What is it about?
Gender differences in science interest, motivation, and self-beliefs have been seen as a major factor in explaining the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) jobs. We meta-analysed 763 effect sizes from 176 published studies representing 287, 352 students. We found that most gender differences in STEM self-beliefs, interest value, task value, cost-benefit assessment, and utility value were trivial or small. Only 4 of 31 meta-analysis effect sizes were classed as moderate, and none were large. Studies generally disagreed on how big gender differences were and even whether they favoured boys or girls. Moderators: 1. Richer students had larger gender differences than poorer. 2. Students in more gender-equal countries had bigger gender differences than in less gender-equal countries. 3. Despite identifying significant moderators we couldn’t explain most of the differences between studies.
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Why is it important?
Gender differences in STEM motivation and self-beliefs are mostly small and vary a lot between studies. We don’t yet know why studies differ so much.
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This page is a summary of: The Intersection of Gender, Social Class, and Cultural Context: a Meta-Analysis, Educational Psychology Review, July 2019, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s10648-019-09493-1.
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