Mathematics, gender and normativity

Mark McCormack, Luis Morales

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


Examining the differences in success at mathematics between boys and girls is something that we, as a society, seem to find endlessly fascinating. Whether boys or girls are getting more top grades, even by just one percentage point, takes on a special significance. When scholars talk about the social construction of gender, the first thing to highlight is that one are not arguing men's and women's bodies are literally created socially. In a classic article on the construction of gender, Don West and Candace Zimmerman explain how people actively ‘do’ gender. They write that gender is “not simply an aspect of what one is, but, more fundamentally, it is something that one does, and does recurrently, in interaction with others”. A profound issue in the general debate about boys' and girls' ability at mathematics is the flaws in the idea that sex is a neat, simple binary: that sex is a nominal form of data with two distinct categories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDebates in Mathematics Education
EditorsGwen Ineson, Hilary Povey
ISBN (Electronic)9780429021015
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Mathematics, gender and normativity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this