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John E. Knodel photo

The Closing of the Gender Gap in Schooling: the Case of Thailand

Publication Abstract

Knodel, John E. 1997. "The Closing of the Gender Gap in Schooling: the Case of Thailand." Comparative Education, 33(1): 61-86.

The results from the 1990 national census indicate that the long standing gender gap in educational attainment favouring boys over girls has closed in Thailand at all levels. This occurred as responses to generalized questions on attitudes about schooling for boys and girls on nationally representative surveys are showing a substantial reduction in the preference for educating sons more than daughters, although some preference for sons persists. Qualitative data from focus group discussions in rural areas reveal that parental views on gender and schooling are complex and do not operate uniformly to favour one sex over the other. Moreover, the changing socioeconomic context of schooling decisions in Thailand are likely to encourage parents to favour girls at least as much as boys in education. While gender inequality in schooling is no longer important, the socioeconomic level continues to influence starkly Thai children's chances for higher levels of education.

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