How can we explain the gender gap in children's political knowledge?

Abstract : The gender gap is one of the main puzzles explored in research on political knowledge. Studies on children have shown that this phenomenon takes root in childhood. Girls score lower than boys on knowledge tests, despite cultural developments promoting greater gender equality. How can the gender gap in children's political knowledge be explained? This article examines the leading explanations for the gender gap found in the literature in light of the results of an original empirical study conducted with French children in primary school. It suggests that the gender gap in children's political knowledge does not mainly result from either specific social inequalities or methodological bias, although the study does find that question-answering behavior differs between boys and girls. Rather, the gender gap appears to primarily result from socialization. Children progressively develop different perceptions of politics according to their gender, as well as different approaches to knowledge tests.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 5:45:09 PM
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Alice Simon. How can we explain the gender gap in children's political knowledge?. American Behavioral Scientist, SAGE Publications, 2017, ⟨10.1177/0002764216689123⟩. ⟨hal-02297142⟩

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