Gender Gap in Mathematics and Physics in Chinese Middle Schools: A Case Study of a Beijing’s District
This study examines the gender gaps in mathematics and physics in Chinese middle schools. The data is from the Education Bureau management database which includes all middle school students who took high school entrance exam in a district of Beijing from 2006–2013. The ordinary least square model and quantile regression model are applied. This study consistently shows that the gender gap is unfavorable toward female students in mathematics and physics while favorable toward female students in Chinese and English. Gender gaps favoring males in math and physics become more noticeable among the students who receive the top tier scores in math and physics testing. However, females’ students’ advantage in Chinese and English decreases along the distribution from the bottom to the top percentiles. There are significant intersections between rural residency and gender. Rural students (regardless of gender) perform less well than urban students in all subjects and rural female student show the worst testing scores compared with the other subgroups in mathematics and physics.
KeywordsGender gap Academic achievement Mathematics Physics HSEE
- Aiken, L. (1986). Sex differences in mathematical ability: A review of the literature. Educational Research Quarterly, 10(4), 25–35.Google Scholar
- Arnold, C. L. (1995). Using HLM and NAEP data to explore school correlates of 1990 mathematics and geometry achievement in grades 4, 8, and 12: Methodology and results. Research and Development Report. US Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328.Google Scholar
- Baker, D. P. & Jones, D. P. (1993). Creating gender equality: Cross-national gender stratification and mathematical performance. Sociology of Education, 66(2), 91–103.Google Scholar
- Bharadwaj, P., Giorgi, G. D., Hansen, D. & Neilson, C. (2012). The gender gap in mathematics: Evidence from low and middle income countries, No 18464. NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. doi: 10.3386/w18464.
- Carnevale, A. P., Strohl, J., & Melton, M. (2011). What’s it worth? The economic value of college majors, 8–10. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.Google Scholar
- Halpern, D. F. (2011). Sex differences in cognitive abilities (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
- Jacobs, J. E., Davis-Kean, P., Bleeker, M., Eccles, J. S., & Malanchuk, O. G. (2004). “I can, but i don’t want to”: The impact of parents, interests, and activities on gender differences in math. In A. Gallagher & J. Kaufman (Eds.), Gender differences in mathematics: An integrative psychological approach (pp. 246–263). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Langdon, D., McKittrick, G., Beede, D., & Khan, B. (2011). STEM: Good jobs now and for the future. ESA Issue Brief 3(11). US Department of Commerce.Google Scholar
- Mullis, I., Martin, M., Gonzalez, E., Gregory, K., Garden, R., O’Connor, K., et al. (2000). TIMSS 1999. Findings from IEA’s Repeat of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study at the Eighth Grade. International Mathematics Report. Boston.Google Scholar
- Niederle, M. & Vesterlund, L. (2010). Explaining the gender gap in math test scores: The role of competition. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24(2), 129–144. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25703504
- Nosek, B. A., Smyth, F. L., Sriram, N., Lindner, N. M., Devos, T., Ayala, A., et al. (2009). National differences in gender–science stereotypes predict national sex differences in science and math achievement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(26), 10593–10597. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0809921106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Robinson, J. P., & Lubienski, S. T. (2011). The development of gender achievement gaps in mathematics and reading during elementary and middle school examining direct cognitive assessments and teacher ratings. American Educational Research Journal, 48(2), 268–302. doi: 10.3102/0002831210372249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar