If you’ve ever wondered what kind of a STEM job an USA engineer has, you’re not alone. In fact, the perception of such jobs in Native American communities is often deeply affected by Taboos. Taboos are strongly forbidden behaviors based on deeply held moral or sacred beliefs.
Taboos are strongly forbidden by deeply held sacred or moral beliefs
Taboos are rules of conduct or behaviors that are considered to be sacred or forbidden to ordinary people. They are based on social requirements and are often protected by formal laws. In some cases, these laws and practices are so deeply held that a person is considered a bad person or even impure, and violating them can result in exclusion from a group or society.
They affect perception of and relationship with STEM
A recent study examined whether USA engineer stereotypes affect perception of and relationship to STEM in a diverse sample of college students. Participants were asked to complete a survey about their stereotypes of women scientists. The findings revealed several themes among respondents. Among those were the belief that women scientists are unqualified, unattractive, or ‘bossy.’ These themes were consistent with previous studies.
Moreover, while the proportion of female students who endorsed the stereotype was higher, this did not necessarily predict a change in students’ stereotypical beliefs. Furthermore, there was no significant effect on students’ perception of STEM roles among females. In contrast, the stereotypes of male students did not depend on their gender, even when they had higher numbers of female peers.
Participants recorded the number of times a stereotype occurred. They were asked to rate it as either positive or negative. Among the negative stereotypes, ‘bitchy’ appeared the most often. Moreover, ‘credibility’ appeared 143 times among the participants. The participants also described how they changed their behavior based on a specific stereotype.
They affect perception of STEM
There are a few taboos about USA engineers. It’s important to be respectful of them and their culture. For example, you should not talk about their work with the wrong audience. For example, you should not make jokes about their ethnicity. In addition, you should be sensitive to the taboos of Native American culture.
While some taboos cannot be accommodated (such as about the menstrual period in Native American culture), many can be addressed by offering alternatives. For example, discussing taboos about USA engineers on social media can be a good way to avoid offending a person who is Native American.
Native Americans are often underrepresented in STEM fields. In 2012, only 0.6% of Native Americans earned bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees in science and engineering. There are many reasons for this lack of participation, including lack of exposure, lack of confidence, or a lack of goal congruency.