As has been widely reported, a new study shows that girls and boys perform equally well in math. University of Wisconsin researchers reported on the study in Science magazine. "There just aren't gender differences anymore in math performance," says UW-Madison psychology professor Janet Hyde, the study's leader. "So parents and teachers need to revise their thoughts about this."
I've always thought that the idea that girls aren't as strong in math as boys was something of a self-fulfilling prophecy and thus a very harmful stereotype. When I have done space-related educational outreach events for school groups and girl scout events, I have found girls to be every bit as curious about the universe and its workings as boys. I thought it was unfortunate that few of these smart girls would likely go on to pursue education and careers in science and engineering. I hope this new study will take away any excuse anyone might have for not encouraging girls (and boys) to do what they are good at and what they enjoy.