Despite extensive inclusion and diversity initiatives, females do not feel valued or included and still report higher stress, discrimination and microaggressions than males. Cumulative effects of social devaluation on health were examined for students at a STEM University. A sample of 292 undergraduates were asked about daily and chronic experiences of inclusion using surveys assessing personal perceived stress and subtle and overt social devaluation. Females reported significantly higher microaggressions and perceived stress, associated with lower physical and mental health. Females in high social devaluation (SD) reported lower total well-being (TWB) across several domains. An exploratory factor analyses examined factor loadings on perceptions of devaluation and extracted three factors; results showed that females and males perceive the poor treatments for markedly different reasons. Stress, low sense of control, objectification, and lack of positive exemplars varied by sex. These data suggest persistent implicit biases remain entrenched for females in STEM. This was unexpected since multiple early inclusion interventions exist. Inclusion initiatives may need to be reviewed specifically to address implicit attitudes and internalized acquiescence, training female students to explicitly interface with such experiences.
Romero, K. D., & O'Brien, K. M. (2020, January 15). The Promise of Inclusion for Female Student Health. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/qhgws