Discussing underrepresentation as a means to facilitating female students’ physics identity development

The authors of this article test five factors commonly proposed to positively impact the female students’ choice of a career in physical science. Of these five factors, they find that the only one to have a positive effect was the explicit discussion of the underrepresentation of women in physics. Further study of this factor finds that it creates opportunity for students’ preconceptions of the world of science on a professional and educational level to change, and thus facilitates the development of a female students’ physics identity.