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科学60秒:男生更擅长数学?

时间: 2020年04月26日 | 作者: Admin | 来源: 领研网(linkresearcher.com)


 [听力全文]


Stereotypes are usually the last thing to change in the face of contradictory evidence. A case in point is the long held belief that boys are better at mathematics than girls.  


Well a meta-analysis to be published in the journal Psychological Bulletin can be added to the pile of evidence that finds no significant gender difference in mathematical ability. 

 

Researchers analyzed results from two math tests that assessed nearly half a million boys and girls between the ages of 14 to 16, from 69 countries.  They tested algebra, geometry, data analysis and number concepts. The study’s lead author, Villanova University psychology professor Nicole Else-Quest found “…that on average across all the nations the gender difference was negligible.”   


But she and her colleagues did notice an interesting pattern, “When you look at the variability across nations you see it varies a great deal. There are some nations where girls do better than boys. There are some nations boys do better than girls.” 

 

Countries that had larger gender gaps favoring boys included Tunisia and Korea. And those favoring girls were Jordan and Bahrain.

 

But most countries showed no gender gap including the United States, Sweden, Germany.   

 

Else-Quest notes that there is some association between the status of women in each country and their ability to do mathematics.  


“The percentage of women in parliament was moderately associated with the size of the gender gap in math such that in countries where there were fewer women in parliament males tended to do better in math than girls by a larger extent than in countries in which there was better representation by women in parliament.” 


That connection would seem to imply that achievement levels are not innate and fixed. 

 

"And that these gender differences that we are seeing are not because they have different brains.. It’s because of social forces--which suggests that they can be changed.” 


—Christie Nicholson


 [重难点词汇、短语]


stereotype: n. 陈腔滥调;成见,模式化观念;铅版

algebra: n. 代数


 [参考译文]


即使现有的证据与人们的固有想法相互矛盾,刻板印象通常也极难改变。一个典型的例子就是,长期以来人们都认为男生比女生更擅长数学。

 

相关的研究已经堆成山了,《心理学公报》(Psychological Bulletin)上的一项荟萃分析(meta-analysis)又给出了新的证据,都说明男女在数学能力方面没有显著差异。

 

研究人员分析了两项数学测试的结果,测试的对象覆盖了来自69个国家近50万名年龄在14岁到16岁之间的男生和女生,测试的范围从代数到几何,从数据分析到数字概念。研究的主要作者、维拉诺瓦大学(Villanova University)的心理学教授尼科尔·埃尔斯·奎斯特(Nicole Else-Quest)发现,“……平均所有国家的结果来看,性别差异可以忽略不计。”

 

但她和同事确实注意到了一个有趣的地方:“在观察不同国家之间的差异时,你会发现结果大相径庭。在有些国家,女生比男生更擅长数学。在另一些国家男生比女生更擅长数学。”

 

性别差异较大,且男生更擅长数学的国家包括突尼斯和韩国,而女生更擅长数学的国家有约旦和巴林。

 

但包括美国、瑞典和德国在内的大多数国家都没有显示出性别差异。

 

埃尔斯·奎斯特指出,对于不同国家而言,女性数学能力与她们的社会地位存在某种关联。

 

“议会中女性的比例与数学能力的性别差异具有一定相关性,也就是相比议会中女性人数较多的国家,拥有更少女性议员的国家对应着男生在数学方面上的优势。”

 

这种关联似乎意味着,数学造诣水平不是与生俱来的,也不是一成不变的。

 

“而我们看到的这些性别差异,并非源自男女的大脑差异,而是由社会因素造成的,这表明数学能力上的性别差异是可以改变的。”


翻译 页一