Gender Differences in Test Score in Colombia. The Paradox of More Education but Low Scores for Women

Juan C. Guzman, Princeton University

Average years of education, and enrollment rates for each level of education are higher for women than for men in Colombia. This situation is only present in 13 countries out of 87 developing countries in 1995 (Population Action International, 1998). One might conclude that women have higher incentives to get education given these indicators. It would be expected that women would obtain equal or better scores than men in the National Aptitude Test of High School Students. Surprisingly, the result is completely the opposite. This paper tries to understand why women had lower scores than men did in the national aptitude test taken the last year of high school in 1999. Different explanations are explored, in particular the effect of violence in affecting men school attendance.

Presented in Session 53: Investments in Education, Demographic Processes, and Socioeconomic Development