Do you remember a couple years ago, 2005 to be exact, Lawrence Summers, the prestigious president of Harvard University made an interesting remark during a conference that basically said, ” that innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers.” If that were the case than why is it that they are now finding that “In more gender-neutral societies, girls are as good as boys in mathematics”? (Miami Herald) And even in some countries where girls aren’t equal to boys, they are still doing better than them in math tests.
While searching for information on this asshole, I found this article in the New York Times that actually went one step further and tried to prove/disprove what it is that he said.
“We adults may think very different things about boys and girls, and treat them accordingly, but when we measure their capacities, they’re remarkably alike,” said Elizabeth Spelke, a professor of psychology at Harvard. She and her colleagues study basic spatial, quantitative and numerical abilities in children ranging from 5 months through 7 years.
“In that age span, you see a considerable number of the pieces of our mature capacities for spatial and numerical reasoning coming together,” Dr. Spelke said. “But while we always test for gender differences in our studies, we never find them.” [Emphasis mine]
In adolescence, though, some differences in aptitude begin to emerge, especially when it comes to performance on standardized tests like the SAT. While average verbal scores are very similar, boys have outscored girls on the math half of the dreaded exam by about 30 to 35 points for the past three decades or so.
That final paragraph is disappointing. What I think is going on though is that during middle and high school girl are trying so hard to get the attention of the boys that they’re dumbening themselves to allow the boys to look smarter because we all know that boys are terrified of a girl who’s got a real head on her shoulders. There seems to be a correlation with the onset of adolesence in girls, media that brainwashing girls to be thin and beautiful and more sexual to get the boys, while at the same time they’re sending the message that they must stay virgins. With all the crap that’s fed to teenage girls, it’s no wonder their intelligence isn’t what it was in elementary school, but more and more I’m seeing young girls mimicking pop stars and dressing like them and dancing provocatively. I know of one girl who’s aspirations is to be a super model and is playing with make-up and going on diets so that she can achieve this goal. This girl is 9.
I found this video on YouTube that I think makes the point for me.
This very thing that I’ve been talking about, the way women are portrayed in magazines is trying to teach young girls that this is what they should look like and that this is what boys want and in order to get the attention they want, this is what they have to become. It think it’s sad that this is what our society is teaching our girls. I think instead of the anti-abortionists focusing their attention and their energy on a life that isn’t yet, they should focus on the lives that have been established and work on trying to fix this problem. They should work on girls are viewed in our society otherwise things like what happened with this Indian couple will happen here.
Now, back to the topic at hand. If you continue reading the article in the Times, it goes on to say,
Japanese girls, for example, were on par with Japanese boys on every math section save that of “uncertainty,” which measures probabilistic skills, and Japanese girls scored higher over all than did the boys of many other nations, including the United States.
In Iceland, girls broke the mold completely and outshone Icelandic boys by a significant margin on all parts of the test, as they habitually do on their national math exams. “We have no idea why this should be so,” said Almar Midvik Halldorsson, project manager for the Educational Testing Institute in Iceland.
Interestingly, in Iceland and everywhere else, girls participating in the survey expressed far more negative attitudes toward math.
The modest size and regional variability of the sex differences in math scores, as well as an attitudinal handicap that girls apparently pack into their No. 2 pencil case, convince many researchers that neither sex has a monopoly on basic math ability, and that culture rather than chromosomes explains findings like the gap in math SAT scores.
This back and forth with who’s better and who’s smarter and blah, blah, blah seems like a bunch of horse shit to me. I’d like to believe that we’re all equals. I think that there are other factors that the scientists and the researchers aren’t completely taking into consideration because I don’t see a reason why if boys and girls are at the same intellectual level when it comes to mathematics and science early on that all of a sudden girls are going to not grow intellectually in those departments unless there is something else going on with them, something going on in society, or a message that’s being sent to them. I think the message is, “boys don’t like smart girls” and the moment they hit puberty and start taking an interest in boys, that’s when they decide that math and science isn’t as important to them anymore.
Personally, I’m a math nerd. Maybe not as hard core as some of these girls that are winning awards, but I graduated high school with Calculus and understood it. I’ve taken Physics, and understood it so I don’t understand how this stupid, misogynistic, ignorant little man can stand there and say this about women. It really does not compute.