JSM 2011 Online Program

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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 579
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Social Statistics Section
Abstract - #300542
Title: Gender Gap in Postsecondary Education Trajectory in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Fields
Author(s): Xiaolei Wang*+
Companies: American Institutes for Research
Address: 1990 K St. NW, Washington, DC, 20006,
Keywords: gender studies ; longitudinal data ; STEM education

The study investigated the gender gaps in persistency in postsecondary education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, and how individual, family, and school characteristics are related to this educational outcome. Data for this study came from National Educational Longitudinal Survey. A nationally representative sample of eighth-graders was first surveyed in the spring of 1988, and then followed up in 1990, 1992, 1994, and 2000 (2000 is the year in which most sample members were 8 years removed from high school enrollment). Multinomial logistic regression methods were used to evaluate gender differences. The results of the study showed gender gaps in the likelihood of persisting in postsecondary education in STEM fields: men were more likely than women to persist in STEM fields. Such a gap remained statistically significant after high school achievement in math, reading, and science, as well as other individual, family, and high school characteristics variables were controlled for. Furthermore, results showed interaction effects in educational trajectory between gender and academic preparation variables and family variables.

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