Gender and Education

  • Anne McDanielEmail author
  • Erica Phillips
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


In the past few decades, there has been a dramatic shift in education. Females once lagged behind males in their years of schooling, but now males lag behind females. Now, females consistently earn higher grades, have fewer behavioral problems, and are more likely to graduate from high school and college than males. A great deal of research has examined reasons for these gender differences in education. This chapter identifies patterns of gender inequality in education from kindergarten through college completion, outlines key explanations for these inequalities and highlights promising areas for further inquiry to better understand the female advantage in school, especially college completion. We focus on the United States and particularly emphasize research on higher education. While much is known about patterns of and reasons for gender differences in academic performance, as well as the role of families, resources and the school environment in producing unequal outcomes by gender, there is still much to learn. We conclude by offering suggestions for future research that should focus on the daily lives and experiences of students, and how the education system coupled with societal structures of gender intersect to shape student experiences and outcomes.


Gender Education College Higher education 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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