Girls’ math scores suffer when they grow up in families biased towards sons

John Pavlus
Girls’ math scores suffer when they grow up in families biased towards sons

In many countries around the world, girls still perform more poorly on mathematics tests than boys. Some researchers have argued that this gender gap is biological in nature: as then–Harvard University President Larry Summers famously put it in 2005, “there are issues of intrinsic aptitude” underlying women’s underrepresentation in math-heavy fields such as science and engineering. “The alternative explanation is that there are cultural views that affect the way boys and girls are being raised,” said Paola Sapienza, a professor of finance at Kellogg.