so I did some research for a presentation in my psych class and I think I should share what I found.
you know that idea that boys are generally a little better at math and science? yeah, that’s not true. at least, that’s what some researchers found when they looked at gender gaps in the scores of testing that covered 65 countries (rather than looking at test scores from just one). what they found was that — when looking at general, worldwide trends — girls have higher scores in reading and science, whereas boys only have a higher average score in math. but, and it’s a big but, there was a large amount of variation in math scores — even though the average came out in boys’ favor, there were many countries in which girls had the higher score or the gender gap was so tiny that it meant nothing (and this means that it is by no means an inevitability that boys have a higher math score).
basically, the idea that boys are generally naturally more proficient in math and science doesn’t hold water when you survey lots of countries (thus greatly reducing or eliminating the effects of culture).
also, there was a very alarming finding about american scores — boys had a significantly higher average in both math and science, which deviates worryingly from the international norm. kind of hints at a wee bit of sexism in american culture and academics.