Girls are JUST good at maths, since boys and brain maturity do not differ by gender, finds new study, disproving the myth that has helped fill the STEM gender gap
- The belief that boys are naturally better at math has long existed in the US and around the world
- It is partly caused by the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
- In recent years, studies have begun to suggest that the differences in performance of boys and girls in mathematics are more complicated than pure ability
- Carnegie Mellon researchers have made functional MRI scans of the brains of boys and girls between three and eight years and adults
- While undergoing FMRI & # 39; s, participants were shown videos & # 39; s in which they learned basic counting and addition
- There were no differences in the way boys and girls processed the mathematical information
- Only adulthood – not gender – determined the differences between the brain activity of children and adults
Girls are just as good in mat boys has, according to science, published Friday morning.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University used MRI images to track children's brain activity while learning early math concepts.
Boys and girls' brains worked and processed the information in the same way, the study authors report.
& # 39; Science is inconsistent with popular belief & # 39 ;, said Dr. Jessica Cantlon, who led the research.
& # 39; We see that children's brains work the same way regardless of gender, so hopefully we can recalibrate expectations about what children can achieve in mathematics. & # 39;
Despite historical stereotypes about the mathematical skills of girls, a new study used brain imaging to show that there is no difference between how their brains count and the process of counting and adding boys
From an early age, little girls – in the US and around the world – have been confronted with many negative stereotypes: that they are not so good at math, that they are not so strong, fast or physically capable, and more.
Gender differences persist throughout their lives, as can be seen in wage gaps, gaps in positions and opportunities for boys versus boys (differences that are now more complicated as we discover a full spectrum of genders and sexuality).
There are now more women achieving university degrees in the US than men in general, but in all STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the proportion of women who earn bachelor's and doctoral degrees is around a third .
The gender gaps of STEM have become somewhat smaller in recent decades, but have increased again since 2003.
Anecdotal observations are those that continue to feed mathematics myth, but science makes holes in prejudice.
Early scientists began to see that there might be differences, but it was more accurate to say that although boys excelled in some types of math, girls were better designed to do others, or that boys might test better, but the aptitude was not significantly different.
A 2007 unlocked an obvious but pernicious explanation for the different achievements of boys and girls in mathematics.
Researchers from the University of Chicago discovered that girls struggled more with math – when they were told that boys were better at the subject.
& # 39; Typical socialization can aggravate small differences between boys and girls that can lead to how we treat them in science and math, & # 39; said Dr. Cantlon.
By following the brain function of boys and girls who did mathematics, her research aimed to withdraw the socialization layer that colors the perception of our and young girls of their mathematical skills.
Dr. Cantlon and her colleagues monitored the brains of 104 young girls and boys, aged three to ten years before the new study, published in Npj Science of Learning.
Their brain activity was recorded by a functional MRI machine while the children watched a video that taught basic mathematical concepts such as counting and adding.
They compared boys 'and girls' brain scans with each other, as well as with a matching set of brain scans of 63 adults viewing the same videos in the fMRI scanner.
According to the brain scans, the boys and girls processed math information in the same way.
What's more, the differences between the children's brains and adults were consistent, whether they were compared to women or men, indicating that gender differences did not come to the fore with age and adulthood, explaining the differences between children and the elderly.
& # 39; It is not only that boys and girls use the mathematical network in the same way, but that similarities were clear throughout the brain, & # 39; said the lead author and postdoc fellow, Dr. Alyssa Kersey.
& # 39; This is an important reminder that people are more alike than we are. & # 39;
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