Monday, June 02, 2008

Larry Summers and Steve Pinker listen up!

That male-female math gap?

It appears to be reversible. The quasi-metaphysical Evolutionary Psychology, as opposed to the actually scientific evolutionary psychology, takes another body blow.

Here’s the details of the latest research:
• Girls are as good at math as boys given the proper environment.
• Males may have an edge in spatial thinking abilities, which are useful in math — and this advantage may be very ancient, evolutionarily speaking.
• Deep-rooted though this difference may be, females can surmount it with just a little work.

More proof of this gap being at least in fair part environmentally based?
“The gap doesn’t exist in countries in which men and women have access to similar resources and opportunities,” said Paola Sapienza of The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois, summarizing the results of a new study published in the May 30 issue of the research journal Science.

And, another study notes that the spatial cognition differences, to the degree they have a real gender basis, can also be surmounted. (In other words, Pinker, Summer, et al, environment trumps “raw genes” again. Try reading somebody like Matt Ridley.)