Geographic Variation in the Gender Differences in Test Scores
The causes and consequences of gender disparities in standardized test scores -- especially in the high tails of achievement -- have been a topic of heated debate. The existing evidence on standardized test scores largely confirms the prevailing stereotypes that more men than women excel in math and science while more women than men excel in tests of language and reading. We provide a new perspective on this gender gap in test scores by analyzing the variation in these disparities across geographic areas. We illustrate that male-female ratios of students scoring in the high ranges of standardized tests vary significantly across the United States. This variation is systematic in several important ways. In particular, states where males are highly overrepresented in the top math and science scores also tend to be states where women are highly overrepresented in the top reading scores. This pattern suggests that states vary in their adherence to stereotypical gender performance, rather than favoring one sex over the other across all subjects. Furthermore, since the genetic distinction and the hormonal differences between sexes that might affect early cognitive development (that is, innate abilities) are likely the same regardless of the state in which a person happens to be born, the variation we find speaks to the nature-versus-nurture debates surrounding test scores and suggests environments significantly impact gender disparities in test scores.
Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:24:y:2010:i:2:p:95-108. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.