Why are girls afraid of mathematics?
At the outset, my apologies for raising such an apparently silly question. However, It bothers (and pains) when I used to hear in friend's gossips that subjects like mathematics and physics are best handled by boys. I also notice many women (including me) who have gone through university levels were actually afraid of mathematics during our student-hood. During those days, the first preference of boys were subjects like maths, physics, economics and girls used to prefer sociology and literature. Does it have something to do with being girls? Any views?
Normally it is because mathematics requires logic and serious mind.
I am not sure, how to answer such a question, because I am not a regular female. I am not afraid of mathematics, physics and electronics. I love these subjects and I finished my studies in electronics.
I suppose, the reason for such fear may be the social environment we live in. The equal rights for women and men is great thing but there are still many problems. Females are asked to be modest, beautiful, good mothers and housekeepers. Take any magazine for girls and compare it with any of those that boys read. In that magazine you will find such topics as cooking, makeup tips, fashion tips and so on... In magazine which are read by men you will find computers, cars, electronics, gadgets, marketing news and other great stuff. It is said, that man should be smart and woman needs to be beautiful. Such things as mathematics require to use your brain, to be serious, to think. Women in many cases rely on their beauty. That is why they are afraid of mathematics.This my personal opinion. I grew up in environment, where logical thinking was the main thing. Both of my parent worked in computer administration and engineering. So it is naturally for me to be interested in those things.
This is often due to the fact that in our society women are considered less than men. We are supposed to do cute things, like sew, cook, keep house. This is a stigma that our teachers give us. We are supposed to be good at English and reading, boys are supposed to be good at science and math. I went into college as a Math Education major. Then I decided I wasn't that motivated and switched to creative writing.
A friend linked me this video recently and I think it explains very well what has happened in our society and why girls are not out to achieve as much as they should. http://vimeo.com/28066212
"Ask a group of kindergartners what they want to be when they grow up. An equal number of girls and boys will say they want to be president. Ask a group of eighth graders and very few girls want to be president." That's not an exact quote but my internet is too slow to re-watch it and get the exact wording.
I think also, that the first reason is the environment and social impact on girls, in which they live.
It should be something that evoluates and the society could be aware that the interest of girls by scientific domains must increase.
Today, we could see many girls that are engineer etc
Girls should be encouraged by their family, society, school to get more involved in these subjects because they are interesting and girls have all the necessary skill to understand them and success.
While being a male with an engineering degree that doesn't like literature, I would hope young ladies aren't exposed to this kind of thinking, but we all live in different worlds. My family never really talked that way, so that kind of thinking was not pervasive. We all could be what we want to be, but we have to put in the effort. My mother and aunt had jobs accounting, an older sister works with computers, and a younger sister is a physical therapist (seems scientific to me).
While getting the engineering degree, there were plenty of ladies in the classes. They did very well. But that kind of thinking you mentioned was around the university, because there was a joke going around, "Why is it good to date a ---- freshman...because she won't be there next year."
That kind of thinking depends on where we come from I guess, and if we are willing to stop it with our generation.
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