Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Brecha de género en la educación secundaria

Cid, Alejandro and Bernatzky, Marianne (2014): Brecha de género en la educación secundaria. Forthcoming in: Páginas de Educación - Revista de la Universidad Católica del Uruguay

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In Latin America, the debate on heterogeneous results in education has been centered, to a greater extent, on the differences between the wealthiest and the poorest individuals. This focus has guided policy makers. There are, however, other significant differences that receive scarce or null attention from public policies in the region, being one of these the gender gap in education. The focus of the present study is to compare males with females in three key educational outcomes: dropout rates from formal education, education lag (in schooling years) and completion of different education levels. We utilize a dataset that covers a period of 24 years (Continuous Household Survey: 1990-2013) and a dataset with youth and adolescents’ information for 2008 (National Survey of Youth and Adolescence: 2008). Both datasets are country representative. We make emphasis on adolescence (13-18 years old), a stage in which the worst educational outcomes are found in Latin America. Results show a significant gender gap, with a persistent sign through the period: male students present higher dropout rates, are left behind in schooling years and have lower rates of completion of Middle and High School. This finding is robust in different contexts of household income, home city, ethnicity, public or private educational institution and family structure. And, strikingly, the magnitude of the gender gap has remained nearly unchanged in the last two decades. This study analyzes possible explanations behind these results and provides qualitative data from teachers interviewed that belong to public and private secondary schools. The inability to diminish the gender gap and the prevalence of the lack of motivation among students to continue their studies, foster future research, and are a call for better policy designs that take into account the differences in gender.

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