Story at a glance:
- Boys who described themselves as “excellent” or “good” students did worse in math than girls who rated themselves “average” or even “poor,” in a recent study.
- Girls receive less mentorship than boys in the STEM field at a younger age.
- The study found the lack of support correlated with findings that boys tend to like math more than girls.
When it comes to mathematics, girls are better than boys.
While female students tend to perform better than boys in math, however, lower confidence and fewer female role models mean that many do not pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and of course, mathematics (STEM) fields, according to a recent study from Third Space Learning.
In a survey asking 1,000 students to describe their mathematics skills from excellent down to poor, male students who described themselves as “excellent” or “good” students did worse in math than female students who rated themselves “average” or even “poor.”
Part of the reason why they did not pursue STEM-related jobs later in life is because they did not have the mentorship as a young student, said 46 percent of female respondents. Although 40 percent of male respondents said the same, that 6 percent difference is significant enough to have a tangible impact on girls' and women’s perception of mathematics and science. The study found that males had more favorable views for mathematics — at about 40 percent — than females, who had a 27 percent favorability.
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