The gender gap in some academic fields is greater than others. What's the pattern behind it?
A new study being released in Friday's issue of Science posits one answer: It's based on which fields people perceive as requiring an innate "brilliance."
"Even if a woman feels completely confident in her own ability, she may still be discouraged from participating in a discipline that sends these messages," Princeton University lead researcher Sarah-Jane Leslie said at a news conference. "She may be concerned that other people will view her as less suited to do high-level work."
Fields like physics and philosophy are harder for women to break into because women are not typically perceived as having raw intellectual brilliance, Leslie said.