Across the 67 countries and economies that participated in PISA 2015, girls outperformed boys in science in 19, while boys outperformed girls in 22. In all other countries, the gender differences were not statistically significant. When the authors analysed gender gaps by looking at each student’s “relative performance” or “strength” across the three subjects (box), the authors found that girls were stronger in reading in all countries, while boys were stronger in mathematics in all countries, and in science in 65 out of 67 countries/economies. In other words, boys scored higher in science and mathematics compared to their all-subjects average while girls scored higher in reading. These differences could explain why boys are more likely than girls to choose careers in STEM fields, even though the overall performance of girls and boys is similar: students may choose their field of study based on their comparative strengths, rather than on their absolute strengths. Girls may be as good as boys in science, but are, on average, likely to be even better in reading.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Why don’t more girls choose to pursue a science career?