Gender math and science – research

Two articles in the Merrill-Palmer Quarterly caught my eye:


Gender Stereotypes about Mathematics and Science and Self-Perceptions of Ability in Late Childhood and Early Adolescence

From: Merrill-Palmer Quarterly Volume 54, Number 3, July 2008           pp. 386-409 | 10.1353/mpq.0.0001       Abstract:

“A model linking children’s perceptions of adults’ gender stereotypes about mathematics and science ability, children’s stereotypes, and children’s perceptions of their own mathematics and science competence was tested in 302 fourth, sixth, and eighth graders. When boys believed that adults hold more traditional stereotypes, they tended to hold corresponding beliefs that girls are relatively less capable or that boys are more capable in mathematics and science. These group competence ratings, in turn, were related to self-perceptions of ability for sixth-and eighth-grade boys. In contrast, most paths were nonsignificant for girls. The results provided support for both social status theory and experiential theory. We discuss implications regarding the influence of stereotypes on motivation and identity development.”


Merrill-Palmer Quarterly Volume 54, Number 2, April 2008

Lindberg, Sara M. Hyde, Janet Shibley. Hirsch, Liza M.

Gender and Mother-Child Interactions during Mathematics Homework: The Importance of Individual Differences

Subject Headings:

  • Mother and child — United States.
  • Mathematics — Study and teaching — United States.
  • Homework — United States — Psychological aspects.


Do contemporary families promote gender-differentiated or egalitarian attitudes and behavior surrounding mathematics? The current study examined mother-child interactions during mathematics homework as a microcosm of contemporary gender socialization. Results revealed individual differences in mothers’ treatment of their fifth-grade sons and daughters during mathematics homework interactions, with effects moderated by mothers’ gender-role attitudes and mathematics education. Traditional mothers, especially those with greater mathematics education, showed more gender differentiation than egalitarian mothers. Similar individual differences were seen in mothers’ and children’s attitudes toward mathematics. These findings illustrate the subtlety of gender socialization by showing that mothers’ gender-role attitudes, children’s gender-role identities, and mothers’ education all play important roles in the gender differentiation of children’s mathematics attitudes and behavior.


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
This entry was posted in Gendering, Science education, Understanding numeracy. Bookmark the permalink.

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