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Sex Compositional Effects in School Classes: Do School Subject and Parent's Education Matter?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
(English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This study examines whether and how the sex composition in co-educational school classes affects grades. Differences between typical male and female school subjects, and interactions between the com-position of students’ sex and the composition of parents’ education within a school class are taken into account, something previous studies have largely neglected. Also, selection problems in previous studies are for the most part avoided here by studying classrooms with a fairly random distribution of the sexes.

Analyses are made on a large data material based on national registers of pupils in their last year of Swedish compulsory school (n = 43,221). Multilevel models with pupils nested in school classes within schools show that sex composition in school classes does influence teacher-assigned grades in several subjects. For boys, the proportion of girls is negative in typical female subjects, while it has no effect in typical male subjects. Girls are disadvantaged by the proportion of boys when the boys have highly educated parents. The proposed explanation for the results is that sex composition effects are due to negative social comparisons with the other sex. The finding that the effects of sex composition interact with parents’ education and vary by school subject might explain the mixed results in previous studies.

Keyword [en]
sex composition, education, peer groups, single-sex, social comparisons, masculinity
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56328OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-56328DiVA: diva2:410470
Available from: 2011-04-13 Created: 2011-04-13 Last updated: 2011-05-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Social Relations in Youth: Determinants and Consequences of Relations to Parents, Teachers, and Peers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social Relations in Youth: Determinants and Consequences of Relations to Parents, Teachers, and Peers
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis includes three empirical studies on Swedish children’s well-being. Central themes in these studies are how children’s social relations are influenced by and influence other dimensions of their well-being. The studies are framed in the introductory chapter, which includes an international comparison of children’s social relations.

Study I analyses whether relations with parents and teachers are associated with the adolescent’s social background and whether the positive consequences of having strong relations are more important for disadvantaged adolescents. The results, based on nationally representa­tive survey data, confirm that strong social relations are conducive to adolescents’ school and psychological outcomes, and show that dis­advan­taged adolescents have weaker relations with parents and teachers. Furthermore, these results imply that relations with teachers are of particular importance for disadvantaged adolescents’ outcomes, while parental relations are equally important for both advantaged and dis­advantaged adolescents.

Study II investigates the social side of consumption by studying the association between adolescents’ economic resources and their relations with peers. Analyses on nationally representative survey data; which include children’s own responses, as well as information from parents and register data, show that economic resources, in terms of both house­hold economy and adolescents’ own resources, are positively associated with peer relations.

Study III analyses whether final grades in compulsory school are influenced by the sex composition in school classes. Analyses using register data show that boys’ grades are negatively affected by the share of girls in school classes in typical female school subjects. Girls’ grades are negatively affected by the share of boys with highly educated parents. The proposed explanation behind the results is that sex composition effects are due to negative social comparisons with the other sex.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University, 2011. 54 p.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 84
Keyword
children, adolescents, youth, social relations, family, peers, teachers, well-being, social background, sex, school, living conditions, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56122 (URN)978-91-7447-268-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-06-01, Hörsal 9, Hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 11:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted.Available from: 2011-05-10 Created: 2011-04-08 Last updated: 2011-05-10Bibliographically approved

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