Lessons in Cosmetic Surgery to Turn Girls to Science

Article excerpt

Byline: Daily Mail Reporter

TEACHING girls about the use of lasers in cosmetic surgery or how to order clothes online encourages them to study science, research suggests.

Girls are more interested in studying subjects such as physics or IT if they are presented in a female-friendly way.

There have been increasing concerns that fewer students are taking science and mathsbased subjects, which are important to a nation's economy. Girls tend to have less interest in them, the research notes, despite performing as well as boys in the sciences.

The study examined whether making science more relevant to girls encouraged them to take up the subject.

It presented 134 boys and 160 girls aged 14 with the scenario that they were visiting a new school and could select their subjects, each of which has different topics.

The pupils were asked to rate their interest in each topic on a scale of one to five. They were not told which discipline - biology, physics, IT or statistics - each topic related to.

Some topics were 'female friendly', such as learning how a laser is used in cosmetic surgery, learning how to order clothes on the internet and calculating the probability of a miscarriage.

Others were 'masculine', such as calculating the probability of a car accident, learning how to write computer software and learning how much force a rocket needs to take off'.

The findings, published online in the British Journal of Educational Psychology, showed that girls had a significantly higher interest in IT, statistics and physics when the topics were presented in a way the girls were better able to relate to. …