SAT Math Scores Reveal HUGE Gender Differences
On a previous post, I documented the statistically significant male-female test score gap for the 2008 SAT math exam, and the graph above shows that this statistically significant difference of more than 30 points has persisted over time. Could the male-female SAT math test score gap be explained by: a) males taking more math classes than females in high school, or b) males demonstrating higher performance in high school math classes than females, or c) male high school students having higher GPAs than female students? The answers appear to be NO, using data from the 2008 SAT report.
Table 13 below (click to enlarge) shows that female high school students dominate male students at the highest GPA levels (A+, A and A-) by wide margins, and male students dominate female students at the lowest GPA levels (C, D, E or F). For example, there are 150 female students earning GPAs at the highest A+ level for every 100 male students, and there are 160 male students earning GPAs at the lowest D/E/F level for every 100 female students. Further, the overall GPA for all female students (3.38) is higher than the overall GPA for male students (3.23).
Table 14 below (click to enlarge) shows that there is essentially no male-female difference for average years of math study (3.9 years for males vs. 3.8 years for females) or math GPA (3.12 for both male and female students).
Based on the statistical evidence, is there any other conclusion than this obvious one: In general and on average, male high school students in the U.S. are just plain better at math than female high school students? If there are other reasonable conclusions, please share them.
And yet, we hear statements like this: "There just aren't gender differences anymore in math performance," says University of Wisconsin-Madison psychology professor Janet Hyde. Stereotypes are very, very resistant to change," she says, "but as a scientist I have to challenge them with data."
Do those data include publicly available SAT score data showing statistically significant gender differences in math scores that persist over time? Apparently not.