Social science literature about misconceptions of women in STEM

Scientific References












Maine Woods © Elaine Godfrey 2006.

Abilities and Achievements:

Cheryan , S. (2012).  Understanding the paradox in math-related fields: Why do some gender gaps remain while others do not?  Sex Roles, 66, 184–190

Dweck, C. S., & Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95(2), 256-273. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.95.2.256

Else-Quest, N. M., Hyde, J. S., & Linn, M. C. (2010).  Cross-national patterns of gender differences in mathematics: A meta-analysis.  Psychological Bulletin, 136,103-127.

Hyde, J.S., Lindberg, S.M., Linn, M.C., Ellis, A., & Williams, C. (2008). Gender similarities characterize math performance. Science 321, 494–495.

Watt H. M. G., Shapka J. D., Morris Z. A., Durik A. M., Keating D. P., & Eccles J. S. (2012).   Gendered motivational processes affecting high school mathematics participation, educational aspirations, and career plans: A comparison of samples from Australia, Canada, and the United States.  Developmental Psychology, 48, 1594–1611.

Belonging / Identification with STEM:

Angela Byars-Winston, A., Estrada, Y., Howard, C., Davis, D., & Zalapa, J. (2010). Influence of social cognitive and ethnic variables on academic goals of underrepresented students in science and engineering: A multiple-groups analysis.  Journal of Counseling Psychology, 57, 205–218.

Ceci, S. J., Williams, W. M., & Barnett, S. M. (2009). Women’s under representation in science: Sociocultural and biological considerations. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 218-261.

Chemers, M. M.., Zurbriggen, E. L., Syed, M., Goza, B. K., & Bearman, S. (2011).  The role of efficacy and identity in science career commitment among underrepresented minority students.  Journal of Social Issues, 67, 469-491.

Conrad, S., Canetto, S. S., MacPhee, D., & Farro, S. (2009). What attracts high-achieving, socioeconomically-disadvantaged students to the physical sciences and engineering? College Student Journal, 43(4) Part B, 1359-1369.

Diekman, A. B., Clark, E. K., Johnston, A. M., Brown, E. R., & Steinberg, M. (2011). Malleability in communal goals and beliefs influences attraction to STEM careers: Evidence for a goal congruity perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0025199.

Duberley, J. & Cohen, L. (2010). Gendering career capital: An investigation of scientific careers.  Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76, 187-197.

Good, C., Rattan, A., & Dweck, C. S. (2012). Why do women opt out? Sense of belonging and women’s representation in mathematics.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 700-717.

Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Larkin, K. C. (1986). Self-efficacy in the prediction of academic performance and perceived career options.  Journal of Counseling Psychology, 33, 265-269.

Lent, R. W., Brenner, B., Chopra, S. B., Davis, T., Taleyrand, R., & Suthakaran, V. (2001). The role of contextual supports and barriers in the choice of math/science educational options: A test of social cognitive hypotheses.  Journal of Counseling Psychology, 48, 474-483.

Nosek, B. A., Banaji, M. R., & Greenwald, A. G. (2002).  Math =male, me =female, therefore math ≠ me.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 44–59.

Smith, J. L., Lewis, K. L., Hawthorne, L., & Hodges, S. D. (2012).  When trying hard isn’t natural:  Women’s belonging with and motivation for male-dominated STEM fields as a function of effort expenditure concerns.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 131-143.

Stout, J. G., Dasgupta, N., Huntsinger, M., & McManus, M. A. (2001).  STEMing the tide: Using ingroup experts to inoculate women’s self-concept in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, doi: 10.1037/a0021385.

Su, R., Rounds, J., & Armstrong, P. I. (2009). Men and things, women and people: A meta-analysis of sex differences in interests.  Psychological Bulletin, 135, 859–884.

Walton, G. M., Cohen, G. L., Cwir, D., & Spencer, S. J. (2011). Mere belonging: The power of social connections.   Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0025731.

Increasing Women’s Representation:

Canetto, S. S., Trott, C. D., Thomas, J., & Wynstra, C. A. (2012). Making sense of the atmospheric science gender gap: Do female and male graduate students have different career motives, goals, and challenges? Journal of Geoscience Education, 60, 408-416.

Bernstein, B. (2011). Managing barriers and building supports in science and engineering doctoral programs: Conceptual underpinning for a new online training program for women. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 17, 29-50.

Downing, R. A., Crosby, F. J., & Blake-Beard, S. (2005). The perceived importance of developmental relationships on undergraduates’ pursuit of science. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29, 419-426.

Hill, C., Corbett, C., & St. Rose, A. (2010).  Why so few? Women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Published by AAUW.  Retrieved on November 1, 2014

Hosoi, S. A., & Canetto, S. S. (2011). Women in graduate engineering: Is differential dropout a factor in their underrepresentation among the engineering doctorates? Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 17, 11-27.

MacPhee, D., & Canetto, S. S. (2015). Women in academic atmospheric sciences. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 96, 59-67.  

MacPhee, D., Farro, S., & Canetto, S. S. (2013). Academic self-efficacy and performance of underrepresented STEM majors: Gender, ethnic, and social class patterns. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 13, 347-369.

Wilson, T. D., & Linville, P. W. (1985). Improving the performance of college-freshmen with attributional techniques. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 287-293.

Stereotypes about Women in STEM:

Diekman, A. B., Brown, E, R., Johnston, A. M., & Clark, E. K. (2010). Seeking congruity between goals and roles. Psychological Science, 21, 1051-1057.

Nosek, B. A., et al., (2009). National differences in gender-science stereotypes predict national sex differences in science and math achievement.  Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, 106, 10593-10597.

Prentice, D. A., & Carranza, E. (2002). What women and men should be, shouldn’t be, are allowed to be, and don’t have to be: The contents of prescriptive gender stereotypes. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 26, 269-281.

Prentice, D. L, & Carranza, E. (2004). Sustaining cultural beliefs in the face of their violation: The case of gender stereotypes. In M. Schaller & C. S. Crandall (Eds),The psychological foundations of culture. (pp. 259-280). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Scott, A. & Martin, A. (2013).  Gender and racial stereotype endorsement and implications for STEM outcomes among high-achieving underrepresented adolescent females.  Publication by the Level Playing Field Institute.

Sinclair, S., Hardin, C. D., & Lowery, B. S. (2006). Self-stereotyping in the context of multiple social identities.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 529–542.

Swim, J. K., Aikin, K. J., Hall, W. S., & Hunter, B. A. (1995). Sexism and racism: Old-Fashioned and modern prejudices.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 199-214.

Stereotype Threat:

Aronson, J., Fried, C. B., & Good, C. (2002). Reducing the effects of stereotype threat on African American college students by shaping theories of intelligence.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 113-125.

Good, C., Aronson, J., & Inzlicht, M. (2003). Improving adolescents’ standardized test performance: An intervention to reduce the effects of stereotype threat.  Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 24, 645-662.

Spencer, S. J., Steele, C. M., & Quinn, D. M. (1999).  Stereotype threat and women’s math performance.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 35, 4–28.

Work & Family Balance:

Barnett, R. C. & Hyde, J. S. (2001). Women, men, work, and family.  American Psychologist, 56, 781-796.

Deutch, F. M. & Saxon, S. E.  (1998). The double standard of praise and criticism for mothers and fathers. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22, 665-683.

Hodges, A. J. & Park, B. (2013). Oppositional identities: Dissimilarities in How Women and Men Experience Parent Versus Professional Roles.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 192-216.

Hosoi, S. A., & Canetto, S. S. (2009).  Constraints and choices of professional married women who quit careers and head home. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33, 366-367.

Mason, M.A., & Goulden, M. (2004). Marriage and baby blues: Redefining gender equity in the Academy.  ANNALS, American Academy of Political and Social Science, 596, 86–103.

Milke, M. A., Nomaguchi, K. M. & Denny, K. E. (2015).  How Does the Amount of Time Mothers Spend with Children Matter?  Maryland Population Research Center, working paper.  Accessible here.

Park, B., Smith, J. A., & Correll, J. (2008).  ‘‘Having it all’’ or ‘‘doing it all’’? Perceived trait attributes and behavioral obligations as a function of workload, parenthood, and gender.  European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 1156–1164.

Park, B., Smith, J. A., & Correll, J. (2010). The persistence of implicit behavioral associations for moms and dads.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 809–815.


Cohen, G. L., Steele, C. M., & Ross, L. D. (1999). The mentor’s dilemma: Providing critical feedback across the racial divide. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 1302-1318.

Eby, L. T. d. T., Allen, T. D., Hoffman, B. J., Baranik, L. E., Sauer, J. B., . . . & Evans, S. C. (2013). An interdisciplinary meta-analysis of the potential antecedents, correlates, and consequences of protégé perceptions of mentoring. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 441-476.

Ensher, E. A., & Murphy, S. E. (1997). Effects of race, gender, perceived similarity, and contact on mentor relationships. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 50, 460-481.

Pfund, C., Pribbenow, C. M., Branchaw, J., Lauffer, S. M., & Handelsman, J. (2006). The merits of training mentors. Science, 311, 473-474.

Pfund, C., House, S., Spencer, K., Asquith, P., Carney, P., Masters, K. S.,…, Fleming, M. (2013). A research mentor training curriculum for clinical and translational researchers. Clinical and Translational Science, 6, 26-33.

Popular literature and news articles about women and STEM can be found here.