Monday, June 02, 2008

Gender gaps in math: A new study says it's nurture, not nature

New research published in the journal Science (subscription required to see full article) finds that any gender gap between boys and girls in math achievement "disappears" in countries with higher levels of gender equity. The research, reported in The Guardian (UK), looked at 40 countries, and found that those nations with equal access to education, as well as other opportunities and support for girls, showed no gender gap in math scores. When it comes to reading, girls in "equal opportunity" countries tended to do significantly better than boys. This last finding may beg the question of whether more research is needed to figure out how best to support boys to become equally accomplished readers.