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Mon, Feb 5, 2018, noon: Wendy Manning

Erin A. Cech

Cech et al examine why the STEM gender gap is smaller in Muslim-majority countries than in the US

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"The STEM Paradox: Why Are Muslim-Majority Countries Producing So Many Female Engineers?" - Slate. 11/09/2017.

This piece looks at recent research exploring the apparent paradox of why more women in Muslim-majority countries than in Western countries are taking up STEM education and occupations, particularly in engineering. One theory is that curricular choices in Muslim-majority countries are more dictated by national economic concerns than they are in the West, and that occupational aspirations are more socially than individually constructed. Erin Cech, one of the researchers studying this phenomenon, says that in the US, the “idea that our sense of self could be formed by something that’s outside of our control is countercultural and threatening.”

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Erin A. Cech

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