Math = male, me = female, therefore math not = me

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 Jul;83(1):44-59.


College students, especially women, demonstrated negativity toward math and science relative to arts and language on implicit measures. Group membership (being female), group identity (self = female), and gender stereotypes (math = male) were related to attitudes and identification with mathematics. Stronger implicit math = male stereotypes corresponded with more negative implicit and explicit math attitudes for women but more positive attitudes for men. Associating the self with female and math with male made it difficult for women, even women who had selected math-intensive majors, to associate math with the self. These results point to the opportunities and constraints on personal preferences that derive from membership in social groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics*
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors
  • Stereotyping