Girls Comfortable Playing in the Field of Science, Math and Everywhere Else
Do you have a daughter comfortable playing with boys? Our youngest daughter loves soccer and in the last year she has really built up her confidence as an athlete. In the last year she also stopped playing with the boys and joined an all girls team. I never told her to fear playing with the boys. Perhaps she got pushed one good time too rough by a boy. Or perhaps she saw a girl get pushed too roughly. I don’t know really. But just because girls and boys physical strength differ I don’t want either of my girls to think they’re a weaker player – on the soccer field or anywhere else. Past homework meltdowns in math leads me to believe that both of my daughters may also think themselves to be a weaker than their male counterparts when it comes to math and science. I’ve certainly never told my girls that boys are better in math and science. I try not to expose my own nervousness with math and to point out female scientists but my two girls are still not as comfortable or as excited about math and science as my son. Go figure! Sadly, my girls are not alone. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released a report this month on gender differences in 12th grade science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). IES reported that in 2009:
- Compared to males, lower percentages of female high school graduates reported that they liked mathematics or science and that mathematics or science was one of their favorite subjects.
- Among racial/ethnic groups higher percentages of male graduates reported that they liked mathematics or science that mathematics or science was a favorite subject, compared to female graduates.
- Male and female high school graduates who earned credits for STEM courses, compared to males, higher percentages of females earned credits in algebra II, precalculus, advanced biology, chemistry, and health science/technologies. However, higher percentages of males earned credits in physics, engineering, engineering/ science technologies, and computer/ information science
How do your daughters feel about math and science?