Why do female Japanese students not study mathematical and physical sciences?
Author: Hiromi Yokoyama – The University of Tokyo, Kavli IPMU, Japan
Yuko Ikkatai – The University of Tokyo, Kavli IPMU
In Japan, the percentage of female scientific researchers is extremely low, at 15.3% (for comparison, in Russia it is 40.3%; in the UK, 27.4%, in Italy, 36.0% and in the US, 34.3%). Within the natural sciences, there are a relatively large number of female students, 40% in the biology department, but women comprise less than 10% of the total number of students in the physics, mathematics and information technology departments. Over the past 10 years, the Japanese government has undertaken many projects to encourage women to study in the science and technology departments. Regardless of these efforts, the percentage of female students who enter the fields of physics, mathematics and information technology has not increased. The percentage of women in physics departments is over 50% in Italy, which leads to the conclusion that there are cultural differences between Japan and the rest of the world. We investigated whether social factors unique to Japan inhibit Japanese female students from studying sciences. We held a workshop with women researchers in the fields of physics, mathematics and information technology, discussing the factors that may inhibit women, and provide the results in this paper.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.
Presentation type: Show, tell and talk
Area of interest: Building a theoretical basis for science communication