Gender Differences In Biological Engineering Students

Paul Schreuders, Brian Rutherford, Katrina Cox, Susan Mannon
2006 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Do gender differences exist in the interests and attitudes of biological engineering students? Undergraduate engineering students participated in a voluntary survey designed to help understand this issue. First, to determine whether males and females received different academic preparation, prior to entering engineering, the survey examined mathematics, science, and technical course work taken in high school. Second, in acknowledgement of entering engineering students fewer "hand'son"
more » ... hand'son" mechanical skills compared to computer skills, the survey probed these areas and examined their relationship to three fundamental engineering activities (designing, building, and analyz-cation, and type of community and their relationship to academic interests. The survey incorporated a combination of question formats including pre-categorized demographic information, a 5-point Likert scale, and open-ended responses. Data from the survey was imported directly into SPSS for statistical analysis and analyzed based on gender using crosstab frequencies, prevalence ratios, and the T-test to determine whether non-parametric scores in both genders differ. By understanding gender differences in attitudes and interests in biological engi-Surprisingly few differences were found in the data based on gender. Based on several measures, females were equally prepared for biological and agricultural engineering when compared with males. However, differences were found in "hands-on" preparation and family background.
doi:10.18260/1-2--1037 fatcat:thmiebdiwfb4dh5lldupu37i7u