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Just a Few Changes...

A 2018 paper that posited that the gender gap in science fields grew in countries with higher national gender equality has had a long correction appended, BuzzFeed News reports.

In this paper, which appeared in Psychological Science, Leeds Beckett University's Gijsbert Stoet and the University of Missouri's David Geary found that boys and girls performed similarly in science, but also found, though, that few girls enrolled in college-level science classes, a gap they said was wider in countries with higher measures of national gender equality. 

But as BuzzFeed News reports, other researchers uncovered issues with the pair's analysis and the paper has now been corrected. Harvard University's Sarah Richardson tells it that the Stoet and Geary used a "very selective set of data" to generate a "contrived and distorted picture of the global distribution of women in STEM achievement." In particular, she found they used an unvalidated ratio, rather than the percentage of women with STEM degrees in their analysis.

In the lengthy correction, Stoet and Geary address some of the issues raised by Richardson and others and explain the formula they used aimed to calculate the propensity of women to graduate with STEM degrees. Stoet tells BuzzFeed News that the phenomenon they found still holds.