When it comes to mathematics, males and females are about equally skilled, according to a new review of the research on that topic.
A pair of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison systematically analyzed 242 studies published since 1990 that assessed the math skills of nearly 1.3 million people—including elementary school students, college students, and adults. They also examined results for adolescents taking part over the past 20 years in large-scale, long-term studies, such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Contrary to common perceptions giving male students an edge over females in mathematics, the Wisconsin researchers concluded that, overall, performance differences between the two genders is so slight as to be meaningless.
Their study is being published this month in the online version of the journal Psychological Bulletin.
A version of this article appeared in the October 20, 2010 edition of Education Week as Gender and Math