Physics and engineering are disciplines that are generally avoided by girls, but this does not mean that girls do not study physics and go on to become engineers and physicists. It also does not mean that boys are better at these sciences than girls. Both sexes have a fear of any subject that involves mathematics and physical science. Fear is put in students from a young age that these subjects are hard and they will not succeed. The truth is that any student can succeed at the sciences; they just have work hard and have a positive attitude.
Here are some common reasons why girls avoid the study of physics and engineering:
Society is one reason that girls avoid the study of physics and engineering. Society has created roles for boys and girls from a very early age. Girls are meant to play with dolls and tea sets, and boys get toys that remind them they have a manly role to play later in life. It is this early conditioning that allows girls to avoid the sciences. Subconsciously they are made to believe that they have to go into professions that are more feminine, like nursing and teaching, than study engineering, which has been a male-dominated profession for ages.
Physics and engineering are disciplines which students generally fear. Many girls prefer straightforward subjects like biology and accounting but shy away from any subject which requires abstract thinking like physics and engineering. Girls may also feel it is more difficult to do well in physics in school, and they prefer to tackle an easier subject in order to get a A symbol.
Many girls do subjects in school that are useless in the study of engineering. The study of mathematics and technical drawing is very helpful when studying engineering in university. Girls who apply for engineering at a tertiary institution generally drop out if they do not have a good grounding of mathematics and technical drawing in school.
These subjects are regarded as difficult. Many students drop out of engineering during the first year if tertiary study of engineering is very difficult and gets harder as one goes along. This does not only apply to girls but boys as well. Girls are generally told to avoid the study of engineering at tertiary institutions by parents due to financial constraints. Girls are usually encouraged to get a degree or diploma in which they will easily pass and obtain a job.
It is not only girls who avoid the study of physics and engineering. Boys do as well. These subjects instill fear in the minds of students and have been given a bad reputation.