There is no one specific cause for gender differences in mathematics, as multiple factors such as societal expectations and stereotypes, individual self-confidence, and hormonal differences may all play a role.

## A more thorough response to your inquiry

Gender differences in mathematics have been widely discussed and researched for many years. There is no single cause for these differences, as multiple factors such as societal expectations and stereotypes, individual self-confidence, and hormonal differences may all play a role.

Research has shown that societal expectations and stereotypes can impact the way individuals approach mathematics. Girls may feel discouraged from pursuing math-related fields due to the perception that these fields are dominated by men. Individual self-confidence also plays a significant role, with many studies showing that girls tend to underestimate their abilities in math compared to boys.

Additionally, hormonal differences may impact the way boys and girls experience and approach math. Research has shown that boys tend to perform better on math tasks that require spatial skills, while girls tend to perform better on tasks that require verbal skills. This may be due in part to hormonal differences that impact brain development.

Despite these differences, it’s important to note that there is no inherent gender difference in math ability. As stated by psychologist and researcher Janet Hyde, “No one has yet been able to detect a biological difference between female and male brains that might be relevant to math ability.”

Other interesting facts about gender differences in mathematics include:

- A 2019 study found that girls perform just as well as boys in math, but have less confidence in their abilities.
- The gender gap in math has been getting smaller over time, with girls making significant gains in math achievement in recent decades.
- Many countries have implemented initiatives to encourage girls to pursue math and science-related careers, such as the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
- Role models and representation can play a significant role in encouraging girls to pursue math. In a study of high school students, girls who were taught math by a female teacher were more likely to express interest in pursuing math-related fields.

Table:

Factor | Impact on Gender Differences in Mathematics |
---|---|

Societal Expectations and Stereotypes | May discourage girls from pursuing math-related fields |

Individual Self-Confidence | Girls tend to underestimate their abilities in math compared to boys |

Hormonal Differences | Boys tend to perform better on tasks that require spatial skills, while girls tend to perform better on tasks that require verbal skills. |

## See the answer to “What causes gender differences in mathematics?” in this video

The speaker in this video addresses the gender gap in mathematics and highlights how it impacts students of different genders.Stereotypes surrounding gender and mathematics, and a lack of recognition for female mathematicians are cited as factors in the perceived difference in confidence and performance between genders. The speaker emphasizes the need to eliminate gender biases in teaching to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to excel in mathematics.They also discuss a study that suggests girls in classes taught by highly math-anxious teachers performed worse in math, possibly due to accepting stereotypes about gender and math, yet maintaining a positive attitude towards math can help girls perform well regardless of their teacher’s attitudes. The speaker argues that solving the problem of girls being held back in math needs to be addressed on a societal level with the belief in gender equality in math being held by all teachers and students.

## Other responses to your question

Gender roles and expectations are developed through social learning. In other words, children learn by watching and imitating what they see and hear from their parents, schools, and the media. These societal expectations and messages that children are receiving are affecting their perceived math ability.

Research has confirmed that

boys generally have better motivational profiles in mathematics than girls. The stereotypical view of gender roles held by students and parents has a significant impact on the mathematical capability of both sexes, with a positive effect on male students and a negative effect on female students. However, the threat of gender stereotypes does not have a negative impact on female students. Gender differences in math are closely related to cultural variations in opportunity structures for girls and women.

## You will most likely be intrigued

### What causes the gender gap in math?

Response will be: Researchers suggest that a large part of the gender gap in maths at high levels can be explained by the different ways in which men and women respond to competitive test-taking environments (Niederle and Vesterlund, 2010).

### Is there a gender difference in mathematics?

In reply to that: Research has confirmed gender differences, even in primary education, in mathematics self-concept, self-efficacy, and interest, suggesting that boys generally have better motivational profiles in mathematics than have girls (Eccles et al., 1993; Kurtz-Costes et al., 2008).

### How is gender related to mathematics?

Answer: A study through a meta-analysis reveals that males tend to do better on mathematics tests that involve problem-solving (Hyde, Fennema, and Eamon 1990). Females tend to do better in computation, and there is no significant gender difference in understanding math concepts.

### Does gender play a role in mathematics?

In influential reviews published in 1966 and 1974, the noted developmental psychologist Eleanor Maccoby concluded that gender differences in mathematics performance were scientifically well established, with males scoring higher (3, 4).

### What causes gender differences in mathematics performance?

Answer: Differences are found in relatively few aspects of mathematics performance (as noted by several authors in this volume), and when they are found, their causes are varied and often elusive. Indeed, individual differences in ability and achievement within gender are probably much larger than the differences between genders.

### Are girls better at math than boys?

Answer: Indeed, individual differences in ability and achievement within gender are probably much larger than the differences between genders. Yet, there persists a monolithic stereotype that girls don’t like math and aren’t as good at it as boys.

### Is there a gender gap in mathematics?

Response: This common perception is a poor reflection of reality and is likely to discourage girls from engaging in mathematics study and thus to limit opportunities for women in mathematics and related fields. Why do data from some standardized tests of mathematics show a gender gap, while nontest data show women matching or exceeding men in the classroom?

### Is there a gender difference in eighth grade math performance?

Inconsistencies in gender differences in performance by content domain were also found for students in eighth grade. No mean difference in the performance of girls and boys was found in 26 of the 39 countries in which the eighth grade mathematics survey was administered.

### Do gender differences in math affect differ between boys and girls?

We compared fourth and eighth graders to track any differences in these gender-related affective characteristics. Our findings suggest that despite the variability and some changes to the magnitude and direction of gender differences in math affect, boys and girls are similar.

### Does gender gap affect math confidence?

Positive values of effect size represent difference in “mathematics confidence” in favor of girls and negative values represent difference in math confidence in favor of boys. In countries with higher gender gap, girls showed a little more confidence in mathematics and in countries with lower gender gap, math confidence favored boys

### Are gender differences fostering parity in mathematics affect?

The answer is: Moreover, the change in the magnitude of the gender differences when fourth and eighth grade students of individual countries were compared is an evidence of the possibility of fostering parity between males and females in mathematics affect.

### Is gender equity a problem in mathematics education?

Drawing on 25 years of research on gender and mathematics education Leder ( 2001) wrote: Gender equity concerns have represented a significant item on the research agenda of (mathematics) educators in many countries – in highly technological societies as well as developing nations.