Women Are Bad At Math

Women can’t do math. They’re only good academically at English and they are great at housework, right? But, are women bad at math because they are “just not good at that kind of stuff’ or “their brains work differently?” That’s what I was always told. Or is it because they just don’t believe in themselves? I recently came across a blog that challenges the former notions about women and math.

In the United State, men and women still aren’t seen as equals and many people still think that men were smarter than women. Of course, plenty of women have been proving that wrong for years. But when it comes to math and science, many people still believe men do better in these fields than women. Some statistics do show that school age girls score almost ten points lower than school age boys in the U.S on math and science proficiency. Because of this, I think that some teachers are diverting young female students away from math and science telling them they are smarter in different ways than their male counterparts. They tell female students that even though they aren’t good at math, there are other subjects that they are really good at, like English, so that’s what they should focus on more. I also think that some teachers make the assumption that male students are smarter than female students at math and science, so they give the male students more attention in these subjects. Subsequently, by the high school level, girls start to believe what has been drilled into their heads since grade school: boys are just better at math and their time could be better spent doing something else.

Research in other parts of the world has proven this not to be true. In other countries around the world that are more “gender equal,” school age girls do just as well and most of the time better, than boys on math exams. In countries like Iceland, Sweden, and Norway, the math gender gap has almost disappeared.

I’ve never been good at math, but then again, I was always told that boys were just better at math than girls. I was told that my brain just worked differently. One of my friends read the same blog and was surprised. She had never heard of boys being better at math than girls. Having two older brothers, one being good at math and the other being terrible, she wouldn’t have believed it anyway. Are you surprised that she is a math major?

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2 Comments

  1. Miyako
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is a very interesting article. I understand the inequalities in perception when math is a topic of conversation between men and women, but I have never been told that women were less in these areas and therfore the face that I am bad at math I never blamed it on men being better than me just that I suck at Math.

  2. Patsy
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I believe that there is all types of people in both genders. If there are men who are good at math,then there are many women who are good at math as well. This article shows that there is a lot of stereotyping in the academic institutions.

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