Gender Bias in Math

I’ve marked too many math courses to believe men are inherently better at math than women. Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains:

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explained,”There appears to be a difference in the size of the brain when you compare men versus women, we’re talking about the anatomy here. Obviously, male brains tends to be larger, because men tend to be, but within the brain certain structures and parts of the anatomy, some are bigger in women, some are bigger in men. So, for example, in male brains, men have six and a half times more gray matter than women do. Gray matter is partly responsible for information processing, so may explain in general men tend to be better in math.”

I’ve never been given a good reason, biological or otherwise, why men would be inherently better at math. The only reasons that work are old-fashioned sexism. Elementary and high school teachers didn’t believe that girls could do math, or physics, or chemistry, and I could go on. Women have been pigeonholed into other areas like become elementary school teachers, english teachers, psychologists, and so on. It is only a matter of time before women equal if not outnumber men in these areas. Women already outnumber men in university enrollment and earning degrees:

Significant progress has also been achieved in reducing the gender gap in educational qualifications. Younger women today are far more likely to have completed a tertiary qualification than women 30 years ago: in 19 of the 30 OECD countries, more than twice as many women aged 25 to 34 have completed tertiary education than women aged 55 to 64 do. In 21 of 27 OECD countries with comparable data, the number of women graduating from university-level programmes is equal to or exceeds that of men (Table A4.2). Last but not least, 15-year-old girls tend to show much higher expectations for their careers than boys of the same age (Table A9.1).

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