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Research: Barriers, not aptitude, to blame for STEM gender gap

New research suggests that the gender gap in so-called STEM careers — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — may be more due to nurture than to nature.A study published in the peer-reviewed journal “Science of Learning” found that the brains of young boys and girls react the same to mathematics problems, and yet women make up 26% of people in computer and mathematical occupations, 21% of computer programmers and 16% of those in architecture and engineering, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Researchers found that boys and girls aged between 3 and 8 performed the same on mathematical tests, and magnetic resonance imaging of their brains age 3 to 10 “showed significant gender similarities in neural functioning” while watching mathematics education videos, the researchers add...