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Gender Inequality: College Major

Although women have surpassed men in earning bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, the fields in which they earn these degrees tend to be different than their male counterparts. Women are more likely to major in social sciences, humanities, and education, while men major in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Although these differences are sometimes explained away by preference, STEM fields are associated with greater earnings potential, higher occupational prestige, and lower rates of enemployment. As such, the equal-but-different paradigm allows for the reconciliation of gender segregation by college major with principles of equal opportunity, but ignores the ways that socialization into gender roles shape these preferences and the long-term inequalities that result from such segregation.

The extent of gender inequality by college major has ...

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