Women do worse on math tests when they're told that men are genetically better at math. A study divided 220 female students into four groups, each with an assigned reading. One reading talked about images of women in art; a second said men have an innate advantage at math; a third said there's no innate difference; a fourth said preferential treatment accounts for male success. Women in the latter two groups averaged 15 to 20 correct answers out of 25 on a subsequent math test. Women in the first two groups averaged only 5 to 10 correct answers, and their test scores were lower after the reading than before. Researchers' conclusion: Faced with deterministic stereotypes of female vulnerability, women "are likely to choke under the pressure." Rebuttal: Thanks for another deterministic stereotype of female vulnerability. (For Human Nature's takes on gender, science, and Larry Summers, click here and here.)
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