The Fear Factor: Maths Anxiety in girls and women, by Samantha Callan, a report commissioned by The Maths Anxiety Trust.
This Report looks at attitudes to maths and why Maths Anxiety continues to prevail among women and girls.
Mathematics – maths – is a social justice issue: around one in five adults in the UK lack even basic numeracy skills without which they find it difficult to budget and make money stretch as far as possible; they feel stressed and insecure about moneyregardless of their income, and they struggle to overcome barriers to progression in work.
Yet senior educationalists agree that it is culturally acceptable, especially for women, to say, ‘I hate maths, I was never any good with numbers’.
As well as awareness that the relationship between females and maths is typically not a happy one, there is also a growing sense that something needs to be done about it. Even though girls outperform boys at school overall, closer inspection reveals they lag behind when it comes to this indispensible subject. There is a deep-seated and widespread belief that boys are born with an ability to do maths, whereas girls are not.
Yet there is no biological reason or evidence from research to support this belief.
The Maths Myth, which drives the fear factor for many women and girls, needs to be publicly identified as a remaining injustice of patriarchy; then it needs to be demolished.