Date of Award

Summer 1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Betsy Ann Balzano

Second Advisor

Morris Beers

Third Advisor

Scott D. Robinson

Abstract

This research project examines to what extent television media viewing dissuades young girls from pursuing careers in science. It focused on the observation that children acquire gender role information on occupations (especially scientists) from television viewing, based on the perception of male and female roles in science.

Hypothesis One predicted that there was an observable difference in the television viewing of male and female students – and that a higher percentage of male students watch science fiction shows whereas a higher percentage of female students watch shows based on the biological sciences.

Hypothesis Two predicted that male and female students would agree that television continues to portray scientists as predominantly men – to be determined by the Draw-A-Scientist Test (DAST).

Hypothesis Three predicted that there was a positive association between the viewing of science programs on television and an interest in science for the male students and a negative association for the female students – based primarily on Saturday morning cartoon-viewing experience when the subjects were younger.

Data analysis from this research project confirmed all three hypotheses and identified a commonality between the lack of gender equity – in terms of scientists portrayed as men – in adult television programming and children’s television programming.

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