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Curr Dir Psychol Sci. 2010 Oct 1;19(5):275-279.

Sex Differences in Math-Intensive Fields.

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1
Cornell University.

Abstract

Despite impressive employment gains in many fields of science, women remain underrepresented in fields requiring intensive use of mathematics. Here we discuss three potential explanations for women's underrepresentation: (a) male-female mathematical and spatial ability gaps, (b) sex discrimination, and (c) sex differences in career preferences and lifestyle choices. Synthesizing findings from psychology, endocrinology, sociology, economics, and education leads to the conclusion that, among a combination of interrelated factors, preferences and choices-both freely made and constrained-are the most significant cause of women's underrepresentation.

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