Why Women Dominate in Forensic Science

Andy
Peloquin

Here’s an interesting fact I stumbled across recently: forensic science educational programs tend to be skewed heavily toward females, as opposed to the fact that most other science-based STEM majors are overwhelmingly male. The average forensic science majors are 78% women, compared to 35% women averaged among other non-forensic science careers. That’s a lot of women showing an interest in, and aptitude for, forensics! But why is that? What is it about forensics that have intrigued so many young, educated women?

Women and Forensics
One study took a look at a few reasons why women excel in the forensic sciences, and the outcome was fascinating.
Women are more detail-oriented. Modern technologies require painstaking examination of minute pieces of evidence taken from, or connected to, crime scenes. Tiny samples are often all the forensic scientists have to go on, and requires a high degree of attention to detail in order to extract information to help advance an investigation.
Women make excellent forensic scientists because of their high degree of attention to detail. Countless studies have proven that women pay better attention to details—even minute ones—and they have a better understanding of how those details can be connected to a larger picture.
Women prefer organic materials, men prefer inorganic. Perhaps this is one reason that men tend to dominate the field of computer sciences, technology, and wood, stone, and metalwork, while women gravitate more toward the sciences that deal with organic materials, including forensics, nursing, and the examination of human bodies.
Women do not possess high levels of bravado. This comes from a CSIDT expert who’s trained hundreds of forensics scientists over his career. According to this expert, the lack of bravado makes women better-suited to both land-based and underwater forensics (examining human remains and crime scenes in lakes, oceans, rivers, ponds, etc.), as they are less likely to take dangerous risks or hurry through the evaluation process. 

Read the entire article in the May 2020 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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