Behavior: The Gender Factor in Math

A new study says males may be naturally abler than females

Until about the seventh grade, boys and girls do equally well at math. In early high school, when the emphasis shifts from simple computation to mathematical reasoning, the boys tend to pull ahead and stay there—through college and in later life.

Why should this be so? Though academics have churned out an enormous literature on the subject, no clear answers have emerged. Some believe in differences in brain organization, or the "natural" inclination of females toward "people" tasks (e.g., nursing, psychology, literature, teaching)...

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