American boys and girls today are faring almost equally well across key indicators of education, health, safety, and risky behavior, concludes a Duke University study.
In addition, the overall quality of life for both boys and girls improved substantially from 1985 through 2001, the study found.
Duke researchers developed an “Index of Child Well-Being” to assess trends in quality of life for children and young people over the 17-year study period. The index covers seven broad areas: economic status, social relationships, health, safety, educational achievement, community participation, and emotional/spiritual well-being. In education, however, significant differences remain, according to the study. For instance, girls tend to do better than boys on reading tests, but boys generally score better on math tests.
“Assessing Gilligan vs. Sommers: Gender-Specific Trends in Child and Youth Well-Being in the United States, 1985-2001” was published in the January issue of the journal Social Indicators Research.
A version of this article appeared in the March 02, 2005 edition of Education Week