Believing, not calculating

When it comes to mathematics, girls rate their abilities markedly lower than boys, even when there is no observable difference between the two, according to Florida State University researchers.

“The argument continues to be made that gender differences in the ‘hard’ sciences is all about ability,” said Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education and sociology in the College of Education. “But when we hold mathematics ability test scores constant, effectively taking it out of the equation, we see boys still rate their ability higher, and girls rate their ability lower.”

Perez-Felkner is the lead author of a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Doctoral students Samantha Nix and Kirby Thomas are co-authors of the study.

The research team found perception gaps are even wider at the upper levels of mathematics ability — among those students with the most talent and potential in these fields. Boys are significantly more confident in challenging mathematics contexts than otherwise identically talented girls. Specifically, boys rated their ability 27 percent higher than girls did. … (ScienceDaily)