High School Boys, Gender, and Academic Achievement: Does Masculinity Negatively Impact Boys’ Grade Point Averages?

Jill E. Yavorsky, Ohio State University
Claudia Buchmann, Ohio State University
Aaron Miles, Ohio State University

We are the first to use a longitudinal, nationally representative dataset—Wave I of The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health)—to examine how high school boys’ masculinity affects their school GPAs and which boys are most susceptible to the effects of masculinity. In order to measure masculinity, we use a gender typicality scale that indicates the degree to which boys practice traditional masculine practices. Using OLS regression, we find that even when controlling for race and socioeconomic status masculinity is associated with a significant decline in overall GPA. We also find that masculinity is more detrimental to some boys’ achievement in female-typed subjects, such as English, but not in the subject of Math. This suggests that in some regards boys’ achievement has come to be seen as incompatible with performing masculinity in normative ways.

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Presented in Session 118: Social Contexts and Adolescent Well-Being