09 SES 06 C, Investigating Gender Differences in Students’ Professional Expectations and Adults’ Financial Literacy
Today, studies (McDaniel & Buchmann, 2007) show the superiority of girls’ educational and profesionnal expectations and attainment. This statement is relatively new because thirty years ago, boys were still more ambitious than girls. Indeed, McDaniel and Buchmann (2007), with PISA 2003 data, give evidence of the superiority of girl’s professional expectations in a great majority of the OECD countries: “Girls have significantly higher occupational expectations in all countries except in France and Mexico where boys and girls expectations do not differ significantly. Only in Korea do boys have significantly higher occupational expectations than girls”. Besides, the research in education has shown the importance of social comparisons in predicting the educational and professional expectations. Indeed, these expectations are partially build through the social comparisons: the students use the achievements of their peers as a frame of reference to estimate their own achievement and build their expectations. The main objective of this paper is to study the effect of the school context on the professional expectations according to the gender of the pupil. Two hypotheses will be tested in this sense.
Researches have shown that pupils tend to define their abilities in relation to their same-sex group (Preckel & Brüll, 2008; Huguet et al., 2009; Dijkstra et al., 2008). In fact, this kind of comparisons seems to give more information about the self. Thijs, Verkuyten & Helmond (2010) have shown that the achievement of same-sex classmates have a stronger effect on academic self-concept than opposite-sex classmates. These authors have two explanations of this result. First, there is a stronger emotional link with people of the same-sex. Secondly, “the gender in-group classmates are perceived to be similar on achievement-related attributes” (Thijs, Verkuyten & Petra (2010)). So, our hypothesis is that students’ professional expectations are affected more strongly by the achievements of gender in-group than by the achievements of all peers (same-sex and opposite-sex confounded).
On the other hand, comparisons with the reference group (here the girls or the boys) bring to define oneself in a more singular way, as unique person having its characteristics. On the contrary, when the individual compares with another group, it’s the collective one which is activated. In this case we define oneself more as member of a group in contrast with another group (Duru-Bellat, 2010; Chazal, Guimond & Darnon, 2012). So, in conditions of non-coeducation, it seems that the women are freed from the stereotypes of gender which is associated with more ambitious educational and professional expectations (Chazal, Guimond & Darnon, 2012). So, we postulate that girl’s expectations will be more ambitious if they are in a mainly feminine school.
Chazal,S., Guimond, S., & Darnon,C. (2012). Personal self and collective self: when academic choices depend on the context of social comparison. Social Psychology of Education, 15 (4), 449-463. Dijkstra, P., Kuyper, H., van der Werf, G., Buunk, A.P.,& van der Zee, Y.G. (2008). Social comparison in the classroom: A review. Review of Educational Research, 78 (4), 828-879. Duru-Bellat, M. (2010). La mixité à l’école et dans la vie, une thématique aux enjeux scientifiques forts et ouverts. Revue Française de Pédagogie, 171, 9-13. Gazenboom, H.B.G., DeGraaf, P., & Treiman, D.J. (1992). A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status. Social Sciences Research, 21 (1), 1-56. Huguet, P., Marsh, H., Wheeler, L., Seaton, M., Dumas, F., Régner, I ? Jerry, S. & Nezlek, J. (2009). Clarifying the role of social comparison in the Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect (BFLPE): An integrative study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97 (1), 156-170. McDaniel, A., & Buchmann, C. (2007). Cross-national gender gaps un educational and occupational expectations: a study of patterns and causes. Population Association of American Annual Meeting, New-York. Preckel, F., & Brüll, M. (2008). Grouping the gifted and talented: Are gifted girls most likely to suffer the consequences? Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 32 (1), 54-85. Thijs, T., Verkuyten, M., & Helmon, P. (2010). A Further Examination of the Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect: Perceived position in class, class size, and gender comparisons. Sociology of Education, 83 (4), 333-345.
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