Math Performance: Gender Similarities or Differences?

Dr. Hyde (University of Wisconsin) and her colleagues have been studying gender differences in mathematics performance and ability. Last Friday, they published their most recent findings in Science magazine. Their study has generated a bit of a stir among the mainstream media, with headlines such as “Girls as Good as Boys at Math.” But not all respondents are striking the same chord. For example, Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute takes issue with Tamar Lewin’s New York Times summary and with Janet Hyde’s report itself.
What does it all mean? Well, while I won’t seek to unduly control the academic & career choices of my daughter(s), I can say that dessert on her third birthday and thereafter will be granted to Karis (squirmy girl on my left) upon (a) successfully eating her dinner and (b) successfully adding (if not multiplying) any pair of whole numbers less than 10.

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