Unequal Stressors?

It has been found that men and women respond to stress differently. Specifically, these differences may be the reason for the wide gap in mathematic test scores among men and women in the U.S. While men experience a “fight or flight” response where it “invokes resources that increase focus, alertness and fear, while inhibiting appetitive goals to cope with the threat or challenge” (Wang et al. 2007:236), women are faced with the “tend and befriend” response, meaning their resources that invoke these valuable responses are duller yet the stress is still the same (Women on Tests Update: Response to Stress).
This means that women are at a disadvantage. Beginning during their school years they feel inferior to those who perform better than they do on tests, in this case mathematical tests, and when it is men that generally perform better it is no wonder we continue to be viewed as and feel inferior. The question here is whether this stress reaction is truly and purely biological or if there are social aspects contributing to it.
With the help of anthropology, one could study different cultures and their gender equality and compare this to the average test performance comparison between men and women. By exploring these questions we can trace how directly society affects tests performance. It is important to see if it is culture that has created this divide, for if that is the case then it is a solvable problem and will bring us closer to equality and allow greater success for women.

References

http://neuroanthropology.net/2008/08/31/women-on-tests-update-response-to-stress/#more-824

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