Native Americans are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We investigated whether having to violate cultural taboos might be a factor in the decisions of some Native Americans not to pursue STEM degrees. Many STEM faculty likely know very little about Native Americans’ historical experiences with an education system that has been used to forcibly acculturate them and so may not be aware of the threat many Native Americans perceive from curricula that claim cultural neutrality yet require Native Americans to violate strongly held cultural beliefs.

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