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What about Hyde's (2005) Gender Similarities Hypothesis?

Posted By: Ross Mitchell on November 21, 2008
Given its absence from the short list of citations, I hope that Hyde's work on gender similarities would be addressed as an addendum (Hyde, 2005; Linn & Hyde, 1989).

It seems to me, especially when it comes to the matter of mathematics achievement, that more recent research would suggest that it is better to think about gender similarities than gender differences. At least in the United States, gender differences in mathematics are so small that it might be fair to say that this is much ado about nothing (also see, e.g., Hedges & Nowell, 1995; Leahey & Guo, 2001; Mullis et al., 1997).

It is also clear, as exemplified by a recent newspaper report on an ACLU suit directed against the current configuration of single-sex education in Mobile County, Alabama, that people are already using gender differences as the basis for gender-based and differing curricula:
"The ACLU said Mark Jones, whose son is a seventh-grader at Hankins in Mobile County, said the school principal told him that gender segregation was necessary because boys' and girls' brains are so different that they needed different curriculums." (http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20081113/NEWS02/811130309)

Hopefully, there is some interest in exploring Hyde's position in conjunction with the recent enthusiasm for gender-segregated education.

Thank you,

Ross E. Mitchell
University of Redlands

Hedges, L. V., & Nowell, A. (1995). Sex differences in mental test scores, variability, and numbers of high-scoring individuals. Science, 269(5220), 41-45.
Hyde, J. S. (2005). The gender similarities hypothesis. American Psychologist, 60(6), 581-592.
Leahey, E., & Guo, G. (2001). Gender differences in mathematical trajectories. Social Forces, 80(2), 713-732.
Linn, M. C., & Hyde, J. S. (1989). Gender, mathematics, and science. Educational Researcher, 18(8), 1-27.
Mullis, I. V. S., Martin, M. O., Beaton, A. E., Gonzalez, E. J., Kelly, D. L., & Smith, T. A. (1997, June). Mathematics achievement in the primary school years: IEA’S Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS International Study Center, Boston College.
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 What about Hyde's (2005) Gender Similarities Hypothesis? by Ross Mitchell on November 21, 2008
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