Sex Compositional Effects in School Classes: Do School Subject and Parent's Education Matter?
(English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
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.
sex composition, education, peer groups, single-sex, social comparisons, masculinity
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56328OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-56328DiVA: diva2:410470