Finding The Numbers:
Sources of Statistics on Gender and Science
Need the most recent statistics on gender and science for a presentation? a paper? a proposal? or an article? The fastest, easiest way to get them is to find them yourself. And, no, you don't need to be a statistician to do it; all you need is web access and the URLs listed below.
National Assessment of Educational Progress: Math
Tables of math test scores, for female and male students, are provided for fourth and eighth graders nationally from 1990-2009. Tables of scores from participating states, broken out by sex, are provided for 2009. Mean scores are reported, as are percentages of students scoring at Basic, Proficient and Advanced levels. Comparisons are available by race/ethnicity, by income and for students with disabilities and English language learners. Twelfth grade scores will be available in 2010.
National Assessment of Educational Progress: Science
Tables of science test scores from 1996-2005, for female and male students, are provided for fourth, eighth and twelfth graders nationally. Tables of scores from participating states, broken out by sex, are provided for 2005. Mean scores are reported, as are percentages of students scoring at Basic, Proficient, and Advanced levels. Comparisons are also available by race/ethnicity, by income and for students with disabilities and English language learners. Scores for the groups listed above are not broken out by sex.
2009 College Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile Report
2009 Scholastic Achievement Tests (SAT) scores are reported by sex and for female and male students of different races/ethnicities. Other tables provide the number of math and science courses female and male students took, their grade point averages and high school rank, and the number and percent of female and male students taking specific courses. Unfortunately intended college majors are no longer broken out by sex.
American College Testing (ACT) Annual Profile: Math and Science
Tables of 2009 ACT math and science scores and the science and math courses taken by ACT test takers, are broken out by sex. Comparisons of ACT math and science scores are also available by race/ethnicity. Scores for different racial/ethnic groups are not broken out by sex.
Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering
Tables are provided by sex and for female and male students of different races/ethnicities on undergraduate enrollment, undergraduate degrees, graduate enrollment, graduate degrees, postdoc status, and employment. Tables also report the data for female and male students with disabilities. The tables are updated as new information becomes available.
Information on male and female achievement and participation in the sciences and mathematics are easily available but rarely is the information broken out for girls and boys or women and men from different racial and ethnic groups. However, with only slightly more effort, you can generate tables with this more complex information yourself.
NAEP Data Explorer: National Assessment of Educational Progress
With the Data Explorer, you can create tables that look at similarities and differences in the math and science achievement of female and male students from different groups over time. You can also create tables that look at changes in sex differences over time or in differences in the performance of, for example, African American eighth grade girls over time. There are step by step directions that are easy to follow (really) and a tutorial.
This is not as easy to use as the other resources, but with it you can access a LOT of information related to gender and the sciences from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Survey of Earned Doctorates, the Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and the NSF-NIH (National Institutes of Health) Survey of Graduate Students & Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering. Among the information you can generate are enrollment and degree data tables for women and men broken out by as such variables as discipline, race/ethnicity, and citizenship. Tables can be generated on enrollment and degree attainment as well as types and sources of support for graduate and postgraduate education for female and male students broken out by a variety of other demographic variables as well.
FairerScience is a joint project of the Wellesley Centers for Women and Campbell-Kibler Associates, Inc. funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Research on Gender in Science and Engineering Program. Production of this material was made possible by a grant from the NSF. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the funders.
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