# Gender stereotypes in mathematics education is detrimental to female learners but beneficial to male pupils

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### Scientific Articles

- McGuire, L., Monzavi, T., Hoffman, A. J., Law F., Irvin, M. J., Winterbottom, M., Hartstone-Rose, A., Rutland, A., Burns, K.P., Butler, L., Drews, M., Fields,G. E. & Mulvey, K. L.(2021). Science and Math Interest and Gender Stereotypes: The Role of Educator Gender in Informal Science Learning Sites.
*Frontiers in Psychology, 12.*https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.503237 - Spencer, S.J., Steele, C.M. & Quinn, D.M. (1999). Stereotype Threat and Women’s Math Performance.
*Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 35*, 4–28. https://doi.org/10.1006/jesp.1998.1373 - Xie, G. & Liu, X. (2023). Gender in mathematics: how gender role perception influences mathematical capability in junior high school.
*Journal of Chinese Sociology, 10*(10). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40711-023-00188-3

### Explanation of the Post

A stereotype is a preconceived notion about a certain racial, ethnic, or religious group that is formed in the mind. It is a product of interactions or processes including emotional, mental, socio-motivational, and cultural aspects that can be self- or other-stereotypes, either beneficial or detrimental. The stereotype of gender in mathematics education, which states that males perform better in math than females, is detrimental to female learners but beneficial to male pupils.

Further, as stated by Xie & Liu (2023), over 70% of respondents to Harvard University’s “Implicit Project” agreed with the aforementioned assertion, with women typically associated with literary issues and males with math and science. Consequently, the attendance in mathematical classes shows that girls’ interest in math declines as they reach adolescence. Due to this, when studying mathematics, female students who internalize the negative self-stereotype that girls are poor in math and lack confidence suffer from low self-efficacy, which saps their academic enthusiasm and ultimately results in poor mathematical. Therefore, it is expected that a reduction in math interest will have an effect on participation in many professions in this scenario because math abilities are crucial for advancements in the domains of engineering, computer science, and science.

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- Día Internacional de las Mujeres en las Matemáticas - PERIÓDICO EDUCACIÓN - […] en un artículo anterior. Si tenemos en cuenta que las evidencias científicas nos dicen que los estereotipos de género…

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We have selected the article “Gender stereotypes in mathematics teaching are harmful for female students, but beneficial for male students”, which is scientifically evidenced, with the purpose of providing other scientific data that allow us to create a direct relation with the article/other data that provide additional information in this same sense (although it may be the case that the opposite is evidenced). Likewise, we have chosen two different articles with which we claim not to support the post. We support it on a less general scale (not for all women in the world it is the same way), adding additional information that makes it more accurate.

First, we have contrasted the article with another one that is “Societal inequalities amplify gender gaps in math”; which summarized claims that other socio-cultural/economic variables must be taken into account when determining the increased math anxiety in thefemale gender (since it does not affect a woman in a developed country in the same way as a woman in a developing country). As for the contrast explained, here we provide the explanation in relation to a specific fragment:

“Due to this, when studying mathematics, female students who internalize the negative self-stereotype that girls are poor in math and lack confidence suffer from low self-efficacy, which saps their academic enthusiasm and ultimately results in poor mathematical. Therefore, it is expected that a reduction in math interest will have an effect on participation in many professions in this scenario because math abilities are crucial for advancements in the domains of engineering, computer science, and science”.

This negative self-stereotype has been studied, specifically in high school students around the world, by PISA and a direct correlation has been shown with this stereotype and the fact that females “have higher levels of math anxiety than male students” (Breda, T., Jouini, E., & Napp, C.; 2018). This gives way to a clear causality mentioned in the text, as research “has shown that math anxiety negatively predicts (…) lifelong learning” (Breda, T., Jouini, E., & Napp, C.; 2018) in science-related contexts.

However, in the study it is demonstrated relationship with other variables not directly related to the gender issue; but with other types of social inequalities that make this reality of mathematical anxiety in the female gender affects above all those countries that are still developing compared to the great world powers (such as, for example, Switzerland). Therefore, although what this article shows is a worldwide reality, it should be added that socioeconomic and cultural factors aggravate this reality and, therefore, mathematical anxiety in women is not demonstrated in the same way in countries considered to be poorer than those seen as the opposite.

On the other hand, the second article we have selected is “Do girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics?” conducts research on whether there is gender disparity in anxiety experienced by students in the context of the mathematics subject. She examines different studies and data to determine if girls tend to experience more anxiety in math classes compared to boys. It also explores possible underlying causes of this gender disparity and suggests strategies to implement them, in order to promote gender equity in education in the field of mathematics.

Then, contrasting this article with the initial one, it is interesting to add that according to Goetz et al. (2013), the demonstrations and the findings of the research, suggest that girls do not experience more anxiety than boys during math instruction and test situations, despite representing higher levels of usual mathematical anxiety. Also, the study results show that competency beliefs, which were lower than those of boys despite similar results of boys and girls, may be partly responsible for higher levels of girls with usual mathematical anxiety.

As a final conclusion, we can say that the text shares the evidence (from a case study) that mathematical anxiety is more present in women than in men and this leads to the fact that the latter predominate in science careers. However, socio-economic and cultural variables play a very important role, which means that this fact is not true throughout the world, but mainly in those countries that are still considered to be developing because they have a higher rate of poverty. Likewise, the selected article lacks scientific evidence that doesn’t allow this to be generalized to all people in the world.

On the other hand and to conclude, the article “Do girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics?” suggests that girls do not experience more anxiety than boys during math teaching, despite representing higher levels of usual mathematical anxiety, so the document contradicts the document we have selected from the very beginning. However, although both articles do not conclude exactly the same, they have features and data in common.

SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

Goetz, T., Bieg, M., Lüdtke, O., Pekrun, R., & Hall, N. C. (2013). Do Girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics? Psychological Science, 24(10), 2079-2087. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613486989

Breda, T., Jouini, E., & Napp, C. (2018b). Societal inequalities amplify gender gaps in math. Science, 359(6381), 1219-1220. Recuperado de : https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar2307.

We have chosen two different articles with which we claim not to support the post. We support it on a less general scale (not for all women in the world it’s the same way).

First, we have contrasted the article with another one that is “Societal inequalities amplify gender gaps in math”; which summarized claims that other socio-cultural/economic variables must be taken into account when determining the increased math anxiety in the female gender (since it does not affect a woman in a developed country in the same way as a woman in a developing country). As for the contrast explained, here we provide the explanation:

In the study it is demonstrated relationships with other variables not directly related to the gender issue, but with other types of social inequalities that make this reality of mathematical anxiety in the female gender affects above all those countries that are still developing compared to the great world powers. Therefore, although what this article shows is a worldwide reality, it should be added that socioeconomic and cultural factors aggravate this reality and, moreover, mathematical anxiety in women is not demonstrated in the same way in countries considered to be poorer than those seen as the opposite.

On the other hand, the second article we have selected is “Do girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics?” conducts research on whether there is gender disparity in anxiety experienced by students in the context of the mathematics subject. She examines different studies and data to determine if girls tend to experience more anxiety in math classes compared to boys. It also explores possible underlying causes of this gender disparity and suggests strategies to implement them, in order to promote gender equity in education in the field of mathematics.

Then, contrasting this article with the initial one, it is interesting to add that according to Goetz et al. (2013), the demonstrations and the findings of the research, suggest that girls do not experience more anxiety than boys during math instruction and test situations, despite representing higher levels of usual mathematical anxiety. Also, the study results show that competency beliefs, which were lower than those of boys despite similar results of boys and girls, may be partly responsible for higher levels of girls with usual mathematical anxiety.

As a final conclusion, we can say that the text shares the evidence that mathematical anxiety is more present in women than in men and this leads to the fact that the latter predominate in science careers. However, socio-economic and cultural variables play a very important role, which means that this fact is not true throughout the world, but mainly in those countries that are still considered to be developing because they have a higher rate of poverty. Likewise, the selected article lacks scientific evidence that doesn’t allow this to be generalized to all people in the world. On the other hand and to conclude, the article “Do girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics?” suggests that girls do not experience more anxiety than boys during math teaching, despite representing higher levels of usual mathematical anxiety.

Goetz, T., Bieg, M., Lüdtke, O., Pekrun, R., & Hall, N. C. (2013). Do Girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics? Psychological Science, 24(10), 2079-2087. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613486989

Breda, T., Jouini, E., & Napp, C. (2018b). Societal inequalities amplify gender gaps in math. Science, 359(6381), 1219-1220. Recuperado de : https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar2307.

We have chosen two different articles with which we claim not to support the post. We support it on a less general scale (not for all women in the world it’s the same way).

First, we have contrasted the article with another one that is “Societal inequalities amplify gender gaps in math”; which summarized claims that other socio-cultural/economic variables must be taken into account when determining the increased math anxiety in the female gender (since it does not affect a woman in a developed country in the same way as a woman in a developing country). As for the contrast explained, here we provide the explanation:

In the study it is demonstrated relationships with other variables not directly related to the gender issue, but with other types of social inequalities that make this reality of mathematical anxiety in the female gender affects above all those countries that are still developing compared to the great world powers. Therefore, although what this article shows is a worldwide reality, it should be added that socioeconomic and cultural factors aggravate this reality and, moreover, mathematical anxiety in women is not demonstrated in the same way in countries considered to be poorer than those seen as the opposite.

On the other hand, the second article we have selected is “Do girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics?” conducts research on whether there is gender disparity in anxiety experienced by students in the context of the mathematics subject. She examines different studies and data to determine if girls tend to experience more anxiety in math classes compared to boys. It also explores possible underlying causes of this gender disparity and suggests strategies to implement them, in order to promote gender equity in education in the field of mathematics.

Then, contrasting this article with the initial one, it is interesting to add that according to Goetz et al. (2013), the demonstrations and the findings of the research, suggest that girls do not experience more anxiety than boys during math instruction and test situations, despite representing higher levels of usual mathematical anxiety. Also, the study results show that competency beliefs, which were lower than those of boys despite similar results of boys and girls, may be partly responsible for higher levels of girls with usual mathematical anxiety.

As a final conclusion, we can say that the text shares the evidence that mathematical anxiety is more present in women than in men and this leads to the fact that the latter predominate in science careers. However, socio-economic and cultural variables play a very important role, which means that this fact is not true throughout the world, but mainly in those countries that are still considered to be developing because they have a higher rate of poverty. Likewise, the selected article lacks scientific evidence that doesn’t allow this to be generalized to all people in the world.

Goetz, T., Bieg, M., Lüdtke, O., Pekrun, R., & Hall, N. C. (2013). Do Girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics? Psychological Science, 24(10), 2079-2087. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613486989

Breda, T., Jouini, E., & Napp, C. (2018b). Societal inequalities amplify gender gaps in math. Science, 359(6381), 1219-1220. Recuperado de : https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar2307.