ERIC Number: ED271286
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr-16
Reference Count: 0
Sex Differences in Mathematics Achievement and Participation.
The research goal was to identify factors affecting mathematices participation and achievement in adolescents, and to offer explanations for sex differences in mathematics behavior from adolescence onward. Subjects (n=1605) were Afrikaans-speaking seventh and ninth grade students, 80 percent of whose parents also participated. Students were randomly selected after stratification by sex/rural-urban location. Measuring instruments included standardized aptitude tests, mathematics achievement tests and questionnaires developed specially for this study, and translated American questionnaries. Marked sex differences favoring males were found for actual, as well as for intended mathematics participation. No sex differences in overall mathematics achievement were found for early adolescents or adolescents, nor for twelfth grade students in final school mathematics examinations. Mathematics olympiad data and final school results indicate substantial sex differences in favor of males at very high achievement levels. Sex differences in spatial visualization were found for adolescents only and substantial correlations between spatial abilities/mathematics achievement were found. Although adolescent males were signficantly more positive toward mathematics than females, this was not true of younger male students, except in their perception of the personal usefulness of mathematics. Males, including fathers, stereotyped mathematics as a male domain. Non-cognitive variables correlated substantially with mathematics achievement of ninth grade females. Further intention of ninth grade females to continue mathematics was accurately (R=.65) predicted by social, affective, and attitudinal variables, with parental encouragement being a major influence. (JM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Mathematics Education Research; South Africa
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (70th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).