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University of Surrey Finds ‘Gamer Girls’ More Likely to Pursue STEM Degrees

Published on: 20 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 22 Oct, 2018

“Gamer girls are more likely to study STEM subjects.

By Anthony Parker

Female “gamers”, players of computer games, are more likely to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at university than non-gamers, a study at the University of Surrey has found.

The study, funded by the British Academy and published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour found female “heavy gamers” who played more than nine hours of video games a week were three times more likely to study a STEM subject than their non-gaming counterparts

100% of the women enrolled in the study, who were already studying a STEM subject, identified as gamers. The same, however, was not true of boys where no correlation was found between gaming and their chosen subject at university.

Dr Anesa Hosein, lecturer, programme director and self-confessed “geek girl” who led the research believes identifying and targeting female gamers will the crucial to “encouraging the girl gamers of today to become the engineering and physics students and pioneers of tomorrow”.

As there are still too few female STEM role models for young women, she says, “educators should target girl gamers, as they already may have a natural interest in these subjects. We need to get better at identifying clues early to recognise which girls may be more interested in taking up STEM degrees.”

She went as far as to suggest “school educators could also start including gaming in STEM degrees to increase engagement of girl gamers.

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