March 05, 2021   10:28am

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Boys are better at math? Not anymore!

You think boys are better at math? Not anymore …
A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and paid for by the National Science foundation looked at results of math tests from 7 million students in 10 states and found no difference between boys and girls — not even in high school, where the gap used to widen.

Researcher Janet Hyde is quoted in The New York Times article “Math Scores Show No Gap for Girls, Study Finds,” that “girls are now taking more advanced math classes, and the old stereotypes are falling away. There are no longer gender differences in math performance.”

“The stereotype that boys do better at math is still held widely by teachers and parents,” Dr. Hyde said. “And teachers and parents guide girls, giving them advice about what courses to take, what careers to pursue. I still hear anecdotes about guidance counselors steering girls away from engineering, telling them they won’t be able to do the math.”

“The study also analyzed the gender gap on the math section of the SAT. Rather than proving boys’ superior talent for math, the study found, the difference is probably attributable to a skewed pool of test takers. The SAT is taken primarily by seniors bound for college, and since more girls than boys go to college, about 100,000 more girls than boys take the test, including lower-achieving girls who bring down the girls’ average score.”

“On the ACT, another college entrance test, the study said, the gender gap in math scores disappeared in Colorado and Illinois after the states began requiring all students to take the test.”
The Week, Health & Science, “Catching up to the boys,” August 8, 2008, pg 22

The New York Times, “Math Scores Show No Gap for Girls, Study Finds,” July 25, 2008

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