Is Larry Summers now ghostwriting sociology studies?Research first noticed by the New York Times’ Motherlode blog (and picked up by Freakonomics) found that teachers exhibited lower expectations toward white females when it came to maths.
Catherine Riegle-Crumb and Melissa Humphries of the University of Texas looked at 15,000 students, and had their teachers rate whether the maths class in which a student was enrolled fit their abilities, was too easy or too difficult for them.
According to Motherlode, the researchers noted:
“A ‘subtle’ but ‘definitely present’ tendency among high school teachers to deem their white female students less competent than white male students with similar grades and scores, and to consider them less comfortable in a particular maths class, or to be less capable of advancing.”
They conclude that “teachers hold the belief that maths is just easier for white males than it is for white females.”
But let’s not overlook what this may signify for women. The poorer their financial literacy and maths ability, the more likely they are to suffer a default or mortgage default.