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Gender inequalities in education – in terms of systematic variations in access to educational institutions, in competencies, school marks, and educational certificates along the axis of gender – have tremendously changed over the course of the 20th century. Although this does not apply to all stages and areas of the educational career, it is particularly obvious looking at upper secondary education. Before the major boost of educational expansion in the 1960s, women’s participation in upper secondary general education, and their chances to successfully finish this educational pathway, have been lower than men’s. However, towards the end of the 20th century, women were outperforming men in many European countries and beyond.
The international contributions to this book attempt to shed light on the mechanisms behind gender inequalities and the changes made to reduce this inequality. Topics explored by the contributors include gender in science education in the UK; women’s education in Luxembourg in the 19th and 20th century; the ‘gender gap’ debates and their rhetoric in the UK and Finland; sociological perspectives on the gender-equality discourse in Finland; changing gender differences in West Germany in the 20th century; the interplay of subjective well-being and educational attainment in Switzerland; and a psychological perspective on gender identities, gender-related perceptions, students’ motivation, intelligence, personality, and the interaction between student and teacher gender. This book was originally published as a special issue of Educational Research.