There are so much discussion regarding a controversial hypothesis about differences in the sexes’ aptitude for math and science.
How true then that women by nature are not interested as much as men in the field of math and science?
Though men and women have equal mathematical ability, statistics unfortunately have shown it in the contrary.
A team of psychologists at Duke University in North Carolina do a research where they analyzed the test scores of students in the US who took college admission tests while they were still in the seventh grade.
As part of an annual talent search since 1981, the SAT and ACT tests have been given to more than 1.6 million gifted seventh graders. with roughly equal number of boys and girls participating.
The Duke researchers focused on the extreme right tail of the distribution curve. For a seventh grade to rank in the top .01 percent of the general population, he or she has to score above 700 on the SAT math test.
Results of test that was done in 1980, there were thirteen boys for every girl, however in 1991, the gender gap had narrowed to four boys and one girl. It was believed that sociocultural factors like encouragement and instruction in math offered to girls that help them in closing the gap.
Since then, the gap has not been narrowed, despite the continuous encouragement to girls through various programs. Duke researcher’s report has shown that there are still four boys for every girl at the extreme right tail of the scores for the SAT math test.
The boy and girl ratio has also remain fairly constant, at about 3 to 1, at the right tail of the ACT tests of both math and science reasoning.
With the trend, researchers say that it is impossible to predict how long these gender gap to last but they concluded that such statistical data would only prove as to why there’s a scarcity of women in the field of math and science.