Is math sexist?
According to a professor at Vanderbilt University, why, yes, it is.
As reported by the website Campus Reform, Professor Luis A. Leyva recently wrote an article titled “Unpacking the Male Superiority Myth and Masculinization of Mathematics at the Intersection,” in which he declares mathematics to be a “white and heteronormatively masculinized space.”
It’s important to clarify the insidiousness Leyva claims is at work here. The professor does not believe that math is inherently sexist, or otherwise biased against women because of its true nature. Rather, Leyva says, the bias is socially constructed, and rooted in such things as teacher expectations and cultural norms.
That’s why the “male superiority” to which Leyva refers is a “myth.”
Leyva takes some heart, apparently, in what he sees as improvements in the way teachers view race and gender, but notes that “there remains much analytical space to examine gender as a social construct and how this differentially affects students’ mathematics achievement.”
One solution to the “problem,” as Leyva sees it existing, is for scholars to do a better job of examining “the influences of different contexts on students’ mathematics achievement and experiences at intersections of gender and other socially constructed identities.”
Or, maybe everyone – boys and girls - could just be given more homework…?
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large