Women may be underrepresented in science and technology not because they are less skilled in those areas or because they face specific gender barriers to entering these fields, but because they may find better opportunities elsewhere.

That’s the conclusion from a new study by Ming-Te Wang and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh. According to the researchers, women have broader intellectual talents, which provide them with more occupational options.

The group analyzed data involving 1,500 college-bound students of above average intelligence, who were part of a long-term study. They were first surveyed in 1992 when they were high school seniors and then reinterviewed by phone at age 33 in 2007.

The results, published in the journal Psychological Science, found dramatic differences by gender in the areas in which men and women excelled. Among who had highest scores on both the verbal and the math sections of the SAT, for example, nearly two-thirds were female, while only 37% were male.

[Read the rest: healthland.time]