Writing for Sociological Images, Philip N. Cohen reports that the stereotype that men are innately better at maths than women is not supported by the evidence. He uses data from an international study by Jonathan Kane and Janet Mert, published in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society. Cohen writes:
The main message I get is that gender ability in math differs so much across social contexts that any conclusion about “natural” ability is untenable. Also, gender equality is good.
In the Czech Republic there is no difference in either the means or the distributions for boys versus girls, and the average ability is high. Bahrain shows a much greater variance for boys versus girls — which is sometimes used to explain why to many top achievers are men — but women’s average is higher. Finally, in Tunisia the girls have a higher variance but a lower mean. Where’s the natural ability story?