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Hajnalka Fényes : Gender differences in academic efficiency and the male disadvantage hypothesis

There are some areas where girls are still disadvantaged in education, but this paper deals with fields where they have gains over boys. On the one hand, girls are in majority in academic secondary schools and in higher education. According to the male disadvantage hypothesis, the social mobility of girls is higher than that of boys (the boys studying in academic secondary schools and in higher education come from higher cultural and better economic backgrounds). On the other hand, boys may lag behind girls regarding academic efficiency. Many studies show that the girls are more successful in secondary education and they also have better grades in higher education. This study relied on a battery of several assessment instruments to examine academic efficiency by gender, and used linear and logistic regression models to filter out the effects of social background. The results show that girls are more successful in secondary education. However, in higher education there are some measurements of efficiency (e.g. publication activity while studying, Ph.D. plans, etc.), in which young men have an advantage over women, even when the effects of social background are filtered out. These findings may explain their better position on the labor market, especially regarding careers as academics.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 109. Number 1. 77-101. (2009)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Fényes Hajnalka, DE Neveléstudományi Szociológia és Szociálpolitika Tanszék, H–4032 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia