A brand-new study, that measured 3-10-year-old children’s neural development with functional magnetic resonance imaging during naturalistic viewing of mathematics education videos, has discovered that the boys and girls showed significant gender similarities in neural functioning.
The researchers stated that that women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers owing to biological differences.
They said that some scientists have hypothesized that women and men differ in their pursuit of careers in STEM owing to biological differences in mathematics aptitude.
However, little evidence supports such claims, they said.
Some studies of children and adults show gender differences in mathematics performance but in those studies it is impossible to disentangle intrinsic, biological differences from sociocultural influences, researchers stated.
As part of the early Biology of mathematics and gender study, researchers tested for gender differences in the neural processes of mathematics in young children.
They measured 3–10-year-old children’s neural development with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during naturalistic viewing of mathematics education videos.
They also implemented both frequentist and Bayesian analyses that quantify gender similarities and differences in neural processes.
Across all analyses girls and boys showed significant gender similarities in neural functioning, indicating that boys and girls engage the same neural system during mathematics development.