Frontmatter

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Title Page

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pp. 3-3

Copyright

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pp. 4-4

Contents

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pp. v-vi

Tables and Figures

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pp. vii-xii

About the Authors

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pp. xiii-14

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Preface

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pp. xv-xviii

This book is the product of more than a decade of research that began with a hallway conversation in May 2001, when we were both professors at Duke University. Tom’s youngest daughter was finishing her first year of middle school. Tom had just come from an ice cream social and ceremony that the superintendent of the Durham...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-24

Women typically make less money than men. They seldom occupy the most powerful offices in government or corporate America. And they still do the bulk of the child care and routine housework in the home. These and other features of gender inequality have led some observers to write of the...

Part I: Trends and the Macro Environment

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pp. 25-75

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2. What Has Happened? Describing the Reversal of the Gender Gap in College Completion

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pp. 27-52

The general outlines of the gender gap reversal in college completion are now well known.1 This reversal occurred through a sharp slowdown in the rise in educational attainment of men, starting with cohorts born around 1950. The rise in educational attainment for women also slowed around this time but only temporarily; thereafter, women continued to make...

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3. Changing Incentives and Opportunities for Higher Education

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pp. 53-75

The “Great Recession” of 2008 was unique in many ways, but one of its most striking aspects was that it had a far greater impact on men than it did on women.1 News headlines used terms like “hecession” and “sheconomy” to get this point across. From the beginning of the recession in December 2007...

Part II: Academic Performance, Engagement, and Family Influence

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pp. 77-154

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4. The Gender Gap in Academic Performance

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pp. 79-100

Girls have long gotten better grades in school than boys.1 This fact is generally not known or acknowledged in much of the academic research and popular press focused on current gender gaps in education. In fact, some commentators assume that females’ better academic performance over that of males...

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5. Social and Behavioral Skills and School-Related Attitudes

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pp. 101-115

In this chapter, we discuss three primary reasons for girls’ tendency to do better in school than their test scores would predict. First, girls have an advantage relative to boys in terms of the social and behavioral skills that are valuable in producing higher levels of academic performance. Second, on average girls put forth...

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6. The Family and the Gender Gap

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pp. 116-154

This chapter examines the thesis that families play an important role in producing a gender gap in educational performance and attainment. First, we review evidence that parental education at one time assisted daughters in getting the same level of education as their brothers and that this relationship...

Part III: The Role of Schools

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pp. 155-174

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7. Schools, Classrooms, and Peers

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pp. 157-179

In the preceding chapters, we documented two salient facts about the connection between gender and educational performance. First, girls generally do better in school than boys. Second, a wider variance exists in the math performance of boys, such that more boys than girls score in the upper tail...

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8. Gender, College Major, and Postgraduate Education

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pp. 180-199

Our focus to this point has been on the growing advantage that women have over men in attaining bachelor’s degrees and on the determinants of this advantage in the environment and earlier life course. It is striking that the rise of the female advantage in four-year college completion has occurred without a steady convergence in the fields of study...

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9. Enhancing Educational Attainment

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pp. 200-212

The gender reversal in educational attainment occurred during a period of history when a rising value of education coincided with a cultural transformation in gender roles. Profound shifts in gender attitudes during the 1960s and 1970s and declining discrimination against women produced strong incentives for them to get more education, and women...

Appendix A: Figures and Tables

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pp. 213-224

Notes

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pp. 225-238

References

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pp. 239-269

Index

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pp. 271-277