We all know the stereotypes, right? Boys are just better than girls at math and science. But can that possibly be true? Well, Florida State University researchers did a deep dive to find real reasons to why fewer girls pursue careers in STEM than boys. And what they discovered is a very sad reality. According to their findings, girls’ poor confidence levels hold them back from climbing up the math and science career ladder. And not their actual ability to perform.
Researchers followed 10th grade students over a six-year period, including for two years after they graduated high school. The students were surveyed on how strongly they felt they were able to perform in math in their 10th and 12th grade years.
The students didn’t solve actual math or science problems in the study. And researchers didn’t take into account classroom performance.
But the results showed performance might not be the point.
Boys in the study were often more confident about their skills than girls. And as a result, they rated their ability to do well in math 27 percent higher than girls did.