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International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN MANAGEMENT (IJM) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF 0976 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 6510(Online), Volume

me 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) ISSN 0976 6340 (Print) ISSN 0976 6359 (Online) Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013), pp. 112-120 IAEME: : www.iaeme.com/ijm.html Journal Impact Factor (2012): 3.8071 (Calculated by GISI) www.jifactor.com

IJM
IAEME

A STUDY ON GENDER DIFFERENCE IN ATTITUDE TOWARDS SCIENCE


Brajraj Singh1, Rakhee Chaudhary1, Rekha Yadav2 and K. Singh1 1. Faculty of Engineering and TechnologyMody Institute of Technology and Science (Deemed University, Exclusively for women), Lakshmangarh, Rajasthan, India 2. Mody Institute of Education and Research, Lakshmangarh, Rajasthan, India

ABSTRACT Attitude is normally considered to be one of the important causes of variation in individual achievement and also a very basis of cognitive development and motivation, as well as several other positive links of success. Invariably, it means a student (she or he) must have a positive attitude towards the study of a particular subject as this influences ones performance and achievement in the subject. However, research studies have indicated that some level of gender inequality exists in attitude towards science and if this trend is allowed to continue, the dream of having adequate talented women to meet the manpower levels needed to support science and technological growth and development might severely be affected. Taking this into consideration, an attempt has been made to investigate whether gender differences still exist in attitude towards science. An attitude towards Science-Questionnaire was administered on approximately 200 students, both male and female who have offered science at Secondary School level. From data analysis involving use of descriptive statistics (mean, SD, and t-test) it was found that there was significant difference between the attitudes of females with respect to males towards science. The results of this study show that there is a significant level of attitudinal differences towards science subjects between male and female students at secondary school level and that might be influencing the enrolment at higher level of studies in science streams. Keywords: Women and Science, attitude towards study science, gender and HR
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International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) INTRODUCTION The studies on gender disparities have been done in both developed and developing countries. In some of the countries women in institutions of higher learning tend to concentrate in certain fields of study such as humanities, home economics and arts, though more women have now enrolled in other fields like business and public administration. The enrolment in the fields such as mathematics and science related fields is however still limited. Low enrollment in mathematics and science fields can be said to result from a number of factors affecting women especially at different levels of schooling. For example traditional and cultural expectations from different societies in the developing world in particular, seem to have an influence on subject choice and selection especially at secondary school level. In the recent past, the gender differences in attitude towards the study of science subjects namely, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology have received much attention. Gender interrelates with other social variables in a significant ways, Rennie (1998), Atwater (2000), Rennie (2000). Some of the past studies have reported that boys have more positive attitude towards science, achieve better and have a higher preferences for Physics and Chemistry. One of the major factors influencing students choice of science subject is gender. According to Whitelaw et al. (2000), sex is probably the most important variable related to pupils attitudes to science. Many studies for instance, Francis and Greer (1999), Jones et al. (2000), reported that males have more positive attitudes toward science than females. Also, Osborne et al. (2003) stressed that there is still a bias against physical sciences held by girls, suggesting that at an individual level the overwhelming majority of girls still choose not to opt physical science. In the same vein, Aigbomian (2002) observed that boys perform better than girls in science, technical and mathematical subjects. It is generally believed that socio-cultural and religious practices are at the root of this imbalance. In science classes, boys often dominate laboratory equipment, controlling hands-on experiments while girls observe and take notes. Also, since the inception Nobel Prize in 1901 until 2011, there are only 16 Female Nobel Laureates out of 310 Nobel winners in the field of science which is 5.16% which is quiet low than other non science fields. Category Physics Chemistry Medicine Other non science fields Total Laureates 105 103 102 239 Female Laureates 02 04 10 28 % Female winner 1.9% 3.88% 9.8% 12%

Differences remain in boys' and girls' attitudes toward academic subjects. On average, girls report liking mathematics and science less than boys, and having less confidence in their ability to succeed at these subjects. Girls are more likely to suffer from math anxiety or tech anxiety. They tend to perceive these subjects as being less useful in their lives, which may diminish their achievement motivation in these areas. Hence, fewer girls plan to choose careers in mathematics, science, or technology. Additionally, whereas boys tend to believe their success in academics is the result of ability, girls tend to attribute academic successes and failures to luck and other external factors. This attribution of success to factors other than effort may lead some girls to feel helpless, particularly in subjects they perceive as male domains.
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International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) Gender differences indicate to areas where student background, attitudes and characteristics significantly affect student performance. Understanding what can influence differences in student performance can help policy makers address quality and equity concerns. In order to identify the source of inequalities, fostering average performance and improving our understanding of how students learn, the study of gender differences are essential. METHODOLOGY A survey model has been used to determine male and female students attitudes towards the study of science subjects and about science. Data for the study were collected between Feb. 22, 2012 and Feb. 29, 2012. The questionnaire was distributed to the students during regular class sessions. Participants were instructed to read each item carefully, and then to tick the most desired option from multiple choice questions. The students participating in this exercise in each class completed the questionnaire provided to them. This study includes of approximately 200 boys and girls of Secondary level of academic year 2011-2012 from Nimawat Public school, Fatehpur and Mody School, Lakshmangarh of District Sikar, Rajasthan. SUPPOSITION This research is based on the hypothesis that male students have different attitude towards the study of science subjects namely; Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology than female students. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION As the main purpose of this study was to examine differences by gender attitudes towards science, data collected from the participating schools were analyzed by using percentage, mean, and standard deviation for each question on subject related issues and results were presented in Table 1. From critical analysis, we observed that the girls and boys have significant different mean scores towards attitude in most of the subject related issues. In order to test whether these differences represent a real difference between the two groups of students or it was just a chance difference in our collected samples, a t-test was also used and presented in Table 2. A comparative study was performed on Pro- and Ant- attitudes on each subject related issue and presented in Fig. 1. Table 1: Subject related issues and analysis of responses
Item No. 1. Item Description I enjoy _______ studying Subject Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None % Girls 7 4 36 50 4 114 % Boys 21 6 24 48 1 Result There is a remarkable difference in the enjoyment of Physics and Mathematics in comparison to others among Boys and Girls. Almost 3 times more Boys enjoyed Physics than girls on the other hand 8% more girls enjoyed Mathematics than boys.

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)
2. Level of difficulty (toughest subject) Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology 37 17 30 14 3 4 3 42 38 8 42 32 15 1 18 10 41 30 There is a reversal trend in Physics and Chemistry as difficulty level is concerned. Almost 75% more girls feel that Physics is difficult for them on the other hand 60% more boys feel difficulty in Chemistry. This study shows a clear trend that Boys are more inclined towards Physical Sciences (PCM) and Girls are more inclined towards Biological sciences or in other subjects than science. 14% & 7% more Boys want to do Physics and Chemistry respectively in future on the other hand 8% & 13% more Girls want to do Biology or other subjects. This study shows that 12% more Girls are interested in performing Physics experiments while 7% more Boys are interested in performing chemistry experiments. Overall Girls are less interested in performing experiments. More Boys admire people who have good knowledge of Physics and Chemistry on the other hand more Girls admire people who have good knowledge of Mathematics and Biology. 30% Girls are not interested in attending Physics lessons which too high in comparison to 3% Boys while in other science subjects more number of Boys less interested in attending lessons. Significant no. (39%) of girls feel bored in Performing Physics experiment on the other hand 17-18% more Boys feel bored in performing Chemistry and Biology experiment. There is no significant difference among Girls and Boys regarding opinion on derivations. Significant more Boys like solving problem of Physics and Chemistry, while more Girls like solving Mathematics and Biology. Girls feel difficulty in handling Physics apparatus while boys in chemistry. There is no significant difference among girls and boys in handling apparatus of Biology.

3.

I would like to do more _______ in future.

4.

5.

It is waste of time performing experiments in ________when we can read them up in the textbooks. I admire people who have good knowledge of _____

None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None YES No UNCERTAIN Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Biology None

14 26 18 39 11 7 14 7 46 29 5 30 26 23 13 9 65 21 0 7 7 43 51 6 12 9 58 17 4 34 42 10 15 115

1 14 25 38 20 1 21 11 41 24 3 3 42 31 18 6 27 38 0 25 10 48 49 3 27 14 45 13 1 18 68 7 7

6.

I do not always like to be in class during ________

7.

______laboratory practical are very boring.

8.

Do you feel derivations are boring? I like solving _____ problems

9.

10

______ is difficult, when it involves handling apparatus

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)
11. There are too many facts to learn in ____ Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None
Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None

15 25 9 49 3 18 17 41 19 6 35 21 28 10 7 18 9 24 45 5 41 27 12 14 7 6 4 55 26 9 7 3 50 39 2 20 14 17 48 2
25 32 18 9 17 37 34 12 9 9

27 24 21 28 0 8 30 46 14 1 3 39 38 14 6 28 18 28 23 3 10 41 28 18 3 18 8 51 21 1 24 10 35 31 0 35 23 14 27 1
4 56 14 20 6 3 46 28 15 7

There are too many facts to learn in Physics and Biology for Girls but for Boys in Mathematics. There is no significant difference among girls and boys about learning the facts in Chemistry.

12.

I study ______ mainly to pass examination

More % of Girls study science (PCB) mainly to pass examination. This study shows that overall more number of girls are less interested in studying science. For more girls Physics textbooks are difficult to understand but for boys Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology textbooks.

13.

_______textbooks are too difficult to understand

14.

_____ helps me to be able to reason well

For boys PCM helps more to be able to reason well while for girls Biology helps to be able to reason well. This study also testify the results of item no. 3 For girls Physics is not as interesting as other science subjects but for similar % of boys (41%) Chemistry is not as interesting as other science subjects. Boys have more stress on Physics while Girls on Biology. Mathematics is subject upon which both Girls and Boys gave almost equal stress.

15.

____ is not as interesting as other science subjects

16.

I think every secondary school student should be made to study ________ I like to help other students with _______ problems

17.

18.

I very often think about the topics and ideas which I learn in _______
Studying _______is waste of time

19.

20.

I always sleep during _______lessons

Human being readily agreed to help in the area in which he feels himself much confident. This study shows that Boys like to help other students in Physics and Chemistry Problems but Girls are reluctant. Similarly Girls feel much comfortable than Boys to help other in Mathematics and Biology. More Girls often think about ideas on Biology and more boys think about ideas on Physics and Chemistry. There is not much significant difference among Boys and Girls regarding ideas on Mathematics. More Girls says that studying Physics is waste of time means least important subject for them while for more Boys studying Chemistry and Biology is waste of time. Mathematics is equally important for both. Here sleep represent lowest level of enjoyment. 37% Girls least enjoy Physics in comparison to just 3% Boys. On the other hand 46 %, 28% boys least enjoy Chemistry and Biology respectively in comparison to 34%, 9% Girls.

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International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013)
21. I dont like doing ______ assignments Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology 37 19 24 14 4 42 30 24 This study also shows disinterest towards the subject and to solve the new problem which actually they have to attempt in assignments. 37% Girls in comparison to only 4% Boys are not interested in doing Physics assignments on the other hand 42% Boys in comparison to 19% Girls are not interested in doing Chemistry assignments. More Boys and Girls have opinion that Mathematics is more important than other science subject to secure job. For Physics, Chemistry and Biology their opinion is different. Highest number of Girls and boys want Mathematics based job but 28% Boys in comparison to 5% Girls are interested Physics based job. No girls is interested in Chemistry based job. The trend is reversed in Biology 27% Girls in comparison to 20% Boys prefer Biology for their career. Physics and Mathematics are complicated for Girls; Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology are complicated for Boys.

22.

___ will help me to get a better job when I leave school

23.

I would like a career which involves _____________

None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology None Physics

7 7 1 62 24 5 5 0 55 27 13 34 25 35 2 5 20 7 54 12 7 33 31 17 16 4 33 18 42 3 5 17 21 38 12 13 20

0 24 7 52 17 0 28 10 42 20 0 6 37 44 13 1 21 11 30 38 0 1 46 23 30 0 7 32 48 11 1 11 28 45 15 0 14

24.

___ is too complicated for most students to understand

25.

_____ is more important for boys than for girls

26.

I have difficulty understanding the words and expressions used in ______

27.

I find it difficult when I am asked to use what I have learned to solve new problems in

28.

I am not sure what I am doing half the time

This study shows feelings of different genders are different. Girls feel that 54% Girls in comparison to 30% Boys feel that Mathematics is more important for boys than for girls on the other hand 38% Boys in comparison to 12% Girls feel that Biology is more important for boys than for girls. 33% Girls in comparison to 1% Boys feel that scientific terms of Physics are difficult. 46% in comparison to 31% Girls feel scientific terms of Chemistry are difficult. For scientific terms of Biology 30 % Boys in comparison to 16% Girls feel difficult. 33% Girls feel Physics and 42% Girls feel Mathematics is difficult in interpreting after learning. On the other hand Boys have more difficulty in interpreting Chemistry and Mathematics. Highest number of Boys and Girls both feel that Mathematics is more difficult to interpret. Boys and Girls both have opinion that they do not know the objective while doing the problems of Mathematics.

29.

We have to do too much writing in science

56% Girls & 31% Boys feel that Biology

Chemistry Mathematics Biology None

14 3 56 7 117

38 require more writing on the other hand 38% 15 Boys feel that Chemistry require more writing 31 work. 1

International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) Table 2 : Mean, Standard Deviation and t-test results
Subject Girls Mean 0.991 0.535 4.446 3.396 SD 5.657 4.30 15.29 11.26 Pro Subject Boys Mean 2.451 1.17 3.732 2.521 SD 3.718 3.713 8.60 6.90 T Test 2.041 1.032 0.39 0.63 Anti Subject Girls Mean SD 5.525 11.882 4.109 8.214 4.218 14.371 2.782 14.288 Boys Mean 1.901 6.873 5.113 3.59 SD 5.742 8.937 7.525 5.576 T Test 2.007 1.54 0.53 0.52

Physics Chemistry Mathematics Biology

Fig. 1 Results on Pro- and Anti- attitudes on each subject related issue
40 Response (%) 20 0

PATS Physics

70

AATS Physics
% Girls % Boys

%
Response (%)

60 50 40 30 20 10 0

PATS questionnaire
PATS Chemistry
25 20
% Girls % Boys

AATS questionnaire

AATS Chemistry
80 70 Response (%) 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
% Girls % Boys

Response (%)

15 10 5 0 PATS questionnaire

AATS questionnaire

PATS Mathematics
70 60 Response (%)

% Girls % Boys

60 50 Response (%) 40 30 20 10 0

AATS Mathematics

% Girls % Boys

50 40 30 20 10 0 PATS questionnaire

AATS questionnaire

PATS Biology
60 % Girls 50 Response (%) 40 30 20 10 0 PATS questionnaire % Boys

AATS Biology
60 50 Response (%) 40 30 20 10 0 AATS questionnaire

% Girls % Boys

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International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) CONCLUSIONS All the items of the questionnaire either show enjoyment, liking, pleasure, satisfaction, easy, important in life etc. like feeling towards the subjects are categorized as Pro Attitude Towards Subject (PATS), and disliking, difficult, uninspiring, unimportant in life etc. like feeling are categorized as Anti Attitude Towards Subject (AATS). These data have, therefore been analyzed by separating the items in every subject and graphs are plotted separately for PATS and AATS opinion. The findings of this study showed that there were significant differences between girls and boys in terms of enjoyment of different science subjects, level of difficulty in each subject etc. PATS Physics graph shows that boys in comparison to girls have more positive attitude towards Physics where as AAT S Physics graph shows more negative attitude of girls towards Physics. PATS chemistry graph shows that girls are less interested in chemistry in comparison to boys, on the other hand from AATS Chemistry graph the level of difficulty towards chemistry among the girls is also not too high. For Mathematics, both PATS and AATS scenario are almost same. It means that there is no significant attitudinal difference towards Mathematics among girls and boys. From PATS Biology graph girls have more interest in Biology than boys, on the other hand AATS graph shows that even Biology is not too difficult for boys. The t-test results clearly show that there is a highly significant difference in attitude towards Physics and Chemistry among girls and boys, whereas in Mathematics and Biology difference in attitude merely significant. Since the development of attitudes toward science is a complex function of cultural, biological, psychological, educational and social factors, it is recommended that an integrated approach should be adopted for investigating gender and developmental differences in attitudes toward sci In order to arrest this situation, necessary efforts must be put in place to ensure that opting of science subjects at school level are not only to pass examination to fulfil the requirements for entry into engineering, medical or any such professional programmes of studies but to continue the studies in these disciplines at higher level as well. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We gratefully acknowledge the Director, Col. P C Sharma and Mr. Deepak Kumar Bugalia of Nimawat Secondary school, Fatehpur, and Ms. Renu Seghal, Principal Mody School for their support and input at early stages of this exercise. We would also like to thank the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, MITS for the use of facilities to complete this work.
REFERENCES

[1] Rennie.L.J. (1998). Gender equity: Toward clarification and research direction for science teacher education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35, 951-961. [2] Rennie.L.J. (2000). Equity in science education: Gender is just one variable: reply to Atwater, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 391-393.

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International Journal of Management (IJM), ISSN 0976 6502(Print), ISSN 0976 6510(Online), Volume 4, Issue 1, January- February (2013) [3] Atwater, M. M. (2000). Females in science education: White is the norm and class, language, lifestyle, and religion are nonissues, Journal of research in Science Teaching, 37, 386-387. [4] Whitelaw S., Milosevic L., Daniels S. (2000), Gender behaviour and achievement: A preliminary study of pupil perceptions and attitudes. Gender and Education,12(1): 87 113. [5] Francis L., Greer J (1999), Measuring attitudes towards science among secondary school students: The affective domain. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(1): 877896. [6] Jones G., Howe A., Rua M. (2000), Gender differences in students experiences, interests, and attitudes towards science and scientists. Science Education, 84(1):180-192. [7] Osborne J., Simon S., Collins S (2003), Attitudes towards science: A review of the literature and its implications. International Journal of Science Education, 25(1):10491079. [8] Aigbomian D.O. (2002), Science for All: Implication for the Teacher and National Development: 14th Inaugural Lectures of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria, Benin City: Ambik Press.

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