Title

Sex Differences in Intrinsic Aptitude for Mathematics and Science?: A Critical Review

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

American Psychologist

Volume

60

Issue

9

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Publication Date

1-1-2005

Abstract

This article considers 3 claims that cognitive sex differences account for the differential representation of men and women in high-level careers in mathematics and science: (a) males are more focused on objects from the beginning of life and therefore are predisposed to better learning about mechanical systems; (b) males have a profile of spatial and numerical abilities producing greater aptitude for mathematics; and (c) males are more variable in their cognitive abilities and therefore predominate at the upper reaches of mathematical talent. Research on cognitive development in human infants, preschool children, and students at all levels fails to support these claims. Instead, it provides evidence that mathematical and scientific reasoning develop from a set of biologically based cognitive capacities that males and females share. These capacities lead men and women to develop equal talent for mathematics and science.

Comments

Originally published by the American Psychological Association (APA). Publisher's PDF available through remote link via CiteSeerX.

DOI

10.1037/0003-066X.60.9.950