Gendered Attrition Rates

Attrition was defined for this study as the loss of undergraduates majoring in Computer Science or Biology/Life Sciences to other majors at the same institution. Gendered attrition is the difference between the male and female rates of attrition from the major. 

Unlike most of the data in this report, the data for calculating gendered attrition rates were obtained from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). SCHEV provided aggregate data that tracked student outcomes in each study department from 1992 through 1997.

Two gendered attrition rates are reported below. They are the average gendered attrition rate for all students in the major (AGAR), and the average gendered attrition rates for upper-level students in the major (JSAGAR). First, AGAR and JSAGAR for Computer Science (CS) are reported. Then AGAR and JSAGAR for Biology/Life Sciences departments are reported.

The initial step in calculating gendered attrition rates is to determine an attrition rate for males and an attrition rate for females. To calculate the rate for one sex, first determine the average number of males (or females) who switched majors from one academic year to the next during the study years. Then, divide the result by the average number of males (or females) enrolled in the major at the beginning of each study year. (Students who leave the institution for reasons other than graduation are not included in either the numerator or the denominator.) After calculating rates for both sexes, the  female rate is subtracted from the male rate to obtain the average gendered attrition rate (AGAR).  

JSAGAR is calculated in the same way as AGAR, but includes only students who have reached at least their third year of study. By including only upper-level students, JSAGAR equalizes any differences from the timing of major declaration.

Gendered Attrition Rates for CS Departments

Average Gendered Attrition Rates (AGAR) for CS 

AGAR
Male Attrition Rate
Female Attrition Rate
-0.60 0.07 0.67
-0.36 0.07 0.43
-0.31 0.11 0.42
-0.19 0.26 0.44
-0.19 0.10 0.29
-0.11 0.13 0.24
-0.06 0.09 0.14
-0.06 0.07 0.13
-0.05 0.11 0.16
-0.05 0.04 0.09
-0.04 0.07 0.11
-0.04 0.08 0.13
-0.04 0.13 0.17
-0.03 0.13 0.17
-0.02 0.03 0.05
-0.02 0.08 0.10
-0.01 0.18 0.19
-0.01 0.22 0.24
0.00 0.07 0.07
0.00 0.00 0.00
0.01 0.21 0.19
0.03 0.08 0.05
0.05 0.05 0.00

mean -0.09

0.10 0.20

 

Average Gendered Attrition Rate for Upper-level CS Students (JSAGAR)

-0.44
-0.15
-0.15
-0.08
-0.07
-0.05
-0.04
-0.04
-0.03
-0.02
-0.02
-0.02
-0.02
-0.01
-0.01
0
0.01
0.03
0.03
0.05
0.07

mean                      -0.05

 

Gendered Attrition Rates for Biology Departments

Average Gendered Attrition Rates (AGAR) for Biology/Life Sciences

AGAR
Male Attrition Rate
Female Attrition Rate
-0.09 0.10 0.19
. . .
-0.02 0.12 0.14
-0.03 0.18 0.21
0.01 0.19 0.18
-0.06 0.13 0.2
-0.01 0.17 0.18
-0.02 0.10 0.12
-0.01 0.23 0.24
0.06 0.20 0.14
0.02 0.06 0.03
0.00 0.09 0.09
-0.04 0.15 0.2
-0.02 0.11 0.12
0.02 0.09 0.07
-0.05 0.20 0.25
-0.02 0.11 0.13
-0.02 0.12 0.13
0.02 0.07 0.05
0.00 0.05 0.05
0.05 0.18 0.13
0.02 0.04 0.02
-0.05 0.18 0.23

mean -0.01

0.13 0.14

 

Average Gendered Attrition Rates for Upper Level Biology Students (JSAGAR)

-0.04
0.03
-0.09
0.00
0.00
-0.01
-0.03
-0.01
0.02
0.01
-0.01
-0.04
-0.02
0.12
0.00
0.03
-0.02
0.04
0.00
0.02
-0.08
0.00

mean                        0.00