Gender differences in fields of study: The role of significant others and rational choice motivations

Limor Gabay-Egozi, Yossi Shavit, Meir Yaish

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although gender inequalities in education have greatly changed in recent decades with young women outpacing young men, girls and boys continue to study in gender-typical fields of study. Recognizing that boys and girls might have different educational preferences, we conceptualized gender differentiation as an outcome of both socialization processes and rational choice factors. Using a data set from an original survey of curricular choices of high school students in Tel Aviv-Jaffa in Israel, we employed nested logit regression models using the KHB method to examine the determinants of the gender differentiation in advanced course-taking. We found that socialization mechanisms (significant other influences) and rational choice motivations (utility considerations and failure expectations) explain up to 40 percent of the gender-typical curricular choice in our data. The implications of these results for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-297
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Volume31
Issue number3
Early online dateDec 2014
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

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