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Girls Perform Better than Boys in All School Subjects

Update Date: May 01, 2014 11:24 AM EDT
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Stereotypes really do die hard. For years, people believe that boys are better than girls when it comes to math and science. In a new study, researchers examined the veracity behind this claim and discovered that for the last century, girls have been performing better than boys in all school subjects.

For this study, the researchers reviewed 308 previously conducted studies that involved 1.1 million boys and girls from 20 countries. The children were students between 1914 and 2011. For 100 years, the researchers found that girls outperformed boys in all school topics, such as reading, language, math and science starting in elementary school and lasting through high school.

"We didn't expect to find that girls did better at math and science as well," commented study research Daniel Voyer, professor of psychology reported by TIME. "The girls did better whatever you give them."

The researchers compared performance levels based on the students' overall grade point averages (GPA). The differences in the GPAs between the two sexes were larger for reading and language classes and smaller for math and science courses. The researchers explained that even though girls' school grades are higher than boys', the stereotype that boys are better at math and science continues to thrive due to test scores, such as the SAT. Even though tests measure knowledge, they also come with higher stress levels, which could affect students' performance.

"Tests are more like knowledge: How much do you know? Grades are about how much you know but also how can you work with the material, how can you actually present the material and react to it," stated Voyer.

The researchers added that even though their study found that girls get better grades, it does not automatically mean that girls are smarter than boys. Other factors such as studying time and desire to achieve high grades could explain why girls get higher school grades. The study was published in the American Psychological Association's (APA) journal, Psychological Bulletin.

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