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Understanding the Gender Gap: A Comparative Analysis of Aptitude, Behavior, and Con-fidence in Mathematics and Science of Japanese Students

Tue, April 16, 1:30 to 3:00pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Bay (Level 1), Bayview B


While Japan is an overall strong performer in PISA, it has one of the largest gender gaps. Boys outperform girls in both science and math by an average of 14 points in each subject, which is much larger than the OECD average. This study focuses on science and math education in Japan and how such a substantial gender gap in these subjects has come about. Using data from international tests like PISA and TIMSS, we examine trends over time, such as changes in achievement scores of students from 4th grade to 8th grade. We also examine data on socio-economic status, cultural and gender perspectives to explain the gender gap. We suggest possible reasons for the existence of gender gaps, such as the prevailing perception of the role of women in Japanese society. Additionally, our study includes a comparative analysis with science and math education in England and South Korea. Our research will inform policy makers how to effectively address gender gaps in the Japanese education system.


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