Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stereotype Threat: As Applied to Music

Every time I read articles about the gender disparity in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), I immediately apply everything I'm reading to music, particularly our little field of composition. This story from NPR about "stereotype threat" seemed very relevant to me and I couldn't help thinking it goes on in music all the time. The gist of it is that when women think about the stereotype of women not being as good as men in the STEM fields (or composition), they actually sound less competent when talking about their work because they're using brainpower worrying about the stereotype. But you should read (or listen to) the full article to get the whole (very interesting) explanation about the study. The conclusion of the scientists who conducted the study: "In order to boost the numbers of women who choose to go into those fields, you have to boost the number of women who are in those fields."