Abstract A considerable amount of research has documented that the career and academic aspirations and choices of children and adolescents are gender-typed. In general, boys and girls have different career aspirations and career choices, although girls are more flexible in their choices. The purpose of our chapter is to highlight a relatively under-represented source of influence on the development of gendered career aspirations and attainment: the role of peers and peer-related processes. In this chapter, we begin with an overview of key gender gaps in educational-related behaviors, attitudes, and goals. We then discuss some of the literature and guiding theory on peer influences that contribute to educational aspirations and achievement and how this body of research has often overlooked gender differences. We also present new evidence from preschool and elementary school children that identifies some of the gender-based influences peers have on educational and occupational achievement, interests, and attainment. We argue that the gender-segregated nature of children’s peer interactions that develops across childhood and adolescence sets the stage for many of the gender differences in attitudes, beliefs, motivations, and behaviors that contribute to gender differences in aspirations and choices.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment: A Life Course Perspective|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||24|
|ISBN (Print)||9781139128933, 9781107021723|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 2014|
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