NYT gender bias: Small math test gap favoring boys is emphasized while much larger reading test gap favoring girls is downplayed

I posted about this previously (University of Chicago to stop requiring ACT and SAT scores for prospective undergraduates). 

Mark Perry follows up on things that I mentioned: everyone focuses on the small math gap of boys over girls, but totally ignore the large reading gap of girls over boys. 

The chart above (with the red ellipses added) is from the New York Times article “Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts” and is based on 260 million standardized reading and math test scores for third through eighth graders in nearly every district in the country. Here’s the story’s lead:

In much of the country, the stereotype that boys do better than girls at math isn’t true – on average, they perform about the same, at least through eighth grade. But there’s a notable exception.

In school districts that are mostly rich, white and suburban, boys are much more likely to outperform girls in math, according to a new study from Stanford researchers, one of the most comprehensive looks at the gender gap in test scores at the school district level.

As Warren Meyer points out on the Coyote Blog:

If your first reaction was something like “wow, the gender gap in favor of girls in English simply dwarfs any gender gap that exists in favor of boys in math,” you had the same reaction as I did. All I could think was that all this discussion of getting more girls in STEM is a fine aspiration, but my God, boys in English are a dumpster fire.

I saw the chart standalone like this before I flipped to the source New York Times article and read more.  And, incredibly, this is the title of the article: “Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts.” That’s right, the authors look at this chart and all they want to talk about is the small area in the lower right quadrant of the chart, the only place where girls out-perform boys (and even there the maximum boy advantage is less than a third of the girl advantage across the board in English). This is bizarre beyond belief.