London, May 30 : A new study has shown that the popular notion "boys are born better at maths than girls" is nothing but a 'myth'.
An international research suggests that boys are not born better at maths, and insists that the differences in scores are a result of nurture not nature.
Though girls tend to do better in maths classes, universal studies have revealed that they are often outperformed by male classmates in tests.
For the study, researchers looked at the results of a standardised international examination by more than 270,000 15-year-olds from 40 countries in 2003. The findings showed that girls on average scored two per cent less than boys. However, when the results were compared with international standards on access to education and equality, they were closely linked.
In Britain, girls scored only slightly less well than male classmates, with female pupils scoring an average of 0.7 per cent less.
Moreover, in Scandavian countries there was almost no difference in test scores, and girls sometimes fared better then boys.
But in countries like Turkey, girls performed worse than average, scoring four per cent less than boys.
However, when they were provided with opportunities the average score of girls improve and the number of women achieving high scores also shot up.
"The so-called gender gap in maths skills seems to be at least partially correlated to environmental factors," the Telegraph quoted Prof Paola Sapienza, from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Illinois, one of the lead researchers, as saying.
"The gap doesn't exist in countries in which men and women have access to similar opportunities," Sapienza added.