Re: Gender gap, great expectations

Linda Purrington (
Thu, 13 Aug 1998 16:14:57 -0700

This report is a good example of the need to take surveys and stats with
a grain of salt. Note that Generation 2000 got a skew right away because
the ones who responded were motivated to do so--that leaves the usual
estimate of about 80% of the original sample out. The ones who were
motivated to answer are almost surely from the upper middle and middle
class; and thus they have built-in expectations and self-esteem. Note
also that the report very carefully speaks of "expectations" and does
not talk about what the realities of the workplace are. Those realities
show that women are earning about $.75 to the $1 men earn. Teens are not
equipped to assess their life chances based on their expectations. It
remains to be seen if the cognitive dissonance thus generated will
produce political advocacy that will put those expectations on track to
Linda Purrington
Title IX Advocates

> WASHINGTON (AP) -- In high school classrooms across America,
> girls,...
> At the same time, Generation 2000 finds racial tensions and
> discrimination and poverty and unemployment to be of far lesser
> concern.
> ...
> ``Consistent with their hard work and better grades, female
> teens now have income expectations no different from those of
> males,'' the report said.
> Three times as many teen-age girls as boys say their top career
> choice is medicine and more than three times as many say they would
> choose law.
> While 11 percent of boys look to engineering careers, only 1
> percent of girls do, the survey said. Six percent of the boys
> questioned said they were considering careers in computer software
> compared with 2 percent of girls.
> ...
> The survey was based on four-page, mailed questionnaires
> completed by 1,195 young people 14 to 18. They were selected from
> representative households in each of the nine U.S. Census regions.
> Materials accompanying the survey results gave no margin of error.

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