686 was utilized to create the database for this study. The analysis used an econometric method, multinomial logit analysis, to infer which of 30 some independent factors affect the mutually exclusive outcomes of majoring or working in other than the sciences and engineering, majoring or working in the biological sciences, and majoring or working in the physical sciences or engineering. The independent factors were those suggested by previous readings of the literature, e.g., demographics and high school attainment variables, as well as those additional independent factors available through the NLSY that pertain to self-efficacy and peer influence. The findings indicate that strong evidence exists to support both self-efficacy and peer influence. The results suggest convincing linkages between self-efficacy and the eventual major and occupation in the physical science and engineering. This study also reveals that peer influences are especially important in developing college major and career aspirations of girls and women.
Degree ProgramGraduate College