The Situationist

The Gendered Situation of Math, Humanities, and Romance

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 16, 2011

From the Boston Globe:

Psychologists have found that being stereotyped can subconsciously alter behavior. For example, subtle stereotypes of women being weaker in math and science can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, undermining women’s math and science aptitude. According to a new study, though, even supposedly innocent aspects of daily life can have a similar effect. Women who were briefly exposed to romantic images or a third-party conversation about a romantic relationship were subsequently less interested in math and science, and more interested in the humanities, than if they had been exposed to content related to intelligence or friendship. Men leaned in the opposite direction — towards math and science, and away from humanities — after being exposed to romantic content. Likewise, in a daily diary study, women who reported pursuing romantic goals on a given day were less engaged in math homework on that day or the next day.

Park, L. et al., “Effects of Everyday Romantic Goal Pursuit on Women’s Attitudes toward Math and Science,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (forthcoming).

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One Response to “The Gendered Situation of Math, Humanities, and Romance”

  1. [...] The Gendered Situation of Math, Humanities, and Romance [...]

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