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Mind the Gap: The Role of Gender in STEM Endorsement Choice and Attrition

Mon, April 12, 9:30 to 11:00am EDT (9:30 to 11:00am EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Sociology of Education Paper and Symposium Sessions


Texas has adopted a new graduation plan, which requires students to complete an endorsement, or academic concentration, during high school. This study examines whether there are gender patterns in STEM endorsement choice and attrition, as well as whether the gender gap can be explained by gender gaps in pre-endorsement choice factors. The results reveal statistically significant gender gaps in STEM endorsement choice. Females are less likely to choose the STEM endorsement and more likely to abandon the STEM endorsement throughout high school. Decomposition analysis shows the gender gap is not tied to gender gaps in pre-endorsement choice factors. In fact, given their superior performance, females should be choosing the STEM endorsement 2 percentage points more than males.