Gender Gap in Mathematics

The misconception that men exceed females in the mathematics and science fields has persisted for decades. However, scientists from Brigham Young University, University of Miami and Rutgers University recently conducted a study to challenge that misconception and the gender gap associated with it. In their report, which was already released by the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization and showed up in a EurekAlert public launch Feb. 25, scientists determined females are as efficient as men in mathematics when changing the conditions of a competitive environment.

gender_gap_mathematicsJoe Price, the lead specialist of the research and an associate lecturer of business economics at BYU, said the idea for his research occurred out of a couple of main issues. “We’re getting to the point where there are more ladies in college than young boys, but there are some careers that men are much more represented,” Price said. He detailed CEOs and associates in law companies as a several examples of generally male-dominated careers. “If women don’t do as well in aggressive configurations, they will not do as well in these careers or will fall out of those careers.”

Price said this was one reason why he and scientists started learning the gender gap’s existence in educational and aggressive surroundings. With the increase of female’s registration in higher education, he said it has become progressively important for scientists to examine the causes and solutions of gender gaps. Between 2000 and 2010, colleges underwent a 39-percent increase in women registration, as opposed to 35-percent increase among men, according to a review by the Institute of Education Sciences. This number is predicted to improve significantly over the next several years. Price said a part of his inspiration for the research was personal. He is a mathematics fanatic and a dad of two girls. “[I was] really inspired to find mathematical contests that ladies could flourish in,” he said.

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