So who is better in mathematics Men or Women? This tend to be a stable question for a while now! Washington State University’s Shane Bench conducted a research to find out the answer. We see so much of men population entering into science and engineering, however, with more men in science and engineering, does it really mean that men are better than woman? The research won’t think it that way! Well according to Shane Bench, who is leader of a study in Springer’s journal Sex Roles, The difference is that men think they are much better at math than they really are. Women, on the other hand, tend to accurately estimate their arithmetic prowess.
Bench conducted a study which examined how people’s biases and previous experiences about their mathematical abilities make them more or less likely to consider pursuing mathematics-related courses and careers. Two studies were conducted, one using 122 undergraduate students and the other 184 participants. Each group first completed a math test before guessing how well they had fared at providing the right answers. In the first study, participants received feedback about their real test scores before they were again asked to take a test and predict their scores. In the second study, participants only wrote one test without receiving any feedback. They were, however, asked to report on their intent to pursue math-related courses and careers. After the participants in Study 1 received feedback about their real test scores, the men were more accurate at estimating how well they had done on the second test. The results of Study 2 show that because the male participants believed they had a greater knack for math than was the case, they were more likely to pursue math courses and careers than women.
Across the two studies Bench found that men overestimated the number of problems they solved, while women quite accurately reported how well they fared. His team also found that women who had more positive past experiences with mathematics tended to rate their numerical abilities higher than they really were. This highlights the value of positively reinforcing a woman’s knack for mathematics especially at a young age.
Gender gaps in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields are not necessarily the result of women’s underestimating their abilities, but rather may be due to men’s overestimating their abilities.
– Shane Bench, leader of a study in Springer’s journal Sex Roles.
I think it’s really good time to point out that whatever be the gender, it only depends on your ability to know what you are good at! Here it is important to note that the gender gap in mathematics and science enrollments may be based on male overconfidence and not just the female’s lack of confidence. It’s high time to motivate people, be it men or women, to do well in the field that they are good in!!, rather than dragging the old myths in your decision making!