The question of whether genders have an impact on math performance is not a so simple one. Overall, there are little differences between girls and boys in this field; they depend on the age and skill level of the students and the type of math taken into consideration, among other factors. Generally, preschool and elementary school girls and boys get similar results on math tests. However, in high school and college, more important differences emerge: gender differences are usually bigger among better-performing students than among their less performing peers. Within the group of high-performing students, boys tend to achieve better.

Gender differences in math are also linked to which kind of math the students are doing. Usually, boys tend to outperform girls on tests less related to subjects taught in school, but when it comes to school grades (closer to the curriculum), girls generally outperform boys. But even if female and male pupils are rather similar than different in general math performance, research has shown that there are often important gender gaps in some specific math-linked outcomes. For example, girls tend to have a less positive attitude, higher levels of anxiety and lower levels of confidence in math. Which can explain a lot of things.

Picture: Arcanys Early Learning Foundation

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