Boys, Girls, and Gender-Free Statistics

I am no math disciple (and I love women’s empowerment pretty fervently), but I do believe in using math and science as tools of fact, not tools of politic.  The media has been swarming over the recent article in Science that reexamines gender differences in math abilities of young boys and girls, but all the articles (that I’ve seen) save one (the Wall Street Journal – article here) has come to the wrong conclusion.  The faulty reports have only understood and reported on the means (averages), which are undoubtedly important, but fail to (honestly) report the variances, which are a lot of the show.

Here and here are two explanations – the first from a statistician at Columbia and the second from an economist at GMU.

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