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September 12, 2012 AT 7:05 am

The Trouble with Barbie Science

The-Trouble-With-Barbie-Science 1Adafruit 466

The Trouble with Barbie Science @ Scientific American by Diana Betz…

However, when Dr. Denise Sekaquaptewa and I put “glamorous” STEM role models to the test, the results were not promising. In our study, middle school girls received one of four packets containing interviews and photos of three college women. One quarter of the girls saw feminine STEM role models: women wearing pastel-colored clothes and make-up, described as successful in math or science and fond of fashion magazines. The rest of the girls saw role models with some combination of these features: women who were good at STEM, but not particularly feminine (wearing plainer clothes, simply enjoying reading); feminine women who were smart, but not explicitly in STEM; or not-so-girly women succeeding in non-STEM fields.

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