Gender differences in educational attainment
In the United States, education is always considered a major way to achieve upward status mobility, so adolescent educational attainment process, which is considered a key step in other processes of attainment, especially occupational attainment, has always drawn sociologists' attention. Previous research has shown that there are gender differences in educational attainment process, however, few studies have been done to explore why girls exceed boys in terms of both high school completion rates and college completion rates in recent years. Using data from the National Education Longitudinal Study, this study examines how family characteristics and peer characteristics may affect one's educational outcomes, and how educational process varies by gender as well as race/ethnicity. Socioeconomic status, parental involvement in schoolwork, peers' educational plans, as well as several other factors are shown to be strong determinants of one's educational attainment. This study also finds that girls are more likely than boys to be influenced by parents and peers in a positive way, which may explain why girls are more education-oriented than boys.