Gender diversity in science: How children's drawings are changing the perception of scientists
In the past, the field of science was seen as a male-dominated field, with few women in prominent positions. Times however are changing. This shift can be attributed to various factors, including increased visibility of women in science and efforts to promote gender diversity.
This had a positive impact on children's perception of the scientific field, as evident in the increasing number of boys and girls drawing female scientists.
A recent study published in the journal, Child Development, found that children are drawing more female scientists than ever before, with girls more likely to draw female scientists than boys. The study found that children as young as six years old showed more gender diversity in their drawings of scientists than in previous years. Specifically, the study found that 28 per cent of the children drew female scientists, compared to 0.6 per cent in a similar study conducted in the 1960s.
One of the factors contributing to this shift is the increased visibility of women in science. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of female scientists in prominent positions, which has been highlighted in various media outlets. This increased visibility has made it easier for children to see women as successful scientists, thereby breaking down the traditional stereotype of male-dominated science.
Another factor contributing to the shift is the efforts to promote gender diversity in STEM fields. Many initiatives have been launched in recent years in schools and colleges to encourage girls to pursue STEM fields and to reduce gender-based barriers. These efforts have played a significant role in inspiring young girls to view science as a viable career path, which has led to a more diverse range of perspectives in the field.
Furthermore, the increased use of diverse media representations in children's educational resources is an important factor. Several educational materials and children's books now feature more female scientists as the lead character. This change in representation is crucial in changing the perception of the scientific field and making it more appealing to young girls.
The shift in children's perception of scientists is a positive development towards a more diverse and inclusive field. The increased visibility of women in science, initiatives by educational institutions to promote gender diversity in STEM fields, and more diverse representation in educational resources are all factors that have contributed to this change. With continued efforts to encourage diversity and inclusivity in STEM fields, we can hope to see even more significant shifts in the future.