Math Ability/Performance Abstracts
Commentary on women in math
Comments on the now famous Benbow-Stanley report in Science magazine on
sex differences in mathematical ability.
C.P. Benbow, D. Lubinski, D.L. Shea, H. Eftekhari-Sanjani
Authors’ abstract: Reported is the 20-year follow-up of 1,975 mathematically gifted adolescents (top 1%) whose assessments at age 12 to 14 revealed robust gender differences in mathematical reasoning ability. Both sexes became exceptional achievers and perceived themselves as such; they reported uniformly high levels of degree attainment and satisfaction with both their career direction and their overall success. The earlier sex differences in mathematical reasoning ability did predict differential educational and occupational outcomes. The observed differences also appeared to be a function of sex differences in preferences for (a) inorganic versus organic disciplines and (b) a career-focused versus more-balanced life. Because profile differences in abilities and preferences are longitudinally stable, males probably will remain more represented in some disciplines, whereas females are likely to remain more represented in others. These data have policy implications for higher education and the world of work.
L. Burton, Gender and Mathematics: An International
Perspective
This book is the outcome of the Women and Mathematics Topic Area at the
6th International Congress on Mathematics Education held in Budapest,
Hungary, in 1988.
V. I. Cherian, Gender, socioeconomic status, and
mathematics achievement by Xhosa children
A study of gender and socioeconomic status differences in mathematics
achievement revealed that girls from low socioeconomic status performed
better than boys belonging to their economic class, whereas boys
belonging to middle or high socioeconomic status performed better than
girls. This was because girls from low socioeconomic status have to do
household chores and they are trained to be a wife, a housekeeper and
mother. Boys belonging to low socioeconomic status travel a lot, as a
result of which they experience fatigue and are not able study.
S. F. Chipman, D. H. Krantz, and R. Silver, Mathematics
anxiety and science careers among able college women
A study was conducted in a women's college to determine if there exists a
correlation between women's attitude towards math and their choice of
career. A questionnaire which consisted of career interest questions and
math attitude items was administered to incoming freshmen batches in
1985, 1986 and 1987. Results showed a high correlation between math
confidence and choice of a physical science career. On the other hand,
previous knowledge in math proved to be insignificant. These results
point to the importance of cultivating positive attitudes towards
mathematics learning.
J. Ernest, Mathematics and Sex
Report of an undergraduate research seminar at the University of
California at Santa Barbara
R. B. Felson and L. Trudeau, Gender differences in
mathematics performance
Includes: Typical sex difference socialization model for performance in
mathematics. (chart); Items from parents', children's questionnaire,
lambda model coefficients. (table); Sex differences in performance,
grades 5-8. (table); Model representing the effects of sex on math
anxiety. (chart); Structural coefficients of gender effects on parents,
children, teachers. (table); Enrollment in various high school courses,
1986-87. (table); Gender differences in high school performance. (table)
B. Grevholm and G. Hanna, Gender and Mathematics
Education, an ICMI Study in Stiftsgardern, Akersberg, Hoor, Sweden
A collection of papers by internationally known scholars on fundamental
themes in the area.
L. Guiso et. al. Culture, Gender, and Math.
This article explores the so-called gender gap in math across
different countries and shows how the gap differs widely from country
to country and is tied to a low "women
emancipation" indicator. The online summary is very
informative.
J. Gutbezahl, How negative expectancies and attitudes
undermine females' math confidence and performance: a review of the
literature
This preprint is a literature review on how negative expectancies and
attitudes undermine females' math confidence and performance. Contains a
long list of references.
J. S. Hyde, E. Fennema, and S. J. Lamon, Gender
differences in mathematics performance: a meta-analysis
Includes: Studies of gender differences in mathematics performance.
(table); Magnitude of gender differences as a function of: age, cognitive
level. (table); Magnitude of gender differences as a function of
mathematics content. (table); Magnitude of gender differences as a
function of selectivity of sample. (table); Approximate magnitude of
gender differences in mathematics performance. (graph); Magnitude of
gender differences as a function of ethnicity. (table)
J. S. Hyde, S. M. Lindberg, M. C. Linn, A. B. Ellis, C. C. Williams;
Gender similarities characterize math performance
This report is based on data from 10 states on the cognitive
performance of students in grades 2 -
11. The data shows only trivial differences in math due to
gender and this is true even in the high school years.
J. S. Hyde, E. Fennema, M. Ryan, L. A. Frost, and C.
Hopp, Gender comparisons of mathematics attitudes and affect: a
meta-analysis
This is a report on the authors' meta-analyses on the effects of gender
differences in attitudes on mathematics performance. On the whole, effect
sizes were small. Some differences in attitudes were observed and the
differences seemed to increase with the age of the students. Includes:
Gender differences on scales of math attitudes/affect as function of age.
(table); Magnitude of gender differences on other scales of math
attitudes/affect. (table); Gender differences in mathematics
attitudes/affect, combining scales. (table); Gender differences in
mathematics anxiety as function of selectivity. (table); Studies of
gender differences in mathematics attitudes and affect. (table)
J. E. Jacobs, Influence of gender stereotypes on parent
and child mathematics attitudes
The author tests the hypothesis that the gender stereotypes about
mathematical ability of parents influence their perception of their
child's mathematical ability and chances of future mathematical successes
and thereby influence the child's self-perceptions and performance in
mathematics.
E. Kwiatkowski, R. Dammer, J. K. Mills, and C.-S.
Jih, Gender differences in attitudes toward mathematics among
undergraduate college students: the role of environmental variables
This study examined gender differences in attitudes and perceptions toward
mathematics among 132 undergraduates. Men showed more interest and
liklihood to enroll in mathematics courses. The findings suggest that men
have more positive attitudes and perceptions toward mathematics than women.
L. Lafortune, Femmes et Mathematique
Collection of papers presented at a conference orgenaized by MOIFEM
(Mouvement international poiur les femmes et l'enseignment de la
mathematique) in Montreal, June 6-7, 1986.
G. Lappan, L. H. Reyes, and G. M. A. Stanic, Gender and
race equity in primary and middle school mathematics classrooms
Ability --Testing
Discrimination in education --Analysis
Hispanic American students --Testing
Educational tests and measurements --Social aspects
African American students --Testing
Mathematics --Study and teaching
Minority students --Testing
D. Lubinski, C. P. Benbow, H. J. Kell, Life Paths and Accomplishments of Mathematically
Precocious Males and Females Four Decades Later
Authors’ Abstract: Two cohorts of intellectually talented 13-year-olds were identified in the 1970s (1972–1974 and 1976–1978) as being in the top 1% of mathematical reasoning ability (1,037 males, 613 females). About four decades later, data on their careers, accomplishments, psychological well-being, families, and life preferences and priorities were collected. Their accomplishments far exceeded base-rate expectations: Across the two cohorts, 4.1% had earned tenure at a major research university, 2.3% were top executives at “name brand” or Fortune 500 companies, and 2.4% were attorneys at major firms or organizations; participants had published 85 books and 7,572 refereed articles, secured 681 patents, and amassed $358 million in grants. For both males and females, mathematical precocity early in life predicts later creative contributions and leadership in critical occupational roles. On average, males had incomes much greater than their spouses’, whereas females had incomes slightly lower than their spouses’. Salient sex differences that paralleled the differential career outcomes of the male and female participants were found in lifestyle preferences and priorities and in time allocation.
M. McCaslin, D. Tuck, A. Wiard, B. Brown, J. LaPage, and J.
Pyle, Gender composition and small-group learning in fourth-grade
mathematics
This is a study on the effect of small group learning experiences in
mathematics.
L. D. Miller, C. E. Mitchell, and M. V.
Ausdall, Evaluating achievement in mathematics: exploring the gender
biases of timed testing
The study investigates the effect of time limits on SAT-type practice
exams.
J. F. Rech, A comparison of the mathematics attitudes of
black students according to grade level, gender, and academic achievement
The attitudes of a group of elementary and junior high school Black
students toward mathematics are examined and compared by grade level,
gender and degree of academic success. Higher-achieving eighth-grade
Black students have poorer mathematics attitudes than the other groups,
specifically on perception of teacher, anxiety toward math and enjoyment
of the subject. Educators and parents should develop interest in
mathematics among Black students. They should be shown the importance of
a strong mathematics education.
P. Rogers, Thoughts on power and pedagogy
A discussion of the successful bachelor's program in mathematics at SUNY
College at Potsdam.
E. S. Spelke, Sex differences in intrinsic aptitude for mathematics and
science: A critical review
This article considers 3 claims that cognitive sex differences
account for the differential representation of men
and women in high-level careers in mathematics and science:
(a) males are more focused on objects from the
beginning of life and therefore are predisposed to better
learning about mechanical systems; (b) males have a profile
of spatial and numerical abilities producing greater
aptitude for mathematics; and (c) males are more variable
in their cognitive abilities and therefore predominate at the
upper reaches of mathematical talent. Research on cognitive
development in human infants, preschool children, and
students at all levels fails to support these claims. Instead,
it provides evidence that mathematical and scientific reasoning
develop from a set of biologically based cognitive
capacities that males and females share. These capacities
lead men and women to develop equal talent for mathematics
and science.
F. K. Stage and P. Kloosterman, Gender, beliefs, and
achievement in remedial college-level mathematics
A study was conducted in a public research university in the Midwest to
determine the effects of gender, beliefs about mathematics and previous
mathematical skills on achievement in remedial college-level mathematics.
The results showed that among male students, previous mathematical skills
are related to beliefs, but beliefs are not related to final course
grade. Among females, beliefs about mathematics significantly affect the
final course grade.
D. J. Stipek and J. H. Gralinski, Gender differences in
children's achievement-related beliefs and emotional responses to success
and failure in mathematics
Includes: Mean scores for pretest questions, by grade and gender. (table);
Mean attribution scores by outcome and gender. (table); Mean scores for
pride, shame, and desire to hide paper, by grade and gender. (table);
Mean scores for avoidance wishes and expectations for future math tests.
(table); Path analyses. (chart)
C. A. Wiles, Investigating gender bias in the evaluation
of middle school teachers of mathematics
A study on the influence of the stereotyped belief that 'mathematics is a
male domain' on the biases of middle school mathematics teachers was
conducted. It involved fourth, fifth and sixth grade students working on
the same non-traditional mathematical problems on the hypothesis that
higher ratings will be given to male students. Results of the study were
not conclusive on the existence of teachers' gender biases and suggests
the purposeful scoring of the mathematics exams regardless of gender
J. Xu and E. Farrell, Mathematics performance of Shanghai
high school students: a preliminary look at gender differences in another
culture.
A study was conducted to examine whether there are gender differences in
mathematical performance within Asian cultures. The subject of this study
are 147 male and 122 female high school graduating students who took the
China Regents Competency Mathematics Examination (CRCME). Results show
that there are no gender differences in both the prehigh school tests and
the CRCME. Since the results are not conclusive, more extensive
researches are needed on this topic.