Mathematical ability in females

For around 100 years, IQ testing has consistently found that females have better verbal ability and males have better mathematical ability. But that is of course politically incorrect so Leftist researchers have been scratching around for an explanation of differences in mathematical achievement that does not involve innate ability. The latest such is below and it will no doubt be much quoted in future.

One glance at it shows that it disproves nothing. No one has ever claimed that ability is the only influence on achievement. Remember that funny old concept of "hard work"? All that the study below does is confirm that the power of example has an influence on achievement too -- which is hardly news either.
Female teachers' math anxiety affects girls' math achievement

By Sian L. Beilock et al.


People's fear and anxiety about doing math-over and above actual math ability-can be an impediment to their math achievement. We show that when the math-anxious individuals are female elementary school teachers, their math anxiety carries negative consequences for the math achievement of their female students. Early elementary school teachers in the United States are almost exclusively female (>90%), and we provide evidence that these female teachers' anxieties relate to girls' math achievement via girls' beliefs about who is good at math. First- and secondgrade female teachers completed measures of math anxiety. The math achievement of the students in these teachers' classrooms was also assessed. There was no relation between a teacher's math anxiety and her students' math achievement at the beginning of the school year. By the school year's end, however, the more anxious teachers were about math, the more likely girls (but not boys) were to endorse the commonly held stereotype that "boys are good at math, and girls are good at reading" and the lower these girls' math achievement. Indeed, by the end of the school year, girls who endorsed this stereotype had significantly worse math achievement than girls who did not and than boys overall. In early elementary school, where the teachers are almost all female, teachers' math anxiety carries consequences for girls' math achievement by influencing girls' beliefs about who is good at math.


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

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