Gender differences in general information: the courses of development
Predrag Zarevski Romana Gačnik-Del Negro
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Sažetak On relatively large target samples of final grade primary (N=1174) and secondary school students (N=1174), coming from schooling localities of differing mangitude and from various regions in Croatia, in the school-year of 1995/96 we examined gender differences in general information. Tests comprised questions related to all important areas of human science, technology, politics, culture and entertainment. The main findings are the following: - in accordance with existing research on gender differences in general information on the Croatian population (Stanuga, 1987; Zarevski, 1987; Novačić, 1989), female students attending final grade of primary school show better knowledge of arts and culture, entertainment, fashion, aesthetics and medicine. On the other hand, male students are better informed in the areas of political affairs, especially related to war incidents; sports and chess; technology, as well as history and geography. On 75% of items male and female students of 8 th grade primary school do not differ significantly in general information. The gender differences found could probably be attributed to early gender steroetype modelling; - female high-school graduates are better informed in the areas of fashion and entertainment, medicine and contents related to culture and arts. Male high-school graduates have better knowledge of topics related to the world of science and technology, sports, politics and criminology. Unlike the results for final grade of primary school age, significant gender differences were found on almost half of the test items. This finding supports the hypothesis on the development of strong gender identity and taking on sex roles by the end of adolescence. The consequences of gender differences on General information test items with reference to the aproach to test construction were also discussed.