Add this to the pile of excuses why young people loathe to study math: they think that mathematicians are slovenly and unpopular with women!
The research suggested that most students and graduates associate a mathematician with an old middle-class white man who is obsessed by his science, devoid of most social skills and love life. Besides, their notion of mathematics is distorted and restricted to elementary arithmetic.
The researchers found that most stereotypes reflect the way mathematicians and mathematics are represented in mass culture.
“Given this narrow and negative stereotype of a mathematician, it’s no wonder that few youths want go on studying this subject,” said Mendick.