The belief that boys enjoy math and science more than girls is very untrue. As the mother of three daughters, now adults, I saw that my girls enjoyed studying math and science just as much, if not more, than some of the boys in their classes. In fact, my oldest daughter initially started college as a physics major with the intention of becoming an astronomer; she didn’t continue the program because she was in the minority gender-wise since I believe only one other girl attended the freshman orientation for the physics program at the same time she did. She was just as interested and able to follow the necessary classes as the male students, but she really wasn’t given as much encouragement or support as they were.
Math and science hold the interest of both boys and girls in the early grades. Studies have been done that show boys become more interested in these two subjects as they get older because girls tend to be discouraged or outright ignored in these studies. The really sad fact is that both male and female teachers tend to discourage girls equally, as well. Parents also may not give their daughters as much support in learning math and/or science as they would their sons.
The only way to change this bias against giving girls a proper education in math and science studies is to realize that these are not gender-specific subjects. Parents and teachers need to learn to give equal attention to all their students when studying these subjects in order to prevent girls from losing interest in them. Parents also need to learn that there’s no shame in having a daughter who goes into science-related fields, into engineering, or into higher-level mathematics with the intention of pursuing careers in research or education in the field.
Girls need to be given equal opportunities to learn and study whatever may catch their interest. If a parent or teacher notices a young girl with an interest in one of these subjects, they should give that girl just as much support and attention as they would her young male counterpart. This is not to say that girls who aren’t interested should be forced to study these if they don’t enjoy them, just as boys shouldn’t be forced to focus too heavily on subjects they don’t enjoy, but neither boys nor girls should be discouraged from in-depth studies in any subject in which they’re interested simply based on their gender.