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Gender Differences in the Development of Numerical Skills in Four European Countries

Helga Krinzinger, Liane Kaufmann, Jacques Gregoire, Annemie Desoete, Hans-Christoph Nuerk, Klaus Willmes


Gender differences have been reported frequently for mathematical performance of boys and girls but usually not before adolescence. Therefore, developmental origins of a possible male advantage in numerical skills are understudied. In a large sample of second graders from four European countries, we found significant gender differences in favour of boys in writing multi-digit Arabic numerals from dictation, and in subtraction and multiplication. We discuss the latter findings with reference to a possible male advantage in visual-spatial cognition ability.


mathematics; cultural differences; elementary school

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