Study Finds Women Who Were Into The X-Files Are More Likely to Work in STEM

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Dana Scully

There’s a long-standing pop-culture theory that The X-Files’ Agent Dana “Science Over Everything” Scully (played by Gillian Anderson) encouraged women’s interest in science. Now, a new study conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has finally confirmed it, with science. Their findings suggest that women who regularly watched the show were 50 percent more likely to work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

The study was conducted in February of this year, and it focused on a few central questions about whether women and girls considered Scully a role model, how she shaped their perception of STEM fields, and whether she had anything to do with their decision to pursue STEM IRL. “63% of the women who were familiar with Dana Scully said that she increased their belief in the importance of STEM, that’s really a societal norm shift,” said Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute.

Inspired by the study’s results, The X-Files released a new video that’s all about the so-called Scully effect:

Study: Women Who Watched The X-Files More Likely to Do STEM