Girls Today Are More Interested in STEM Careers Than Boys Are

What did you want to become when you were a child? A doctor? A ballerina? An engineer? An astronaut? As we reach adulthood, few of us land a dream job. But if a recent survey is any indication, the next generation will be filled with scientists and engineers. And we have girls to thank for that.

STEM (previously SMET) is an acronym that refers to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It’s a pool of careers where you’re likely to find more men than women, but according to data unearthed by Fatherly, things are about to change really soon.

The poll (focused on 500 children) found that girls dominate boys in the search for a job in STEM, with 41% of them seeking future employment in science, technology, engineering or anything that involves playing around with numbers. By contrast, only 32% of boys seek to be full-time geeks. The top 5 things boys and girls want to be when they’re older, from the study:


It’s important to note that not only do boys overwhelmingly look towards professional sporting careers, but they are also more likely to answer I don’t know than girls are. Furthermore, of the top five jobs they dream of, boys only list two STEM professions (engineer and astronaut), whereas the more conscious female demographic lists three (doctor, scientist, teacher). So, why are girls suddenly so career-focused?

According to those behind the survey, girls are being exposed to numerous practices that infuse the idea of gender equality today more than ever, such as female entrepreneurs. And, according to a Young & Rubicam study, millennial fathers now do 80% of grocery shopping, marking a huge shift in American life.

But this is only half of the story told. Another influencing factor is undoubtedly the incredible technological and scientific uptake in every aspect of our lives, from the smart devices surrounding us to missions to Mars and breaking apart the atom in search for the God particle. Science and technology today are more exciting and more vivid than they’ve ever been, and social media is all over them. So the results are not much of a surprise. What’s important is that girls today aspire to careers in science and technology more than boys do. Knowing how determined girls are to get things their way, I’d say this is promising news 🙂

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  • We are treating boys and girls very differently from infancy through adulthood. This is creating many good things for girls and many bad things for boys. When we understand how this differential treatment affects thinking, learning, motivation and future aspirations then we can use these variables as tools to help all students have more hope and success.
    The belief boys should be strong allows increasingly more aggressive treatment as early as one year of age, designed to create more anger, fear, and tension, so they will be prepared to fight, defend, and be tough. This is coupled with “much less” kind, stable, (very little kind verbal interaction), and much less mental/emotional support, knowledge, and skills for fear of coddling. It is the more aggressive, less supportive treatment, which creates the toughness or extra maintained layers of average stress: anger, fear, preparation for defense, and anxiety. These layers remain in the mind and take away real mental energy from academics, so those boys will have to work two or three times as hard to receive the same mental reward for work expended. Also to make it even tougher for boys is the granting of love and honor (feelings of self-worth) only on some condition of achievement, status, or image. This was designed to keep Male esteem and feelings of self-worth low to keep them striving and even be willing to give their lives in time of war for small measures of love and honor from society. Males not achieving in school are other areas are given more ridicule and discipline to make them try harder. Support is not given boys for fear of coddling. Many boys (as you would expect) thus falling behind in school then turn their attention to sports and video games to gleam small measures of love and honor not received in the classroom.
    As girls we are treated much better and so enjoy more hope and care from society. Since we as girls are given by differential treatment, much more continual, positive – mental, social/emotional support, verbal interaction and care from an early age onward, this creates quite the opposite outcome for girls when compared with boys. We enjoy much more care and support and care from society from infancy through adulthood and receive love and honor simply for being girls. This creates all of the good things. We enjoy lower average stress for more ease of learning. We enjoy much more freedom of expression from much protection that makes us look more unstable at times. Of course we can also use that same freedom of expression to give verbal, silent abuse, and hollow kindness/patronization to our Male peers with impunity knowing we are protected. We enjoy much lower muscle tension for more ease and ability in handwriting and motivation to write. We enjoy much more positive, trust/communication from parents, teachers, peers, and more support for perceived weaknesses. We are reaping a bonanza in the information age. The lower the socioeconomic bracket the much more amplified the differential treatment from infancy and more differentiated over time through adulthood.

    lynn oliver 6 years ago Reply

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