Advertisement

Sex Roles

, Volume 36, Issue 9–10, pp 605–623 | Cite as

Gender-Related Knowledge Variations Within Geography

  • Roger L. Henrie
  • Robert H. Aron
  • Burton D. Nelson
  • Debra A. Poole
Article

Abstract

In a survey of students from junior high through the undergraduate college level, males consistently out-performed females on a test covering map skills and physical, human, and regional aspects of geography. The gender gap was consistent across all four subfields. It widened with increased education and was significant even after accounting for numerous personal information items that might have explained the difference. This consistent performance difference involving the broad spectrum of geographic knowledge argues against explaining the gender gap as symptomatic of differences in a single underlying factor such as map skills or spatial abilities. Knowledge-based and nonknowledge-based explanations for the gender difference are discussed.

Keywords

Gender Difference Social Psychology Broad Spectrum Performance Difference Personal Information 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. American Association of University Women. (1992). How schools short-change girls: A study of major findings on girls and education. Washington, DC: AAUW Educational Foundation.Google Scholar
  2. Aron, R. H., Francek, M. A., Nelson, B. D., & Bisard, W. J. (1994). Atmospheric misconceptions. The Science Teacher, 61, 30–34.Google Scholar
  3. Bagozzi, R. P., & Heatherton, T. (1994). A general approach to representing multifaceted personality constructs: Applications to state self-esteem. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 1, 35–67.Google Scholar
  4. Beatty, W. W., and Tröster, A. I. (1987). Gender differences in Geographical Knowledge. Sex Roles, 16, 565–590.Google Scholar
  5. Bein F. L. (1990). Baseline Geographic Competency Test: Administered at Indiana Universities. Journal of Geography, 90, 260–265.Google Scholar
  6. Bernstein, I. H., & Teng, G. (1989). Factoring items and factoring scales are different: Spurious evidence for multidimensionality due to item categorization. Psychological Bulletin, 105, 467–477.Google Scholar
  7. Bisard, W. J., Aron, R. H., Francek, M. A., & Nelson, B. D. (1994). Assessing selected physical science and earth science misconceptions of middle school through university preservice teachers. Journal of College Science Teaching, 24, 38–43.Google Scholar
  8. Bleier, R. (1986). Sex differences research: Science or belief? In R. Bleier (Eds.), Feminist approaches to science. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  9. Caplan, P. J., MacPherson, G. M., & Tobin, P. (1985). Do sex-related differences in spatial abilities exist? American Psychologist, 40, 786–799.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen J., & Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  11. Eagly, A. H. (1995). The science and politics of comparing women and men. American Psychologist, 50, 145–158.Google Scholar
  12. Ekstrom, R., Goertz, M. E., Pollack, J. M., & Rock, D. A. (1986). Who drops out of high school and why? Findings from a national study. Teachers College Record, 87, 356–373.Google Scholar
  13. Eve, R. A., Price, B., & Counts, M. (1994). Geographic illiteracy among college students. Youth and Society, 25, 408–427.Google Scholar
  14. Feingold, A. (1988). Cognitive gender differences are disappearing. American Psychologist, 43, 95–103.Google Scholar
  15. Francek, M. A., Nelson, B. D., Aron, R. H., Bisard, W. J. (1993). The persistence of selected geographic misconceptions: A study of junior high through undergraduate college students. Journal of Geography, 93, 247–253.Google Scholar
  16. Gilmartin, P. (1986). Maps, mental imagery and gender in the recall of geographic information. The American Cartographer, 13, 335–344.Google Scholar
  17. Gilmartin, P. and Patton, J. C. (1984). Comparing the sexes spatial abilities: Map-use skills. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 74, 605–619.Google Scholar
  18. Halpern, D. F. (1992). Sex differences in cognitive abilities. (2nd ed). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  19. Harmon. H. H. (1967). Modern factor analysis (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  20. Hyde J. S. (1993). What is the big difference? Gender and abilities [review of Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities]. Contempory Psychology, 38, 183–184.Google Scholar
  21. Hyde, J. S., Fennema, E., & Lamon, S. J. (1990). Gender differences in mathematics performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 139–155.Google Scholar
  22. King, D. W., King, L. A., Gudanowski, D. M., & Vreven, D. L. (1995). Alternative representations of warzone stressors: Relationships to posttraumatic stress disorder in male and female Vietnam veterans. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 184–196.Google Scholar
  23. King, L. A., & King, D. W. (1994). Latent structure of the Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Exploratory and higher-order confirmatory factor analysis. Assessment, 1, 275–291.Google Scholar
  24. Lott, B. (1996). Politics or science? The question of gender sameness/difference. American Psychologist, 51, 155–156.Google Scholar
  25. MacCallum, R. C., Roznowski, M., & Necowitz, L. B. (1992). Model modifications in covariance structure analysis: The problem of capitalization on chance. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 490–504.Google Scholar
  26. Marsh, H. W. (1994). Confirmatory factor analysis models of factorial invariance: A multifaceted approach. Structural Equation Modeling, 1, 5–34.Google Scholar
  27. Mathews, M. (1984). Cognitive mapping ability of young boys and girls. Geography, 69, 327–336.Google Scholar
  28. McKeever, W. F. (1995). Hormone and hemisphericity hypotheses regarding cognitive sex differences: Possible future explanatory power, but current empirical chaos. Learning and Individual Differences, 7, 323–340.Google Scholar
  29. National Geographic Society. (1993, Fall). Bee Line: Newsletter from the National Geography Bee.Google Scholar
  30. Scarr, S. (1988). Race and gender as psychological variables: Social and ethical issues. American Psychologist, 43, 56–59.Google Scholar
  31. Self, C. M., & Golledge, R. G. (1994). Sex-related differences in spatial ability: What every geography educator should know. Journal of Geography, 93, 234–243.Google Scholar
  32. Sharps, M. J., Welton, A. L., & Price, J. L. (1993). Gender and task in the determination of spatial cognitive performance. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 71–83.Google Scholar
  33. Tucker, L. R. (1951). A method for synthesis of factor analysis studies (Personnel Research Section Report, No. 984). Washington, DC: Department of the Army.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger L. Henrie
    • 1
  • Robert H. Aron
    • 2
  • Burton D. Nelson
    • 1
  • Debra A. Poole
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Michigan UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyCentral Michigan UniversityMt.Pleasant

Personalised recommendations