Women and men perform the same in math

April 7, 2013 at 1:51 AM

BALTIMORE, April 7 (UPI) -- Girls and boys earn similar grades in math and science, but Asian-American students of both genders outperform all others, U.S. researchers say.

Nicole M. Else-Quest of the University of Maryland, Concetta Mineo of the Pennsylvania State University and Ashley Higgins of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine studied 367 white, African-American, Latino/Latina and Asian-American 10th-grade students in math and science.

The study, published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly, found Latino and African-American boys received the lowest scores in math and science.

"Asian-American male adolescents consistently demonstrated the highest achievement compared to other adolescents, mirroring the 'model minority' stereotype," the researchers wrote in the study. "In contrast, the underachievement of Latino and African-American males was a persistent and troubling trend."

However, when it comes to the students' perceptions of their own abilities in math and science, boys reported a greater perception of their own ability in math as well as higher expectations of success, while girls reported greater confidence in science. These findings did not change among the ethnicities, the researchers said.

"Despite gender similarities in math and science achievement, female adolescents tend to believe their science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- STEM -- abilities are just not as strong as those of their male classmates," Else-Quest of the the University of Maryland said in a statement.

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