Monday, August 19, 2013

Leaving Boys Behind: Gender Disparities in High Academic Achievement

Using three decades of data from the "Monitoring the Future"
cross-sectional surveys, this paper shows that, from the 1980s to the
2000s, the mode of girls' high school GPA distribution has shifted
from "B" to "A", essentially "leaving boys behind" as the mode of
boys' GPA distribution stayed at "B".

The authors' analysis reveals that gender
differences in post-secondary expectations, controlling for school
ability, and as early as 8th grade are the most important factor
accounting for this trend. Increases in the growing proportion of
girls who aim for a post-graduate degree are sufficient to account
for the increase over time in the proportion of girls earning "A's".
The larger relative share of boys obtaining "C" and C+" can be
accounted for by a higher frequency of school misbehavior and a
higher proportion of boys aiming for a two-year college degree.

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