"Breaking gender norms! Providing the place for boys to put on their party dress and twirl and the place for girls to put on their jockstrap and play!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Boys think they're better than girls at math

It would seem that the one place where boys and girls would be one equal footing is at school, but according to a recent University of Washington study, "math is for boys." The gender gap that has been discussed for years, demystified in this Time feature story, may be back!

As early as the second grade, male students are identifying as being confident in their math skills, contrasting the vast about of girls that are saying that math is not their strongest point. The scary part about this study and society is that the skill level that is being tested shows boys and girls at similar skill levels. It is the confidence of these young children and societal thoughts that "math is for boys" that is causing this to happen.

Schools aren't helping boost confidence for girls either. The Augusta, Maine Board of Education unanimously ruled earlier this that it will be separating students in math classes based on the student's gender. Girls will be taking math with girls and boys will be taking math with boys. This separation based on gender will make it seem as though girls cannot be in the same class with boys because their skill level is not up to the same par level.

There is enough gender based stereotypes and discrimination around today, the last place we need it is in the classrooms.