Sex Roles

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 113–125

Discounting the Difficult: How High Math-Identified Women Respond to Stereotype Threat

  • Alexandra C. Lesko
  • Jennifer Henderlong Corpus

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-005-8873-2

Cite this article as:
Lesko, A.C. & Corpus, J.H. Sex Roles (2006) 54: 113. doi:10.1007/s11199-005-8873-2


In this study, we examined how math identity moderates women's response to gender-related stereotypes in the domain of mathematics. Male and female college students with varying degrees of math identification took a challenging math test with a gender-related stereotype either activated (i.e., stereotype threat) or nullified. Consistent with previous research, women performed worse than men in the stereotype threat condition, but equal to men in the stereotype nullification condition when performance was adjusted for math SAT scores. Moreover, when faced with stereotype threat, high math-identified women discounted the validity of the test more than did less math-identified women or men in general. We discuss potential benefits and drawbacks of a discounting strategy for women who are highly identified with math.

Key Words

stereotype threatgenderidentitymathematics

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra C. Lesko
    • 1
  • Jennifer Henderlong Corpus
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyReed CollegePortland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyReed CollegePortland