Nicole Cesanek '23

Benjamin Durham '24

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2023

Department 1



Beliefs and expectations about who can and should pursue STEM careers contribute to a student’s sense of STEM identity and may help to explain the gender gap in pursuing STEM in higher education. The formation of these beliefs is a long and complex process, starting very early on in an individual’s life. We analyze how gendered STEM beliefs of students, parents, and teachers in ninth grade affect a female student’s probability of majoring in STEM in college. We add to an analysis done by Sansone (2019) in an appendix of his paper by using actual majors instead of intended majors. We slightly alter Sansone’s model and find a positive effect of beliefs in female superiority in science, both at the student and teacher level.


Written for ECON 302: Gender Issues in Economics