SEO Headline (Max 60 characters)

Kids More Likely to Draw Scientists as Women

March 20, 2018

Ask a child to draw a scientist, and she’s more likely than ever to draw a woman. That’s according to a new study in Child Development. Researchers analyzed 78 “draw-a-scientist” studies dating back to the 1960s, involving 20,000 kids in kindergarten through 12th grade. Between 1966 and 1977, the paper says, less than 1 percent of U.S. kids chose to draw a woman when prompted to draw a scientist. But in studies from 1985 to 2016, 28 percent of children drew a female scientist, on average, with both girls and boys drawing women more often over time. Girls still drew female scientists much more often than boys, however.

“Our results suggest that children’s stereotypes change as women’s and men’s roles change in society,” co-author Alice Eagly, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, said in a statement. “Children still draw more male than female scientists in recent studies, but that is expected because women remain a minority in several science fields.” Eagly and her co-authors also looked at how children form stereotypes about gender and science and found that they don’t begin to associate science with men until grade school.

Share Article

Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

Back to Top