Jan 13Liked by K. Liam Smith

It's a bit different here in Australia.

I only have (very!) incomplete data but it shows (suggests?) a big fast shift from approximate equality to a large difference in results between girls & boys. I have a graph for one state & I have seen data for another but lost it. In both cases the shift coincided with moving from exams set & marked externally to marks being given by one's teacher. However this is ancient history now - 1970s in one case & 1990s in another.

I understand something similar occured in the UK: http://empathygap.uk/?p=3810

In more recent times (since 2008) the proportion of boys failing to achieve minimum standards has continued to get worse compared to girls. (Australia's education system is in a bit of a mess. Standards for both boys & girls decline but more so for boys.)

Similarly entry to Tertiary education.

The number of boys being punished, suspended and expelled are also grounds for concern here.

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A) I feel like I'm coming in half way through a movie, this is the first article of yours I've read :)

B) I somewhat understand the purpose of comparing men and women using the standard deviation, and I like the illustrative use of the blue/green group and asking which group is 0.8 inches taller, but I'm still not sure why it *doesn't* matter that women are 0.8 Anecdotal Inches taller.

C) Is it possible that women are very lightly (1/3 Standard Deviation) ahead of men in important aspects of "being good at school" and that this has a large effect on the college aspirations in your algorithm? If that's the case, in my mind it discounts your argument that boys and girls are neck-and-neck by some percentage. I think it matters if there is a 1% difference at T=0 and a 30% difference at T=10. The importance of T=1 to 9.

C) You are acknowledging a higher graduation rate in women (70:100, men-to-women) and I think that tells a significant, explanation-generating story for why society is weirdly skewed. To me, this is the 30% effect at T=10

D) I think that things which we do/should care about are invisible to these chosen metrics. For example, the broke English major trope or the gender studies/masters of education working at Starbucks kind of highlights that graduation rates don't really mean anything to prosperity. I know a decent number of people with a lot of useless masters and PhDs working $50-60k/year jobs, and most of the people I know making >$100k don't have masters degrees (My group is probably a statistical anomaly).

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Jan 12Liked by K. Liam Smith

I find the first graph interesting, particularly what seems to be a rather sudden increase in the number of men relative to women born in the 1920s who graduated from college. It's not driven by a decrease in female graduation, it's driven by an increase in male graduation. So why would those men suddenly be attending college? Those would have been the men who would be roughly 18 to 26 during WWII, the aftermath of which saw the GI Bill. How much did that have to do with what looks like the point at which the large gap between men and women started? And is that when it started? It's hard to tell since no data is provided before 1910.

Also on the same note, the gap between men and women begins to close right around after the time when the men who would have been 18 to 26 during the Vietnam War were being born. That was the last war in which there was a draft of 18 to 26 year old men. Of course, I'm sure that suddenly having a severely reduced male population significantly reduces the rate of male college graduation, but perhaps that is entirely offset by the GI Bill.

Wouldn't it be ironic if the disparity in college attendance between men and women from 40s to the 80s which has been so often cited as proof of unfair treatment of women was actually largely driven by male only conscription into war?

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How would you predict the other variables in the function? The “economically capable” and “college aspiration”. If the learning gaps aren’t changing then that means the other two variables have changed a ton.

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Coming in late here - one factor to consider is that a lot of the gender gap is driven by boys from the low end of the socioeconomic spectrum, typically from fatherless homes & communities. I'd be curious what the gap looks like for boys vs girls from intact families and the top two thirds of the socioeconomic spectrum. I suspect that also explains why women have more average college debt - students from the lower end of society are a. more likely to need loans and b. largely women.

Also worth noting that if you're a middle or upper class man, it's not necessarily in your interest to fix this gap. You & your sons are likely to do ok and helping less fortunate boys just means more future competition for jobs & women. In addition, you're not likely to see that achievement gap in your own part of the world. This is particularly true at the top - for Ivy League grads, the gender gap in pay is larger than for the general public.

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So, did you and Richard ever get together?

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