University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia researchers have found that girls and boys perform very similarly in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classes, based on an examination of patterns in academic grades of 1.6 million students.
The analysis casts doubt on the view that there are fewer women in STEM-related jobs because they are not as capable in those subjects as men.
The researchers compared gender differences in variations of academic grades from more than 1.6 million students age six through college-age from all over the world, across 268 different schools and classrooms. The results show that on average, girls' grades were higher and less variable than boys' grades.
UNSW Dean of Science Emma Johnston said, "We absolutely need to change the structural barriers to gender equality in science, but we must also change the strong negative stereotypes and unconscious biases as well."
From University of New South Wales
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