Faculty Mentor(s)

Bryan Dawson Ph.D

Campus

Dahlonega

Proposal Type

Poster

Subject Area

Psychology

Location

Library Third Floor, Open Area

Start Date

30-3-2015 12:00 PM

Description/Abstract

Women have consistently chosen not to enter into careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Women represent only “twenty-four percent of the STEM workforce (“Women and Girls in STEM,” 2013, p.1).”

Our project empirically explores the barriers to women in the gaming industry and seek out potential buffers, or those internal and external factors that aide some women and minorities to succeed where others were blocked. We hypothesized that discrimination against women while they are playing video games may cause them to not pursue STEM careers. We also examined buffers, such as family, hypothesizing that this buffer would make a woman more likely to consider a STEM career.

Data were collected through an online survey, Qualtrics, that was taken by six hundred and eighty three women. We assessed the participants’ reactions to discrimination and harassment, likelihood to enter the STEM fields, the role of supportive family members, and personality characteristics as a buffer to online harassment in pursuing careers in the STEM fields. Scales such as the Attitudes toward Women Scale (Spence and Helmreich, 1972), and the Video Game Sexism Scale (Fox & Tang, 2013) were utilized.

Our study attempts to explore and provide empirical evidence of buffers for women who pursue STEM careers. The results of this study can be used to determine the barriers and buffers that exist as women are choosing STEM related careers. We also hope to raise awareness and encourage women to enter into the STEM fields, specifically, programming and game development.

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Mar 30th, 12:00 PM

Buffers to Online Harassment in Women’s Pursuit of STEM Careers

Library Third Floor, Open Area

Women have consistently chosen not to enter into careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Women represent only “twenty-four percent of the STEM workforce (“Women and Girls in STEM,” 2013, p.1).”

Our project empirically explores the barriers to women in the gaming industry and seek out potential buffers, or those internal and external factors that aide some women and minorities to succeed where others were blocked. We hypothesized that discrimination against women while they are playing video games may cause them to not pursue STEM careers. We also examined buffers, such as family, hypothesizing that this buffer would make a woman more likely to consider a STEM career.

Data were collected through an online survey, Qualtrics, that was taken by six hundred and eighty three women. We assessed the participants’ reactions to discrimination and harassment, likelihood to enter the STEM fields, the role of supportive family members, and personality characteristics as a buffer to online harassment in pursuing careers in the STEM fields. Scales such as the Attitudes toward Women Scale (Spence and Helmreich, 1972), and the Video Game Sexism Scale (Fox & Tang, 2013) were utilized.

Our study attempts to explore and provide empirical evidence of buffers for women who pursue STEM careers. The results of this study can be used to determine the barriers and buffers that exist as women are choosing STEM related careers. We also hope to raise awareness and encourage women to enter into the STEM fields, specifically, programming and game development.