– In the 1970s, family attitudes negatively affected only women’s STEM intentions and attainments.
– By 1992, attaching importance to future marriage hindered neither women’s nor men’s STEM intentions.
– By the 1990s, both family-oriented young women and men were less likely to intend to major in STEM fields.
– Although adolescent family attitudes that emphasized parenthood negatively affected both women’s and men’s STEM intentions in 1992, by 2000 parenthood-oriented young women still significantly lagged behind men in STEM attainment.
– Women who placed high priority on family had lower STEM attainments than similarly family-oriented men in the 1990s, even after controlling for STEM intentions.
– They did not find variation in the effects of young women’s family attitudes across race/ethnic groups.
– Family attitudes continue to exert greater constraints on women’s STEM attainment than men’s, although at a somewhat reduced magnitude in the later cohort.
– These findings suggest that young women may make strategic decisions to limit work-family conflict well before actually facing these conflicts, cutting off a range of educational and career opportunities very early in their life course.