Math-gender stereotypes in elementary school children

Child Dev. May-Jun 2011;82(3):766-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01529.x. Epub 2011 Mar 9.


A total of 247 American children between 6 and 10 years of age (126 girls and 121 boys) completed Implicit Association Tests and explicit self-report measures assessing the association of (a) me with male (gender identity), (b) male with math (math-gender stereotype), and (c) me with math (math self-concept). Two findings emerged. First, as early as second grade, the children demonstrated the American cultural stereotype that math is for boys on both implicit and explicit measures. Second, elementary school boys identified with math more strongly than did girls on both implicit and self-report measures. The findings suggest that the math-gender stereotype is acquired early and influences emerging math self-concepts prior to ages at which there are actual differences in math achievement.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Association
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics*
  • Self Concept
  • Socialization
  • Stereotyping*