Even as More Women Hold High-Status STEM Jobs, Girls Remain Anxious About Math

by Parent Co. May 02, 2016

young girl holding her toy horse

A new study shows that even when countries where lots of moms have high-status STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs, math anxiety for girls is significant. What’s more, the gap between girls’ and boys anxiety in math is bigger in more developed and equitable countries. The study, published in PlosOne, analyzed data from more than 750,000 15-year-old students across 68 countries. The researchers wanted to explore the anxiety gap: if cultural norms played a big role, then more gender-equal countries would show a smaller gap. Countries where lots of moms worked in high-powered STEM jobs would surely show a smaller performance gap between girls and boys and a smaller anxiety gap. The researchers found that when equality is low, math performance for both girls and boys tends to be low, and anxiety over the subject is high. As gender equality improves, performance improves and math anxiety for everyone declines. But the drop in anxiety is dramatically steeper for boys than girls. In the US and Britain, for example, there’s a small performance gap favoring boys, but the anxiety gap is three times larger.
Source: Girls are still afraid of math, even when their moms are scientists — Quartz



Parent Co.

Author



Also in Conversations

Girl  holding tray with healthyfood at school canteen
6 Rewards Schools Could Use to Motivate Introverted Kids

by Parent Co. January 31, 2018

My son’s school offered a special incentive to encourage students to use their online learning program during the holiday break.

Continue Reading