# Gucci Little Piggy

Kicking. Squealing.

## SAT’s Recent Data Dump

Mark J. Perry points to the most recent SAT performance report.  Some of Perry’s observations:

1. High school boys’ average math score was 33 points higher than high school girls’ average score (532 and 499 respectively).  This is two points higher than the gap last year and two points lower than the 25 year trend.

2. The ratio of boys to girls scoring higher than 700 on the math section of the test was 186 to 100.  Other ways to say this:  9.5% of boys and 5.1% of girls scored 700 or better on Math.  About 778,000 boys and 886,000 girls took the SAT (47% male versus 53% female).

3.  Relying on this drilldown, Perry points out that at increasing SAT Math score increments, the boy-girl ratio also increases.  The ratio maxes out at about 2:1 at the highest possible score (800).  About 7700 boys and 3800 girls got perfect math scores.  Perry adjusts this for the greater number of female test-takers and finds a 2.29:1 ratio between the percent of perfect male scores and the percent of perfect female scores relative to the overall number of test-takers of each sex.

4. If this were about superior school-level preparation for boys, we wouldn’t expect to find that AP/Honors Math classes were 46% female and 54% male.

5.  One thing Perry didn’t mention is that both male and female SAT takers took an average of 3.9 years of math classes.  Boys had an average GPA of 3.19 in math classes.  Girls:  3.18.  Calculus classes were evenly divided between boys and girls.

Perry’s conclusion is worth quoting here:

Further, compared to boys, high school girls get better grades on average, and are far more likely to graduate in the top 10% of their high school classes.  By all objective measures, girls have essentially all of the necessary ingredients that should result in greater representation in STEM fields like engineering except perhaps for one: that huge, statistically significant +30-point gender gap on the SAT math test in favor of boys that persists over time.

These gaps persist across all ethnic groups as well.  Among black test-takers, boys score 14 points higher than females on Math; whites:  34; Hispanics:  36; Asians:  28.  While Reading differences are jumbled across the races, girls dominate boys on the Writing portion of the test.  On average they score 13 points higher than boys, and the differences across races range from a seven point margin (Hispanics) to a 21 point margin (blacks).

It is often argued that black boys are left behind in school.  Even so, black boys still score higher on SAT Math than do black girls.  Does anyone actually believe that black boys are generally dissuaded from doing well in school, yet they are somehow pushed towards maths and sciences while black girls are left behind?

This brings up one point worth making:  if females are comparatively better at writing and therefore at communicating, they would, at the upper echelons, gravitate towards the social sciences.  Plenty of men are also in these fields, but the social sciences have a greater female influence.  Thus, we have so much literature and so many feminist writings focused on the math and science gender gap.  It’s like female academics and intellectuals are fixed specifically with the tools to address the gap which the analogue males (the mathematicians and scientists) aren’t equipped to defend.  That, and they also have access to the mediums (academic journals, etc.) in which such theories are passed around.  You have communicators voicing their displeasure at outcomes in more abstract fields, and those populating the abstract fields aren’t even playing the same game.  So people in the softer sciences will naturally understate the issue, leaving passive discussion participants with an incomplete idea of how students pass through from school to the hard sciences.

### 11 Responses to SAT’s Recent Data Dump

1. anonymous 09/26/2012 at 11:03 am

I have a theory: a lot of the girls who could do STEM get wifed up and have kids. No normal woman wants to be a career woman. Something like 85% of women polled said it was their goal to be a full time stay at home mother, and a big percentage of those said they resented their partner for not making enough money to allow that to happen. A lot of the best of women who (because good traits tend to run together) are most capable of doing STEM leverage their bestness to get a good husband, and take themselves out of the labor pool.

2. Heartiste 09/26/2012 at 11:35 am

I have a theory: men’s and women’s brains are wired differently from conception onward. Now someone shower me with grant money.

3. Reym 09/26/2012 at 12:11 pm

Thanks for posting this, pretty useful information. I think it’s quite interesting to note that girls perform equivalently in terms of grades but worse when it comes to actual mathematical aptitude. Pretty good evidence in my opinion for the idea that schools have been skewed to favor feminine interests.

The addition of a writing section to the SAT and the removal of analogies (aka vocabulary + logic) from the verbal section also support the idea the SAT has been pretty heavily skewed towards the feminine. Can you imagine a test that was 2/3rds designed to appeal to the strengths of men?

4. Christina 09/26/2012 at 3:01 pm

A lot of the best of women who (because good traits tend to run together) are most capable of doing STEM leverage their bestness to get a good husband, and take themselves out of the labor pool.

I am one of these. BA in Math & Comp Sci, top of my classes in both. SAT scores: 760 Math, 740 Verbal. I am now a SAHM because I was so NOT a career person. Never was, never will be. Only regret? That I didn’t apply that self-knowledge in choosing a cheap college.

I’ll just take my superior STEM knowledge and ability to communicate and teach my kids that gender gap in academics and money is an absolute load of BS.

5. Inkraven 09/26/2012 at 3:13 pm

Another theory is that girls are graded more leniently in the classroom, and only when confronted with the faceless, impartial SAT scantron machine do we see where exactly in the pudding the proof can be found.

6. Reym 09/26/2012 at 3:35 pm

@Inkraven:

In my high school pretty much all of the top 10 GPA students were girls, many of whom pulled silly stunts to receive the highest GPAs in the school. For example, I know the Valedictorian, she was a smart girl, but the reason why her GPA was so high is because she went to another school for two years where students were on what is called “block scheduling.” Due to this structure, she was able to take for those two years, an additional two classes per year. Combine this with the additive bonus my school used for Honors classes GPA (something like an extra .12 per Honors course) and she racked up half a point of “additional” GPA unavailable to anyone who attended my school for the full four years. There was another girl who actually emulated this stunt as well, as it gives a huge leg up.

The girls at my school were pretty competitive about it all. I do, to a certain extent, regret not being more competitive about my GPA. But unlike these girls, I actually cared about what I learned and when I didn’t receive a score I was happy with, I didn’t immediately complain to the teacher and beg for extra credit (This was common behavior I saw in many of my fellow students). Being a mature adult, I realized when I didn’t do as well as I could have and resolved to improve … But I didn’t ask for do-overs or make-ups or turn on the waterworks for leniency. (I also didn’t cheat like many girls are wont to do and copy off of others’ homework.)

Unfortunately, far too many people in the schools are happy to make exceptions and bend the rules to help students out. There are so many people bending the rules all the time that they have no meaning any more. And I absolutely believe girls get a lot more leniency from teachers and administrators in a way that overstates their actual academic performance. It’s way easier for a girl to start crying and get her way than it is for a boy to do the same.

7. E. Rekshun 09/26/2012 at 6:24 pm

@Reym: “I absolutely believe girls get a lot more leniency from teachers and administrators in a way that overstates their actual academic performance.”

Substitute the words, girls, teachers, administrators, and academic with women, managers, HR staff, and job and now you have real life in the work place.

8. Anonymous 09/26/2012 at 6:30 pm

Since feminine social interests dictate the interests of the state information that could be used to bolster the hopes and spirits of boys to do better in school (as they are falling behind) is instead decried as institutional bias and sexism and something that needs to be fixed. I agree that boys need to pick it up and emulate their female peers more when it comes to “going the extra mile” but this could be encouraged by showing how valuable men are when it comes to hard science and numbers. This form of empowerment which would benefit all races and the economy as a whole is quickly swept under the rug because if the same level of effort and encouragement were given to boys as are girls in society then girls would start losing number centric jobs and positions to more talented male counterparts. Society drags, males drag, but women are arguably better off in this scenario as independent agents with less competition and more encouragement.

9. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse 09/26/2012 at 10:01 pm

If this were about superior school-level preparation for boys, we wouldn’t expect to find that AP/Honors Math classes were 46% female and 54% male.

I think you have the numbers the wrong way around.

10. namae nanka 09/27/2012 at 12:14 am