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Females = Males in Mathematical Skills

The next time you hear someone say that women don’t know Math, show him (we are presuming it would be a male) this article. Janet Hyde, a Professor for Psychology and Women’s Studies in the University of Wisconsin- Madison, assessed the Mathematical skills of 1,286,350 people. The study broke some conventional mindsets that restrict women from excelling in the field of their choice.

The Studies
Some 242 articles have already been written on this subject. The studies have been published in England between 1990 and 2007. In this study around 1,286,350 people were observed and their Math skills were assessed. These participants ranged from grade school to higher studies. This long-term study was re-examined in another research. Janet Hyde observed that in both the cases the difference in the Mathematical abilities of both the sexes was negligible. This proved that the stereotype notion that men are smarter than women when it comes to numbers is baseless and sexist.

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Why does this mental-block still exist?
This equality of the sexes when it comes to Math has been widely accepted by the social scientists. However, the results of the studies have not yet reached the parents and the teachers. As per Hyde, the negative role played by parents and teachers greatly influence the young minds of girls and boys. It has been observed that girls are kept far away from the Math related sciences and engineering.

Why stereotype notion that “Girls can’t do Math” is detrimental?
Scientists do believe that there is no distinction in the mathematical skills on the gender basis. But that is not the general perception of the society. It still thinks that “Girls can’t do Math”. This stereotype idea can hold back women. It can prove detrimental to the psyche of the women, according to Janet Hyde. If girls take Math test with the assumption that males perform better than females in the Mathematics then that might bring down their performance. It’s kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

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How will this study help in the future?
Janet Hyde feels that this study will break the mis-concept about the mental faculty of women. Besides this,:

  • The study aims to boost the morale of the female students.
  • It will encourage the girls to take up courses which require lots of Math.
  • The research might also lead to the teachers teaching high-level-problem-solving which is important for jobs.
  • Instill confidence in parents to trust their daughter’s Math skills.

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