At math, girls are as good as boys!?

Last updated 2019 07 22: Added Card Games (Bridge and Skat)

At math, girls are as good as boys!?  Can women do everything that men can, only do it better, and do it in heels? Can they play chess as well, run as fast? No.


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Girls = Boys at Math

By David Malakoff

ScienceNOW Daily News
24 July 2008

Zip. Zilch. Nada. There’s no real difference between the scores of U.S. boys and girls on common math tests, according to a massive new study. Educators hope the finding will finally dispel lingering perceptions that girls don’t measure up to boys when it comes to crunching numbers….

…The results “essentially confirm” earlier studies–and they should finally put to rest the idea that girls aren’t going into technical fields because they can’t do the math, says Ann Gallagher, a psychologist who studies testing at the Law School Admission Council in Newtown, Pennsylvania. But she still thinks there may be cultural or psychological reasons for why girls still tend to lag behind boys on high-stakes tests such as the SAT. Among students she’s observed, she says “the boys tend to be a little more idiosyncratic in solving problems, the girls more conservative in following what they’ve been taught.”

Girls are as good as boys at math!? Bunk!!

Neither David Malakoff, of ScienceNOW Daily News, nor apparently the five women authors of the study report he wrote about stressed the fact that obviously the student test results that were examined were conflated to produce the results that the authors intended to find.

Neither David Malakoff nor apparently the five sympathizing women authors were able to explain away the reality of the math-achievement differences between girls and boys.  At the prodigy level, in math, boys excel over girls by a factor of close to seven.  Certainly, some girls may become as good at math as many boys are, but there simply aren’t as many girls, by far, as there are boys who are top performers.  (Nor are there even many women who are top-ranking, world-class chess champions.)

As usual in feminist “research”, it appears that the five discoverers of the surprising truth of girls doing as well as boys in math presented statistics in such a way that they provided the answers they were after.  That is not objective science and the truth.  It is advocacy research.

Here is an objective study report on the subject:

The Myth That Schools Shortchange Girls:[*, **] Social Science in the Service of Deception – an article by Judith Kleinfeld, Professor of Psychology, University of Alaska (unfortunately, some of the tables and graphs in that PDF file are for unknown reasons no longer being displayed)
[* 2018 05 08: The link at the UAF no longer functions. The article cannot be found in the Internet Archive, but a copy of the article is accessible at MENWEB.
** 2018 05 31: The Internet Archive does, after all, contain a copy of Judith Kleinfeld’s article.]

Here is the reference to the report on the study done by five women who found the surprising news announced in the ScienceNOW Daily News:

Diversity: Gender Similarities Characterize Math Performance

Janet S. Hyde*, 1,  Sara M. Lindberg1, Marcia C. Linn2, Amy B. Ellis3, Caroline C. Williams3
Science  25 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5888, pp. 494-495
DOI: 10.1126/science.1160364

  1. Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, 1202 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706, USA
  2. Education in Mathematics, Science, and Technology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  3. Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA

*Author for correspondence. E-mail: jshyde{at}
Read the Full Text [2018 05 08: That link no longer functions, but a copy of the web page is accessible in the Internet Archive. —F4L]

It is somewhat useless to follow that link, as access to the full text of the study report is denied, unless an AAAS membership subscription is purchased first, and that ranges from US$75 to US$310, depending on academic standing or qualification.  Nevertheless, a free summary of the study report is alleged to be available.  However, the free “summary” consists of nothing more than the title of the study report and a list of its five women authors (exactly as shown above).  Mind you, for ten dollars it is possible to gain 24-hour access to the article.  That may not be worth the effort and expense.

According to Wikipedia, AAAS may refer to:

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an organization dedicated to scholarship and the advancement of learning, or
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, an organization that promotes cooperation between scientists.

According to information available at [The link no longer functions —F4L], AAAS stands for “American Association for the Advancement of Science”.

Christopher Jones critiques ‘Girls = Boys at Math’

Christopher Jones wrote the following thoughts on the announcement of the study report by Hyde at al. (in a letter that went, amongst others, to a number of members of the AAAS):

Ladies & Gentleman,

Undoubtedly this will seem very non-PC, but I am I the only one who suspects some agenda in this headline?

I am not a subscriber so I do NOT have access to the full report (I read the Supporting Online Material) but what struck me immediately in this article was the apologetic tone of David Malakoff – admittedly defensive for suggesting the unlikely promotion of  a “feminist” agenda that appears to have taken hold of higher education.

20 years ago the caveat for this report was “little difference at age 12-14 (or middle school)” as girls are perhaps 2 years or more ahead of boys in physical development at that cohort.  Nothing has really changed in that time – they are still neck and neck and no one seriously disputes there is a difference ON AVERAGE.  But clearly the “tail” distribution is thicker for boys – hence they out-number girls 2:1 in tougher questions!  How is it that this USEFUL interpretation was avoided?    Of course once boys have caught up to girls in physical development (by 18) they tend to do better as evidenced by SAT scores – which was acknowledged.

The SURPRISE was this statement:

Hyde suggests that cultural and social factors, not gender alone, influence how well students perform on tests.

Why?  Is this meant as a backhand way to banish any thought that “The Bell Curve”, Philippe Rushton and Helmuth Nyborg were right and there are significant differences in racial intelligence?

In the very next sentence Hyde stretches (to confound any criticism) by calling well documented evidence from the College Board “illusory”.  Really?  A professional organization that has been dedicated to rigorously testing and evaluating standardized testing for 40 odd years was sloppy and we never noticed?   How can such idiocy go unchallenged or unpunished?

Then comes the political “fear-mongering” gambit which trots out that familiar chestnut – much loved by teachers and professional “educators” (and who support the Democrats) – that politicization of education under No Child Left Behind has lead to “teaching to the test” strategies by dropping level 4 questions.

Perhaps the best news in this article – girls now have no excuse why they don’t pick STEM fields (unless they perhaps do not conform to the stereotypes assigned by feminists?).  That is GREAT NEWS because we can now drop all those targeted programs that enhanced girls esteem and discriminated against boys merely because they did better.

Yet strangely, boys are still unfairly advantaged according to Ann Gallagher, a psychologist who studies testing at the Law School Admission Council in Newtown, because she still thinks there may be cultural or psychological reasons for why girls still tend to lag behind boys on high-stakes tests such as the SAT.   It’s not fair that “the boys tend to be a little more idiosyncratic in solving problems” while “the girls more conservative in following what they’ve been taught.”  Boys use more successful strategies. How unfair!  Hobble them.

I wonder if Hyde thought to add 2.5 men to the group in order to broaden her conservative sisters with more idiosyncratic thought?

That so many broad based statements with nothing more tha[n] feminist ideology behind it could be made and blindly parroted, is remarkable for a popular entertainment magazine – which it must be to abandon all pretense of rigorous inquiry, for surely this is NOT science.

Here is the offending article

And here is what I consider to be a helpful non-science discussion that touches on most of the troubling issues:

— Christopher Jones

#PoliticalCorrectness #Nature_vs_Nurture

Addendum 2018 05 09:

Lawrence Summers stated in his presentation:

Women Mathematicians in the National Academy of Sciences
The last time I looked, there were 143 American members of the National Academy in the Mathematics and Applied Mathematical Sciences sections. Using the methods developed here, we can estimate the most probable number of women in this elite club.
The pool of competitors is roughly the number of Americans between the ages of 25 and 85, approximately 190,000,000. Setting N = 190,000,000 (the precise value is not important3) and the number of slots NS = 143, the competitor to slot ratio, N /NS , is 1.329 million. With this value in (3), we find that the most probable number of women in the group of 143 Academy mathematicians is 7.1. (I choose not to round to the nearest integer.) At this time there are precisely 7 women in the mathematics sections of the Academy. (The agreement is almost embarrassing.) The 95% confidence interval4 is [2,12]. The minimum mathematical ability among the 143 Academy members is 4.68 SD greater than the male population mean. This is indeed an elite bunch!….

This graph is from Lawrence Summers’ presentation:

Math ability of men vs. women

It is dangerous to tell the truth when feminism has the power.

The same principle also holds true for chess.

FIDE ratings of the top-ranking chess payers in the World — Men vs. Women

Out of the top-thousand chess players in the world, 982 are men and 18 are women. The current FIDE rating of the top chess player (Magnus Carlsen) is 2843. There are another 63 men who rank higher than the top female chess player (Judit Polgar), who has a FIDE rating of 2675. (More: World Chess Federation, Ratings, Advanced Search Results)

Addendum 2018 08 28:

Boston Marathon — Winning Times, 1897 – 2018

The best women runners cannot run as fast as the best men runners

Women can not do everything that men can, only better and in high heels, as Barack Obama and other feminists love to insist, time and again.

“…My daughters and all of your daughters, will forever know that there is no barrier to know for who they are and what they can be in the United States of America. They can take for granted that women can do anything that the boys can do, and do it better, and do it in heels…”

—Barack Obama; Unite For Change: Barack Obama in Unity, NH; BarackObamadotcom, Published on Jun 27, 2008

That assertion is not true, regardless of who makes it or any similar ones.  For instance, women cannot run the Boston Marathon as fast as men can — not by a long shot!

Boston Marathon: Men and women run concurrently. Their respective winning times differ widely in favour of men.

Boston Marathon: Men and women run concurrently.
Their respective winning times differ widely.

Addendum 2019 03 20:

When the noble-cause corruption of always giving women a leg-up is not in operation, women cannot win against men in competitive sports. In soccer, on a level playing field,

Australia’s National Women’s Soccer Team Loses 7-0 To A Bunch Of 15-Year-Old Boys

May 26, 2016: On Wednesday, the Australian Women’s national soccer team lost a training game in preparation for the Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil. Here’s the thing: they played against a bunch of 15-year-old boys, the Newcastle Jets, and lost 7-0…. More

Addendum 2019 07 22

Card Games


Someone who plays a lot of Bridge wrote:

In this game, women are very well represented and make up more than half the regular players in most clubs. The sample size of EBU ranked played is pretty substantial (50,000). It is interesting that the top 100 are almost all men….

It might be worth noting that the England Ladies team regularly win in international competitions (gender specific) while the men’s team seldom make the podium. I am not aware of any academic studies of this but the basic data is easily available.

Here is the table of the top ranked players in England (and Wales):


Skat (German pronunciation: [ˈskaːt]) is a 3-player trick-taking card game of the Ace-Ten family, devised around 1810 in Altenburg in the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. It is the national game of Germany[1] and, along with Doppelkopf, it is the most popular card game in Germany and Silesia. It is considered one of the best and most interesting card games for 3 players[1][2] and has been described as “the king of German card games.”[3] — Wikipedia

DSKV (German Skat Association) VG-OWL Single Championship Standings


See also:


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