Don’t let them fool you

5.10.08 by Ruth

Earlier this year a classmate of mine turned around during a discussion of our recent change from a twelve-to-three-male-to-female-ratio AP Physics class to an eleven-to-one-male-to-female-ratio AP Physics class to tell me that actually, research shows that men have more “calculating” brain capacity and women have more “connections” so it made sense that there was a large majority of guys in our class. This was a bad thing to say to me. “Actually, research shows that you are predisposed to do badly at what you do best.” He didn’t fool me. I’m only sad that there weren’t a few more girls present to hear my little tirade of a response:

There seems to be this society wide misconception that girls are bad at math. Actually, psychology research has shown over and over again that girls only do worse on math tests than guys only if you tell them they are going to ( Unfortunately, because of this society wide misconception, nobody actually needs to say it. It’s sort of a vicious circle. Girls underachieve in math and science because they think they will, and then they think they will because they have in the past. In the end probably thousands of girls miss the opportunity to have interesting, fulfilling careers in math or science which they may never know would have been interesting and fulfilling because they were never encouraged to pursue math and science.

Girls, don’t let anyone talk you out of being able to do math and science.

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