ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (12): 1980-1990.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2012.01980

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Gender Differences in Mathematics Achievement

LIU Yun-Kun;TAO Sha   

  1. (National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2011-04-13 Online:2012-12-15 Published:2012-12-15
  • Contact: TAO Sha

Abstract: Gender difference in mathematics achievement is of great significance for understanding gender related psychology and social policy making. Previous studies have mainly focused on the group mean differences between males and females on mathematics achievement. However, recent studies reveal greater within-group variability for males and more similarities than differences between males and females on mathematics achievement. Gender differences in mathematics achievement vary substantially in magnitude and direction by scoring systems, the test content, the degree of difficulty and the test organization and format. A variety of psychological, biological and socio-cultural factors may account for gender differences in mathematics achievement. Among them, the effects of age, hormones and brain structure and function, gene and evolution, stereotype threat, societal gender equity, and time have important implications for understanding the gender differences in mathematics achievement. Future research may employ more longitudinal design, pay more attention to those with lower level of math achievement, explore the neural mechanisms for complex mathematical problem solving, and examine gender issues in broader socio-cultural contexts.

Key words: scholastic achievement, mathematics, gender difference