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Is forensic science a gateway for women into science?

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Max M. Houck

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Encouraging women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers is an important part of a skilled, diverse workforce. While women constitute nearly half of the U.S. workforce, they make up only one-third to one-fifth of the nation’s STEM careers. The lack of women in science is a “hallmark characteristic of science and has persisted in spite of the rapid improvement of women’s social and economic status over the past few decades.” One scientific discipline, however, has attracted an inordinate number of females: forensic science. In a survey of accredited forensic science educational programs, the percentage of females was 78% compared with, at most, a 35% average for non-forensic science freshmen. Why is forensic science so popular among females and, therefore, is it a gateway for women into STEM careers?


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Taylor & Francis

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.