Does biology explain why men & women choose stereotypical jobs?

A study by Public Library of Science (PLOS) analyzed the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment, a survey which measured the interests of 15-year-olds around the world (500,000 students / 80 countries) asking the question, “What kind of job do you expect to have when you are 30 years old?”

The results show that, no matter the country or culture, boys and girls tend to aspire toward jobs dealing with things and people, respectively. And, perhaps counterintuitively, this preference for sex-typical jobs seems to increase as nations experience greater wealth and gender equality — a phenomenon dubbed the “gender-equality paradox.”

- In all countries, the % of boys aspiring to a things-oriented occupation was higher than the % of girls.
- In all countries, more adolescent girls than boys aspired to people-oriented occupations.
- The median % of boys and girls aspiring to a things-oriented occupation were 37% and 9%, respectively.
- STEM career aspirations were uncommon for girls even in the more technically developed OECD nations, 3% of girls compared to 15% of boys.

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