Sheril Kirshenbaum has a few comments about a piece in Science addressing innate differences between boys and girls in math. I have to say, it may be hard to accept the scientific truth sometimes, but the research really does consistently say the same thing again and again. In this latest study, the science …

[doesn’t] rule out the existence of very small biological difference, but, by comparing test scores across cultures, [does] indict local social factors as the likely primary culprit. Gender gaps vary from place to place, showing that cultural factors swamp biological ones.

Read about the study here.


  1. #1 daedalus2u
    December 17, 2011

    What is very interesting is that it looks like this technique might be usable to determine other cross-cultural stereotype threat effects.

    What I would like to see is this type of analysis done on US States but in reverse, so as to infer the degree of stereotype threat due to things like race, gender, ethnicity.

  2. #2 Childermass
    December 17, 2011

    For sake of argument assume it is all biological. Draw the bell curve for both males and females. The overlap is overwhelming even in studies that found a difference. Thus for all practical purposes, it makes no sense to discriminate even if it is all biological (yeah right).

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    December 17, 2011

    We don’t need to assume something that is demonstrably not true for the sake of argument!

  4. #4 F
    December 18, 2011

    It’s a rhetorical device used to demonstrate that denialists are wrong by their own lights. FWIW.

  5. #5 T
    December 19, 2011

    Average differences aside, I can proudly state that my breasts and I are better at math than most boys I know…