- While there are persistent and significant gender differences (e.g. girls are better at computations in elementary and middle school, boys are better problem solvers in high school), they are tiny in absolute size, so that male and females actually show vast overlap. In other words, if you think aggressiveness determines learning outcome, then it is silly to divide by gender. Divide instead by a numeric quantitation of aggressiveness.
- Even more interesting is that the differences between cultures are greater than the differences between genders, indicating our environment is a far more powerful force than intrinsic differences.
- To corroborate this finding, the researchers find that attitudinal association between science and males is generally far greater than the size of performance discrepancies.
- In other words, historical gender bias has left us with a psychological bias that is stronger than any real gender differences.
Our brains are complicated pattern-finding machines. There is a long history of a pattern that associates men with science and math. We must work very hard and conscientiously to avoid small, hidden biases that seem harmless until viewed in aggregate.
And once we fix gender (and race) bias, think about another dominant bias that no one
seems to be ashamed to admit having. Everyone seems to agree math is hard
. Is it really any harder than any other intellectual exercise? How much do we retard each other's and overall human intellectual development by hanging on to these phantom biases?