There is a relationship between the gender gap in STEM careers and sexual harassment in Universities

Scientific evidence platform Scientific evidence There is a relationship between the gender gap in STEM careers and sexual harassment in Universities

Many universities have recently reported, in the revision of the enrollment rate of women in STEM careers, a decrease in the numbers of enrollments and the consequent increase in the gender gap. This reality occurs despite the increase, on the contrary, of initiatives to encourage and awaken interest and passion for these professional careers. At the same time organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, denounce the high existence of sexual harassment in STEM disciplines. However, gender-based violence in universities is not yet considered the main factor because of there are fewer women in STEM careers.


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Some studies report a correlation between male-dominated fields (such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and sexual harassment, and at the same time, suffering sexual harassment is directly related to lower rates of engagement of female students (Aycock et al., 2019; Leaper & Starr, 2018; Ilies et al., 2003).

Aycock, L.M., Hazari, Z., Brewe, E., Clancy, K., Hodapp, T., & Goertzen, R. (2019). Sexual harassment reported by undergraduate female physicists. Physical review physics education research, 15(1) (JCR Q2 in 2019; Scopus Q2 in 2019)
Leaper, C.& Starr, C. (2018). Helping and Hindering Undergraduate Women’s STEM Motivation: Experiences With STEM Encouragement, STEM-Related Gender Bias, and Sexual Harassment. Psychology of women quarterly, 43(2), 165-183 (JCR Q1 in 2019; Q1 in 2018; Scopus Q1 in 2019 and Q1 in 2018) metrics
Ilies, R., Hauserman, N., Schwochau, S., & Stibal, J. (2003). Reported incidence rates of work‐related sexual harassment in the United States: Using meta‐analysis to explain reported rate disparities. Personnel Psychology, 56(3), 607-631.(JCR Q1 in 2003; Q1 in 2019; SCOPUS Q1 in 2003; Q1 in 2019)

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