Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Girls Shouldn't Do Math

It's amazing that so many people (especially those that should know better) still think there are biological reasons that girls do not traditionally succeed in math and science. Most modern research has shown that there is no biological reason for the discrepancy in math performance and that it is based primarily on secondary social influences. It is attitudes like this that propagate the discrepencies in math and science performance. If boys and girls were equally encouraged in all subjects we would see these discrepencies disapear and students would gravitate towards the subjects they excel in instead of what they are pushed into.



Blogger Greg Smyth said...

I agree with your post but from the story I read at BBC News (link) it sounds like people overreacted. Or at least the woman from MIT who claimed she would've blacked out or thrown up had she stayed (this, I doubt). Obviously if the guy was reporting proper results (with stuff like the points you raised factored out of the analysis, like proper science) then he shouldn't be set up like some ogre. If he actually believes any of that stuff (without proper scientific backup) then he's foolish and probably for the highjump.

1/18/2005 12:35 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Agreed Greg. It does sound like many people overeacted. I just hate when people rely on outdated research and understanding instead of new findings. Especially in cases like this where it really seems like common sense. Most people don't need hard science to understand that the discrepencies in math are probably caused by social factors rather than biological.

1/18/2005 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a computer network administrator for years, and I want to add that the societal influences don't go away even after a girl gets her education. It took me two years to get the guys at my current job to accept the fact that I wasn't going to go away. If I were a less (shall we say) assertive person, I might have chosen a more "accepted" path instead.
Yes it's all great and wonderful that women continue to blaze trails so that girls can have role models, but my question lately has been for you men: where is your visible support? There are many like Chuck who defend women as full human beings with full human rights. But rarely do I hear their voices saying so.

1/19/2005 8:57 AM  

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