Female students just as successful as males in math and science, Asian Americans outperform all

While compared to men, women continue to be underrepresented in math and science courses and careers, is this disparity a true reflection of male and female student ability? According to a study to be released tomorrow in Psychology of Women Quarterly, a SAGE journal, male and female students earn similar grades in math and science while Asian American students of both genders outperform all other races.

Researchers Nicole Else-Quest, Concetta Mineo and Ashley Higgins studied 367 White, African American, Latino/Latina, and Asian American 10th grade male and female students in math and science. The study results indicated that while male and earned similar grades in math and science, Asian American students outperformed all other ethnic groups, with Asian American males in particular receiving the highest scores. Furthermore, the researchers found that Latino and African American received the lowest scores in math and science.

"Asian American male adolescents consistently demonstrated the highest achievement compared to other adolescents, mirroring the 'model minority' stereotype," the researchers wrote. "In contrast, the underachievement of Latino and is a persistent and troubling trend."

The researchers also studied the students' perceptions of their abilities in math and science. Male students reported a greater perception of their own ability in math as well as higher expectations of success, while female students reported greater value of science than their male counterparts. These findings did not vary across ethnicities.

The researchers also took into account the effects of family income and education on . Still, self-concept, task value, and expectations of success were strong predictors of student achievement in math and science.

"Despite gender similarities in math and science achievement, female adolescents tend to believe their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) abilities are just not as strong as those of their male classmates," says Professor Else-Quest, a lead author and developmental psychologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. "We believe these attitudes are important in students' choices about persevering in math and science and pursuing STEM careers. Moreover, we need to expand our approach to this issue and study affective variables such as anxiety, boredom or apathy, enjoyment, and pride, given prior findings of the importance of these emotions in academic achievement contexts."

Explore further

Math teachers demonstrate a bias toward white male students

More information: "Math and Science Attitudes and Achievement at the Intersection of Gender and Ethnicity," in Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2013.
Journal information: Psychology of Women Quarterly

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Mar 29, 2013
Asians do the group study thing which is useful for those not truly gifted in maths. I doubt they have an edge among the truly gifted

Mar 29, 2013
Asians do the group study thing which is useful for those not truly gifted in maths. I doubt they have an edge among the truly gifted

Asian Americans have high IQ by tests, so I believe the result is valid. The only question is, why there are so few world famous Asian scientists? I mean, if they are more intelligent than average humans, and they also outnumber other races, statistically at least half of world famous scientists should be of Asian decents.

Mar 29, 2013
Asians do the group study thing which is useful for those not truly gifted in maths. I doubt they have an edge among the truly gifted

The "gifted" indeed. I once met Mary Vos Savant and her husband Mr. Jarvik the brilliant surgeon. She worked at IBM doing research I think and her husband, the best heart maker in history. BUT, though they had mastered their technical and scholastic specialities, the longer I was around them the less and less I felt compelled to envy or praise them. I regard and respect their intellects. Our host was witty like Alex Trebeck the Jeopardy TV host. His jokes were so funny your rib cage ached from laughing. Mary and her husband TOTALLY MISSED EVERY JOKE! I could see SOMETHING was missing. Spontaneous or ad hoc thinking: They would kill me with rote memorization of fact or data recall. The BALANCE is too often lacking in those whose education disrupts unique thought or imagination. Hi IQ is good; Intellectual flexibility is KING! Jobs, Wozniak

Mar 29, 2013
If you think you're good at math, you most likely are. If you don't, you aren't.

It is easy to get a math question wrong if you don't apply all of your energy in resolving it.

There is obviously a link in with intellectual capacity, the higher the iq the greater the problem solving potential, but there are many girls (and boys) out there who just flat out don't believe in themselves or their abilities. If they doubt their ability in solving a particular problem, they'll most likely give up and fail. If they believe in themselves, they increase the probability of solving that problem.

Feynman is a guy famous for his low iq (in relation to people in his field, that is), and extraordinary ability to solve problems. His method:

1. Write down problem.
2. Think really hard.
3. Write the solution.

The reason women do not do as well in math as men is that their testosterone level is lower. Their brains are just as capable, but they generally have a lower level of confidence.

Mar 29, 2013
Their brains are just as capable, but they generally have a lower level of confidence.
IMO this is just a conjecture: their brains are smaller by 16% and hippocampus larger. If the women differ in testosterone level and physical strength apparently, why they couldn't differ in their intellectual capabilities from mens in some areas? This gender bias may change from place to place and in some geographic locations it could be even negative. IMO the men have intellectual problem with understanding, that some difference can have multiple aspects/reason at the same moment: cultural, physiological, genetic and it can change with time and place - while it still remains objectively measurable. The thinking of men is straightforward, geometrical and schematic (which is why they're good in navigation and math), the thinking of women is more holistic and parallel (which is why they're better in social areas and communication). They're predisposed to raising of their children.

Mar 29, 2013
people of asian heritage have another thing going for them: they don't take things for granted as much.
Some cultures cut children (especially male children) a lot of slack. This includes Latino culture (but also mediterranean cultures). Basically anywhere with a cultural tradition of 'machismo'.

Not so much in asian cultures. Achievements have to be earned there - and aren't just handed out to anyone who 'just attends a class'. Having to earn - and consequently understanding the value of - success is something that motivates to do good. EARNED success is its own reward. Given success is worthless.

Mar 29, 2013

Mar 29, 2013
Mastery a tonal language like Mandarin and it's geometric, pictographic orthography could develop areas of the brain related to spatial and mathematical intelligence more than a language like English. There is some research to back this up, but it's little investigated.

Mar 29, 2013
210 makes sense here. These 'brilliant' Asians are constantly walking into me because there sense of space is broken. They constantly crash cars into each-other and then smile because "it's understood." They're constantly smoking and it seems they can't function intellectually without a cancer stick in their mouth every hour. Asians in California are very materialistic and money-focused to the degree of unhealthy obsession. LA is full of Asian massage houses offering happy endings. They even painted a mural on a building commemorating Korean women helping American servicemen unload their sperm. Of course that still puts them light years ahead of most Americans who seem to be high on drugs or religious insanity all their waking hours. Americans are so dependent now upon bullshit and white lies I fear they would die without it

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