Eliminating fatherlessness

TIMSS Physics Item H09

 

Copyright © 2002 by The Fathers' Manifesto

Please distribute freely, all portions intact.

Question H09 on the 12th Grade TIMSS Math test given to 12th graders around the world in 1995 reveals an astounding difference in physics comprehension between the sexes in all the countries who participated.  Since this was not a multiple choice question, the scores don't need to be adjusted for correct guesses, but they do need to be adjusted for the 3% error.  Where 22.7% of American boys correctly answered the question, only 19.7% are known to have understood the problem, and where 14.5% of American girls correctly answered it, only 11.5% are known to have understood the problem. Thus 1.7 times as many American boys as American girls were able to demonstrate that they understood the problem.

After adjustment for the 3% error, 60.6% of Australian boys are known to have understood the problem, which per capita is three times as many as American boys and more than 5 times as many as American girls.

There was a direct correlation between boys' scores and sex differences.  The percentage of boys who understood the problem increased 2% for each 1% increase in the "gender gap" [read: the difference between the sexes].  The biggest "gender gap" was in Australia (33.4%), and the highest scoring boys were Australian boys (63.6%).  The smallest gender gap was in Greece (3%), and the lowest scoring boys were Greek boys (only 6.8% correctly answered the question).

Did Greek girls benefit from this narrowing of the "gender gap"?  No, they were the lowest scoring girls, with only 3.8% answering correctly,  just above the 3% error.  Did Australian girls get shortchanged by the failure of Australia to narrow the "gender gap"?   No, they were the highest scoring girls, at 30.2%, almost as high as the international average for boys, and higher than American boys.

While the US had one of the narrowest "gender gaps" at 8.2%, we also had some of the lowest scoring boys, with only French and Greek boys scoring lower.  The boys in all other 15 countries who administered this question scored considerably higher than American boys.

 

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THIRD INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE STUDY - 1995 ASSESSMENT May 13, 1998 56

Percent of responses by Physics Item Categories - Final Year of Secondary School

Item: H09 KEY: B

REFRACTION AND VELOCITY OF BLUE LIGHT (Wave Phenomena)

Difficulty: 747

COUNTRY

N

A

B

C

D

E

OTHER INCOR RECT

DIFF

INVALID

NOT REACHED

OMIT

1. GIRL% Right

2. BOY% Right

Australia

175

6.8

50.6

17.8

9.2

15.7

0

50.6

0

0

0

30.2

63.6

Austria

202

6.9

13.6

10.6

10.2

57

1.7

13.6

0.5

0.6

0.7

7.6

22.1

Canada

648

12

28.8

15.9

11.6

31.2

0.5

28.8

0.1

0

0.4

23.1

34.5

Cyprus

100

6.9

42.2

8.2

9.9

30.8

2

42.2

0

1

1

26.6

52.5

Czech Republic

274

6.9

19.4

15.8

6.4

50.9

0.7

19.4

0.7

0

0

7.8

36.4

Denmark

178

3

27.4

21.4

6.8

36

5.4

27.4

1.1

0.5

3.7

17.2

29.7

France

280

3.5

14.6

16.6

9.3

55

1

14.6

0.2

0.1

0.7

14

15.6

Germany

186

9.7

20.1

11.2

14.3

42

2.7

20.1

0

0

2.7

9.2

24.5

Greece

113

2.2

5.8

8.6

15.4

65.2

2.9

5.8

0

0.6

2.3

3.8

6.8

Hungary

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Iceland

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Israel

187

5.9

32.6

14.4

15.5

29.4

2.1

32.6

0

0

2.1

27.3

34.2

Italy

40

3.8

15.5

8.2

12.6

60

0

15.5

0

0

0

9.6

21.3

Latvia (LSS)

239

5.5

35.4

19.8

6.8

28.1

4.4

35.4

0

0

4.4

28.5

41.9

Lithuania

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Netherlands

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

New Zealand

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Norway

342

5.3

21.7

8.4

43.2

21.4

0

21.7

0

0

0

7.6

27

Russian Federation

331

6.2

30.4

12.3

7.1

42.7

1.3

30.4

0

0

1.3

21.3

37

Slovenia

161

7.4

31.8

20.1

17.6

22.9

0.3

31.8

0

0

0.3

18

33.5

South Africa

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Sweden

238

2.8

40.2

18.6

9.9

28.6

0

40.2

0

0

0

28.4

46.7

Switzerland

350

5.6

15.9

20

12.5

43.8

2.3

15.9

1

0

1.2

8.8

24.7

United States

903

11.2

18.9

19.1

10.2

40.5

0.1

18.9

0

0

0.1

14.5

22.7

INTERNATIONAL AVG

.

6.2

25.8

14.8

12.7

39

1.5

25.8

0.2

0.2

1.2

16.9

31.9