Boys not born good at maths

London, May 30 | Updated: May 31 2008, 05:43am hrs
A study has finally dispelled the myth that boys are born better at maths than girls. In fact, it claims that differences in examination results are down to nurture and not nature. Researchers have long debated whether mathematical ability is the result of biological or social factors. Though girls tend to do better in maths classes, global studies have showed they're often outperformed by male classmates in tests. Now, an international team has found that when women have equal access to education and other opportunities, the so-called gender gap in their test scores disappears. The so-called gender gap in maths skills seems to be at least partially correlated to environmental factors. The gap doesn't exist in countries in which men and women have access to similar opportunities, lead researcher Paola Sapienza said. Sapienza of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University came to this conclusion after looking at results of a standardised international exam taken by over 270,000 15-year-olds from 40 countries in 2003. Girls scored on average 2% less than boys but when the researchers compared the results with global standards on access to education and equality, they found they were closely linked with boys.