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Girls' Math Skills May Fall Short Of Boys' b/c Male Impulsiveness
Posted:
Aug 5, 2012 4:23 PM



*************************** From Huff Post Science  LiveScience.com  Saturday, August 4, 2012. See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/girlsmathskillsboysmaleimpulsiveness_n_1718642.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003 ***************************
Girls' Math Skills May Fall Short Of Boys' Because Of Male Impulsiveness
By: LiveScience.com, staff
From an early age, boys tend to take a more impulsive approach to math problems in the classroom, which might help them get ahead of girls in the longrun, suggests the latest study to touch on the gender gap in math.
The research claims girls may tend to favor a slow and accurate approach  often computing an answer by counting  while boys may take a faster, but more errorprone tack, calling out an answer from memory. The difference in strategies seems to benefit girls early in elementary school but swings in favor of boys by middle school.
"In our study, we found that boys were more likely to call out answers than girls, even though they were less accurate early in school," Drew Bailey, who led the study, said in a statement. "Over time, though, this practice at remembering answers may have allowed boys to surpass girls in accuracy." [Cool Math Games  See http://www.livescience.com/19453coolmathgames.html ]
The University of Missouri study followed 300 students from first grade to sixth grade. During those first two years, the boys called out more answers in class than the girls but also had more wrong answers. Girls were more often right, but answered fewer questions and responded more slowly, according to the university. By sixth grade, the boys were still answering more problems than the girls and were also getting more correct.
Several recent studies have argued that gender differences in math performance have more to do with culture than aptitude  see http://www.livescience.com/5482girlsmathcultureskewed.html ]. Research published last year found that certain countries  generally ones with more gender equality, better teachers and fewer students living in poverty  showed a smaller gap between males and females in math and some had no gap at all. [See http://www.livescience.com/17429mathgenderdifferencesmyths.html ]
Other research has pointed to inherent gender biases in the classroom. One such study found that high school math teachers tended to rate girls' math abilities lower than those of male students, even when the girls' grades and test scores were comparable to boys. [See http://www.livescience.com/19552girlsmathteachersbias.html ]
Gender issues aside, the researchers of the Missouri study  which was published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology  had some advice for parents based on the findings. "Parents can give their children an advantage by making them comfortable with numbers and basic math before they start grade school, so that the children will have fewer trepidations about calling out answers," David Geary, a coauthor of the study, said in a statement.  NOTE: There are three other interesting websites indicated at the end of the article:
. 10 Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp  http://www.livescience.com/1291510waysmindsharp.html
. 10 Facts Every Parent Should Know about Their Teen's Brain  http://www.livescience.com/1385010factsparentteenbrain.html
. 5 Seriously MindBoggling Math Facts  http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/20775mindbogglingmathfacts.html
Additional note  if the website does not open by clicking on the URLs above, then copy and paste to open.
********************************************  Jerry P. Becker Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction Southern Illinois University 625 Wham Drive Mail Code 4610 Carbondale, IL 629014610 Phone: (618) 4534241 [O] (618) 4578903 [H] Fax: (618) 4534244 Email: jbecker@siu.edu



