Archive for August 17th, 2011

August 17, 2011

Romantic thoughts kill STEM ambition in college women

by Grace

The journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin is about to publish a series of research projects … that suggest that when college-age women think about romance, they become less interested in studying STEM fields. College-age men, however, can get interested in romance without any impact on their engagement with math and science.

The research, conducted by Lora Park at the State University of New York at Buffalo, may offer insight into the gender gap in STEM fields.

Another area of research she is pursuing may or may not be helpful to her efforts, Park said. Since the assumptions of many women appear to be that men find female STEM success unattractive, she hopes to find out whether this is in fact the case.

I’ll stay tuned for that.  From personal experience, I know some men find STEM success very attractive.

Romance vs. STEM – InsideHigherEd, August 16, 2011

August 17, 2011

Student loan debt climbs while all other household debt falls

by Grace

Americans have cut back on credit of all kinds, with one notable exception.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s quarterly report on debt and credit, U.S. households had $11.42 trillion in debt outstanding in the second quarter. That was down from a peak of $12.5 trillion in the third quarter of 2008, when the financial crisis took hold, and the lowest since the first quarter of 2007. Mortgage debt, home equity loans, credit card debt and auto loans are all down sharply — partly because people are being more careful, but also because many have defaulted.

But student loans are up sharply. There was $550 billion in student debt outstanding in the second quarter, up 25% from $440 billion in the third quarter of 2008.

It’s worth noting that student loan debt cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.

Student Loan Debt Climbs – WSJ

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