Washington: There are no gender differences in math ability, according to a study that examined the brain development of young boys and girls. The researchers, including those from Carnegie Mellon University in the US, conducted the first neuroimaging study to evaluate biological gender differences in math aptitude of young children.
The results of the study, published in the journal Science of Learning, revealed that there are no differences in the brain development of girls and boys, including how they processed math skills. “This is an important reminder that humans are more similar to each other than we are different,” said study co-author Alyssa Kersey from the University of Chicago in the US. The study also noted that both boys and girls were equally engaged while watching the educational videos.
As part of the study, the researchers used functional MRI to measure the brain activity in 104 young children between the ages 3 to 10 (55 girls and 49 boys) while watching an educational video covering early math topics, like counting and
addition. They compared scans from the boys and girls to evaluate brain similarity. The team also examined brain maturity in the children by comparing their scans to those taken from a group of adults — 63 adults; 25 women — who watched the same math videos.
Overall, the findings indicated that math ability was equivalent among the children, and did not show a difference in gender, or with age. The researchers could also not find a gender difference between math ability and brain maturity.