Thursday, January 28, 2016


In December, 2015, Dr. Cathleen McHugh, Principal Research Analyst for the Idaho Board of Education, published a fascinating  paper entitled "Idaho's Gender Gap in Go-on Rates". In the paper, Dr. McHugh examined the gap between females and males in college attendance at various time lapse periods (1 year, 2 years, and 3 years) after high school graduation. She found a persistent gap between genders, and also found that the gap widened in particular regions of the state after the change in age eligibility for LDS missions with the high school class of 2013.

This study was interesting because of some related research we have been doing about the college graduates from the high school classes of 2008-11. In short, we found a gender gap between females and males in the percentage that have graduated from college.

We also examined majors of the 4-year college graduates from the 2008-11 high school classes, and found some interesting information. For example, though many more females graduated than males overall, that was not the case with Engineering graduates:

More and more females are entering into medical fields, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. In 1965, the percentage of females graduating from medical school was 
6.5. In 1995 it was 39.2%, and in 2013-14 females made up 47.5% of medical school graduates.

In particular fields, women now represent the majority of medical residents. For example, 54.9% of 2013-14 residents in Family Medicine and 70.6% of residents in Pediatrics were female,

In most pre-medical and medical fields, the landscape of Boise Schools majors is dominated by females. The vast majority of nursing majors (95%) are females, and three-quarters of Exercise Science grads are women. The same pattern emerges,in the fields of Biology and Psychology:

Finally, in the Business field, just over half of the graduates are male.