On average, girls tend to have lower self-perceived math ability than boys, but this difference is not due to innate ability or genetics. It is largely influenced by societal and cultural factors.

## So let us dig a little deeper

On average, girls tend to have lower self-perceived math ability than boys, but this difference is not due to innate ability or genetics. It is largely influenced by societal and cultural factors.

According to a report by the National Science Foundation, “girls begin to lose confidence in their math abilities during early adolescence and continue to give up before realizing their full potential.” This phenomenon, known as the “confidence gap,” can lead to fewer women pursuing careers in STEM fields.

However, there are efforts being made to combat this issue. The Girls’ Angle organization works to provide math education and support to girls, in order to increase their confidence and interest in the subject. Additionally, a study by the University of Washington found that when female teachers provided positive feedback and reinforcement to female students during math activities, those students were more likely to pursue STEM careers.

Furthermore, a table from a report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) shows the percentage of female students who completed tertiary education in selected STEM fields. While women are underrepresented in engineering and computer science, they are relatively well-represented in life sciences and mathematics.

In conclusion, while there is a societal and cultural influence on the self-perceived math ability of girls, efforts are being made to close the “confidence gap” and promote women’s participation in STEM fields. As stated by Janette Sadik-Khan, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, “Girls can do math just as well as boys, and society needs to ensure that nothing disrupts the educational progress made by any child based on gender.”

Field of Study | Percentage of Female Students who Completed Tertiary Education |
---|---|

Engineering | 26% |

Mathematics | 45% |

Computer Science | 18% |

Life Sciences | 57% |

## See a related video

In the video “Good Will Hunting (1997) – Will Solves Math Challenge (Matt Damon),” Will and his friends are uninterested in the math problem that Professor Lambeau offers his class to solve, opting instead to drink and have fun. However, upon arriving at the class and finding out that the problem has been solved, Will shocks everyone by revealing that a problem on the board took him and his friends two years to solve. Will challenges the student who solved the original problem to solve another, but the student walks away.

## Other methods of responding to your inquiry

Similarly, estimates of self-perceived math ability are also

slightly higher for boys.

Girls have much lower mathematics self-efficacy than boys, a likely contributor to the underrepresentation of women in STEM. To help explain this gender confidence gap, we examined predictors of mathematics self-efficacy in a sample of 1,007 9th graders aged 13–18 years (54.2% girls).

Unfortunately, already at this early age

girls report lower ability self-concepts in math than boys—despite their comparable performances in objective math competence tests.

Specifically, their research suggests that even at the same levels of ability,

girls believe their math abilities are lower than boys.

When it comes to mathematics,

girls rate their abilities markedly lower than boys, even when there is no observable difference between the two, according to Florida State University researchers.

At the end of elementary school,

girls show a lower self-concept of their mathematical ability than boys. Recent explanations of this gender difference have focused on the role that evaluation of students’ ability by significant others has.

Our findings indicate even at the same levels of observed ability, girls’ mathematics ability beliefs under challenge are

markedly lowerthan those of boys. These beliefs matter over time, potentially tripling girls’ chances of majoring in PEMC sciences, over and above biological science fields, all else being equal.

Boysscored higher in science, math and overall academic self-efficacy, intrinsic learning motivation and math’s importance for future careers. Meanwhile, girls displayed higher levels of gender stereotypes related to STEM and lower self-efficacy in math.

The studies show that the

relatively low mathematical self-efficacy in girlspredicts lower aspirations for pursuing mathematically-loaded careers [ 22 ].

A nationally representative study of U.S. adolescents in the early 1990s showed

girls assess their mathematics ability more negatively than do boys, with consequences for their later career decisions (Correll, 2001).

## People also ask

Besides, **Does gender affect mathematical ability?**

Answer: These studies have found that females perform better in arithmetic and calculus, while males perform better in mathematical problem solving (Byrnes and Takahira, 1993).

In this way, **Are there gender differences in math self-efficacy beliefs?**

Response will be: Their study addressed the question of how self-efficacy beliefs relate to success in mathematics and were able to show that this correlation was statistically higher for female students than for male students.

Thereof, **Are there gender differences in math abilities?**

The answer is: While math achievement levels were essentially the same between genders, the difference in attitude towards math was strikingly in favor of boys over girls. The study authors attributed much of this discrepancy to stereotype bias on the part of parents and teachers.

One may also ask, **What is the gender difference in mathematics self concept?**

As an answer to this: In the whole sample, the mathematics self-concept scale ranged from 3.08 to 14.17. The average mathematics self-concept was 9.81 (SD = 1.82) for girls and 10.06 (SD = 1.89) for boys.

Considering this, **Do girls have lower self-perceived math ability than boys?** Response: Even after comparing boys and girls at the same level of math test performance, girls significantly report lower levels of self-perceived math ability than boys do. This finding is especially problematic among those in the tails of the math achievement distribution.

Regarding this, **Are boys’ and girls’ math performance different?**

Overall there are only small differences in boys’ and girls’ math performance; those differences depend on the age and skill level of the student, what type of math they are attempting and how big of a dissimilarity is needed to say that boys’ and girls’ math performance is truly different.

Also, **Do girls have a negative attitude about mathematics?**

The response is: The results confirm what previous research has suggested, thatgirls tended to exhibit less positive attitudes about mathematics than their male classmates, in particular lower motivation, worse perception of competence, and higher rates of anxiety, although in all cases the effect sizes were small.

Simply so, **Do gender differences in math performance and self-reported ability decrease when parents work?**

Observed gender differences in math performance and self-reported ability decrease when parents report working in a science-related occupation.

**Do girls have lower self-perceived math ability than boys?** Even after comparing boys and girls at the same level of math test performance, girls significantly report lower levels of self-perceived math ability than boys do. This finding is especially problematic among those in the tails of the math achievement distribution.

Also, **Does gender affect math performance?**

Interestingly, we often see larger gender difference in other math-related outcomes compared with overall performance. Girls tend to have less positive math attitudes: They have higher levels of math anxiety and lower levels of confidence in their math skills.

Additionally, **Do boys have more positive attitudes towards math than girls?**

The reply will be: The research carried out by this author in Ghana, showed that boys had more positive attitudes towards mathematics than girls. Also Sanchez et al. [ 14] in a study with North American students found significant gender differences in eighth grade students’ attitudes towards math.

In respect to this, **Why do girls not like math?**

This discomfort often leads them to stay away from anything involving math. Teachers have an implicit bias that makes them think girls have lower mathematical ability than boys. Although this is a problem affecting all students, girls are particularly vulnerable.