Author Topic: Mathematics and the Male brain  (Read 6850 times)

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Offline V M

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2016, 03:29:24 am »
Male, female, various countries doesn't seem to really have much to do with it

Some people pick up on mathematics, some excel at it, others not so much
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Offline KarlMars

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2016, 03:35:12 am »
Male, female, various countries doesn't seem to really have much to do with it

Some people pick up on mathematics, some excel at it, others not so much

Here's the most common sense answer yet.

Offline sparrow

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2016, 04:42:41 am »
No no no no no no Graham's Number times no.

I'm a mathematician.  Don't you even dare tell me that that is gender-related.

Though at the time, I didn't find it odd that my role models in math were female.  One wonders about all the clues we didn't pick up. ;)

Offline KarlMars

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2016, 05:18:19 am »
No no no no no no Graham's Number times no.

I'm a mathematician.  Don't you even dare tell me that that is gender-related.

Though at the time, I didn't find it odd that my role models in math were female.  One wonders about all the clues we didn't pick up. ;)

At least I won't feel like less of a man because I'm bad at math. There are many careers I want that involve math, but may never get.

Offline Paul Muad-Dib

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2016, 06:16:08 am »
I wonder if the US is worse at math than Britain.


Eh? I didn't say that

Offline Deborah

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2016, 06:59:10 am »
I'm a mathematician.  Don't you even dare tell me that that is gender-related.
Yeah, I'm a statistician. 

The PhD in charge of our analysis department is female.  I don't think any gender related trends are related to aptitude.  Maybe just related to interest.

Offline KarlMars

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2016, 02:47:00 pm »
Eh? I didn't say that

I didn't imply that you did. I was just wondering.  ;)

Offline sparrow

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2016, 02:02:21 am »
I don't think any gender related trends are related to aptitude.  Maybe just related to interest.

I dunno about that.  We do a lot of telling young girls that boys are better at that sort of thing.  I'm pretty convinced that kids would have more balanced interests if we didn't go around telling them what to be interested in as much as we do.

Offline Deborah

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2016, 02:21:22 am »
When my daughter was in school I countered that by always telling her that math was easy and not to listen to people who insisted it was hard.  All you have to do is learn the rules.  She ended up getting a math degree in college.  I also told her sports were important just for building a strong body along with a strong mind.  And now she makes a living as a fitness instructor.  So I agree that the message is important when they are young.


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Offline Paul Muad-Dib

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2016, 02:54:53 pm »
I do agree there's a disparity of interest in many fields between genders on the whole that doesn't really indicate a disparity of ability.

Despite there being almost no bar to women now in STEM fields for example, and the bar on military service careers has dropped significantly to women they still don't seem to want to do certain careers anywhere near as much as men do. I don't think it's because they can't - I think a lot of them just aren't into some fields and that's why they're not flocking to them just because they can.

Offline Deborah

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2016, 03:02:52 pm »
The bar on military service careers has been eliminated completely.  For the military though there is a gender ability disparity in some fields that require raw strength and aerobic capacity.  I think those are well known but I can detail them if needed.


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Offline Paul Muad-Dib

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2016, 03:10:36 pm »
Yeah, I heard that in the U.S. and a few other countries there is now no bar on women serving front line positions.

(Women still not subject to draft, though, interestingly.)



Offline Deborah

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Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2016, 03:17:47 pm »
The draft law may change.  The US Military supports a change as do some in Congress.

Nobody supports actually drafting anyone though.


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Offline Jacqueline

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2016, 09:36:28 pm »
I can't completely give a scientific or statistical answer.

However, of my three daughters, two are in honors math and sciences. Very few to no boys catch up to them.

Not intending to brag, but it's hard not to.

I tend to think we condition people socially to stereotypes as well.

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Offline Paul Muad-Dib

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2016, 01:55:59 pm »
Well it's been proven that if you tell someone they're worse at something than the opposite sex and then run an experiment with people watching to test their performances against the opposite sex, that knowledge undermines confidence and ability. They might have the ability just fine but being told they don't or being told that men can't do this as well as women or women can't do that as well as men causes people to nudge themselves toward the stereotype a little more.

Probably why it took my mother 19 years to get her act together from nothing and get a PhD in environmental science. She was always capable and intelligent but having been told as the only girl in her family that the oldest brother was the only one worth educating at uni and she was destined to be a secretary or something, I'm sure that took a toll on both her confidence and self worth. I've seen first hand how a housewife on the dole like she was can become someone who goes all over the world to speak at environmental research summits so... yeah, I believe the only real boundaries are the ones you set for yourself. 

Offline Paige

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2016, 04:55:15 pm »
Well it's been proven that if you tell someone they're worse at something than the opposite sex and then run an experiment with people watching to test their performances against the opposite sex, that knowledge undermines confidence and ability. They might have the ability just fine but being told they don't or being told that men can't do this as well as women or women can't do that as well as men causes people to nudge themselves toward the stereotype a little more.

So my degree is in math.  I agree with many here it has nothing to do with gender, it has a lot to do with confidence and foundation.  Math is like climbing a ladder, you need every rung on the ladder to be successful and get to the top.  Too often people are convinced they're no good at math because they miss or misunderstood a rung or two along the way.  But if you have confidence you'll be able to fight to understand.  If not, you'll likely assume that you're not good at math.   

With so many people, including teachers falsely believing women are bad at math, that confidence can be very hard to attain if you're female.

I have two daughters, both struggled with math until I sat down and started helping them.  You know what I found out.  Many teachers aren't very good at math.


So here are my suggestions.

1) Look for videos on the topics you're struggling with.   There are a lot of good ones on the internet.
2) Practice those areas you have trouble with.  Math is a lot like learning an instrument.  Practice really helps.
3) Don't be afraid to retrace your steps if there's something you just don't get.  If you have to look at videos for grades below yours do it.  It may just be that missing rung that stops you from success.
4) Remember not everyone struggles with the same concepts.  Some people have trouble with trig, some people have trouble with algebra, some people have trouble with geometry, etc.

Good luck,
Paige :)

Offline jossam

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2016, 05:58:37 pm »
I've never liked math and was never naturally good at it, but I do okayish if I'm taught well. I can't really say for sure because I've always had bad teachers and the fact I'm not very interested in the subject didn't help motivate me. But when I finally found a good teacher my grades were acceptable.
I think it's just stereotyping though, because the most brilliant math students in my class in high school were cis girls, they were so good that they were separated from the rest of the class during classworks to avoid helping others. I also had a Chinese friend and she was the best math student because as she explained, in her country math is taught a lot and people are encouraged to learn it and they apparently have a good method of teaching math and other scientific subjects, while people in my country are usually bad at scientific subjects because they're not taught very well and we're encouraged to learn things like literature and history. So it's also a cultural thing.

I don't think brain, gender or biological sex has anything to do with it.

Offline KarlMars

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2016, 07:55:40 am »
When my daughter was in school I countered that by always telling her that math was easy and not to listen to people who insisted it was hard.  All you have to do is learn the rules.  She ended up getting a math degree in college.  I also told her sports were important just for building a strong body along with a strong mind.  And now she makes a living as a fitness instructor.  So I agree that the message is important when they are young.


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It's a coincidence that I want to be a fitness instructor someday. Did she have to get a bachelor's of science in fitness training?

Offline Deborah

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Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2016, 08:07:44 am »
It's a coincidence that I want to be a fitness instructor someday. Did she have to get a bachelor's of science in fitness training?
No.  She got a math and education degree with the intention of being an elementary school teacher.  But during her student teaching time she discovered she didn't like the job.

She teaches fitness in and helps manage a Barre Studio.  http://barre3.com.  They conduct their own instructor selection and ongoing training in Oregon.  So her bonus with that company is paid trips a couple of times a year.

I do know something about fitness instructing in other gyms though.  Most do not require a degree.  All they require is an online certification.

Offline KarlMars

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Re: Mathematics and the Male brain
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2016, 06:07:30 pm »
No.  She got a math and education degree with the intention of being an elementary school teacher.  But during her student teaching time she discovered she didn't like the job.

She teaches fitness in and helps manage a Barre Studio.  http://barre3.com.  They conduct their own instructor selection and ongoing training in Oregon.  So her bonus with that company is paid trips a couple of times a year.

I do know something about fitness instructing in other gyms though.  Most do not require a degree.  All they require is an online certification.

That's good to know. Thanks so much.

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