Science textbooks, girls and performance

World Science reports that “mostly-male book images may reduce girls’ science scores“. Or to frame it more positively, more images of girls in the textbooks increased girls’ performance.

Part of the rea­son boys tend to out­score girls in sci­ence clas­ses may be that most text­books show pre­dom­i­nantly male sci­en­tists’ im­ages, a small ex­plor­a­to­ry study has found.

The stu­dy, on 81 young high-school stu­dents, saw the “gen­der gap” ap­par­ently re­versed when youths were tested based on a text con­tain­ing only female sci­ent­ist im­ages, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said. The gap re­turned in its usu­al form when ma­le-only im­ages were used—and van­ished when the pho­tos showed equal num­bers of men and wom­en sci­en­tists, re­search­ers said. … (April 23, 2010)

The full stu­dy: Jes­si­ca J. Good, Julie A. Woodzicka and Lylan C. Wingfield (2010). “The Effects of Gender Stereotypic and Counter-Stereotypic Textbook Images on Science Performance”, Jour­nal of So­cial Psy­chol­o­gy150 (2): 132-147. (Abstract)

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2 Comments to “Science textbooks, girls and performance”

  1. I hadlry ever watch tv, the only times I do, it’s for live sports, river monsters on animal planet (kick-ass show!) and pawn stars on history channel (another kick-ass show). Thanks to hulu and netflix, people are watching when they want to watch. So, SocialSense makes complete sense.

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