Sexism and Maths
Carol Vorderman (seen above with her daughter Katie) is the popular face of maths in Britain. Carol recently wrote about the myth that men are better at maths than women (not true) and the myth that maths is an unsuitable subject for girls (not true). Here are some excerpts from: The Disproving of Sexism’s Last Theorem.
“Last week’s A-level results (in Britain) showed that maths has overtaken English as the most popular subject…yet boys still lead the way, with 18.4% getting A* grades at A level, compared with 15.7% of girls.”
“It is undoubtedly a myth that men are better at maths than women. There is no factual basis for that assumption.”
“During the Renaissance and throughout the 19th century it was claimed by popular opinion (male) that women’s brains were too soft to sustain rigorous theory… That the female skull was too small to hold a powerful brain, and that exercising a woman’s brain would shrink her ovaries.” The threat was that she might not be able to have children.
“There persists in Britain a belief that girls shouldn’t do maths…and this can have a massive effect on girls’ performance.”
“The one thing I tell parents all the time is: please do not tell your children (male or female) that maths is ‘hard’, or ‘boring’, or ‘girls don’t do it’, as you will set them up badly for life to believe that is the truth, when it isn’t.”
“If you aren’t taught maths well by the age of 11, you will rarely catch up without outside help.”
(Source: The Sunday Times, 17 August 2014)