In Search Of: Our Missing Female STEM Viewers

Socratica is an educational YouTube channel, focusing mainly on STEM. We do have some Arts and Humanities in the mix, but STEM is what we think of first.

There’s a lot of talk in the news and on school campuses about the lack of women in STEM. Is it due to subtle gender bias, overt gender bias, harassment, work policies incompatible with having a family, lack of interest, “leaky pipeline” – is it none of the above or all of the above?

As a STEM person with two X chromosomes, I’ve never doubted that STEM was for me (it’s still my passion, even though I’m not doing research anymore). I read scientific journals, I watch STEM videos, and I make STEM videos. So how come my videos aren’t getting more views from women?

Just look at our channel statistics:

Overall – 69% male, 31% female:

overall-demographics

But wait, it gets worse.  For a video on Neutron Stars, 91% male, 9% female:

neutron-stars-demographics

We always knew we had predominantly male viewers (our comments are almost all from men), but the stats for our neutron stars video frankly shocked me. Our videos are clear, concise, friendly, and more often than not, presented by a woman. Most of our videos are written by women.  And yet, where are our female viewers?

If you are someone who is concerned about the lack of women in STEM, please share our videos with the women in your life. Get the word out. Science is for everyone. Socratica is for everyone. We need more viewers of all stripes, but there is just no reason why women shouldn’t be loving our videos just as much as men.  Come on.

KHH

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3 thoughts on “In Search Of: Our Missing Female STEM Viewers

  1. This is something I’ve been thinking about recently. I’m teaching a STEAM class this year for homeschoolers in middle school, and I think it’s going to be 70% boys and 30% girls. Last year, I taught middle school life science, and it was almost exactly 50/50. The total number of students is small and I certainly can’t rule out random chance… but based on some feedback I’ve gotten, some girls don’t want to sign up for STEAM because they perceive it as a “boys’ class” and they don’t want to be the only girl. I haven’t gotten any feedback indicating that the girls feel that the material would be too hard or boring.

    Which, frankly, makes the YouTube discrepancy even more puzzling, since people usually watch YouTube in the privacy of their own homes.

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