原文標題：In countries with higher gender equality, women are less likely to get STEM degrees
As societies become wealthier and more gender equal, women are less likely to obtain degrees in STEM, according to new research. The researchers call this a “gender-equality paradox.”
The researchers found that, throughout the world, boys’ academic strengths tend to be in science or mathematics, while girls’ strengths are in reading. Students who have personal strengths in science or math are more likely to enter STEM fields, whereas students with reading as a personal strength are more likely to enter non-STEM fields, according to David Geary, professor of psychological sciences in the University of Missouri’s College of Arts and Science.
“Girls, even when their abilities in science equaled or excelled that of boys, often were likely to be better overall in reading comprehension, which relates to higher ability in non-STEM subjects. As a result, these girls tended to seek out other professions unrelated to STEM fields,” he says.
“In countries with greater gender equality, women are actively encouraged to participate in STEM; yet, they lose more girls because of personal academic strengths,” Geary says. “In more liberal and wealthy countries, personal preferences are more strongly expressed. One consequence is that sex differences in academic strengths and interests become larger and have a stronger influence college and career choices than in more conservative and less wealthy countries, creating the gender-equality paradox.”