Women in Science Scale (WiSS) - Short Form

The Women is Science Scale (WiSS) - Short is a 14-item instrument that measures the attitudes adolescents hold toward women's involvement in the sciences as a career. This measure contains two sub-scales: equality and sexism.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Children


Equality subscale
1. Women can be as good in science career as men can.
2. Women can make important scientific discoveries.
3. Women are not reliable enough to hold top positions in scientific and technical fields.
4. A woman with a science career will have an unhappy life.*
5. A woman should have the same job opportunities in science careers as a man.
6. Women should not have the same chances for advance in science careers as men do.*
7. Women should have the same educational opportunities as men.
8. A successful career is as important to a woman as it is to a man.

Sexism subscale
9. A woman's basic responsibility is raising children.
10. A wife should spend more effort to help her husband's career than she spends on her own.
11. Women have less need to study math and science than men do.
12. Men need more math and science careers than women do.
13. It is better for a woman to study home economics than chemistry.
14. It is wrong for women to seek jobs when there aren't enough jobs for all the men who want them.

Response Options:
6-point Likert scale
Strongly agree - 1
Strongly disagree - 6

Scoring Procedures

The mean score is calculated for the total scale and each of the two sub-scales. Higher scores reflect more disagreement with the statements in the scale.

Original Citation

Owen, S. V., Toepperwein, M. A., Pruski, L. A., Blalock, C. L., Liu, Y., Marshall, C. E., & Lichtenstein, M. J. (2007). Psychometric reevaluation of the Women in Science Scale (WiSS). Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44(10), 1461-1478.

Psychometric Score

Citation Frequency

Ease of Use Score

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)


Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity