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'Little difference' in maths abilities

07/01/2010 Joanna
There is very little difference between the maths abilities of boys and girls, new research has found.

A study involving around half a million students from 69 countries found that the myth that boys are better at maths than girls to be untrue.

Researchers from Villanova University in Philadelphia studied the results of tests taken by 493,495 students.

"These results show that girls will perform at the same level as the boys when they are given the right education tools and have visible female role models excelling in mathematics," said lead author Professor Nicole Else-Quest.

The full study results are published in the latest issue of Psychological Bulletin.

Girls did appear to have less confidence in their own mathematical abilities than boys, the study found, suggesting that this could help to explain why girls are less likely than their male counterparts to follow a career in technology, science or engineering.

GCSE results indicate that across the board, girls tend to outperform boys, achieving higher grades overall.

Written by Alan Douglas
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