Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have been researching to dispel the myth that women thrive in STEM fields due to biological deficiencies in math aptitude. Jessica Cantlon led the team at Carnegie Mellon University, and they “comprehensively examined” the brain development of young boys and girls.
The research showed no gender difference in brain function or math ability. Cantlon says science can go along with popular belief. She says the research showed that children's brains function similarly without gender differences. The team hopes their findings will recalibrate expectations of what children can achieve in mathematics.
The researchers conducted the first neuroimaging study to evaluate biological gender differences in math aptitude from young children. The team used a functional MRI to measure the brain activity of 1
The results were also compared to those of adult men and women who watched the same videos. Canton and her team found no difference in the brain development of girls and boys. The team also found no difference in how boys and girls processed math skills, and the sexes were both equally engaged.
The team also compared the results of the Early Mathematics Ability test to a test for 3 to 8 year olds. The team says that math ability was equivalent among the children and does show a difference in gender or age. There was thus no gender difference between math ability and brain maturity. Cantlon says she thinks society and culture are steering girls and young women away from math and STEM fields.