GENDER AND CULTURE INTERACTION EFFECTS ON SCHOLASTIC APTITUDE TEST PERFORMANCE: SOME ISRAELI FINDINGS

Authors:
Moshe Zeidner
Published Online:
27 Sep 2007
DOI:
10.1080/00207598708246771
Pages:
111–119
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 22 Issue 1

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The major aim of this study was to assess the degree of interaction between gender and cultural group background in determining scholastic aptitude test attainment among college student candidates. The analyses were based on the college entrance aptitude test scores of 1778 Jewish and 1017 Arab student candidates applying for admission to a major Israeli university. A Manova of the subtest scores revealed significant main effects for both culture and gender and a significant gender × culture interaction effect. Separate Anovas for each of the individual subtests show significant gender × culture interaction effects for both the Mathematical and Figural Reasoning subtests, with a larger gender group differential ‐ in favor of the males ‐ among Jews than among Arabs. The interaction effect was attributed, in part, to two complementary culture‐specific factors, namely: (a) the positive self‐selection of Arab female college candidates of relatively high scholastic ability, thus serving to narrow the gender gap in the Arab group; (b) the varied opportunities for advanced technical training, enrichment and experience available mainly to Jewish males during their period of compulsorly military service, serving to enhance the gender gap in the Jewish group. In sum, the data suggest that culture may serve as an important moderator variable in determining the size of gender group differences in scholastic aptitude test attainment.

Le but essentiel de notre recherche est d'examiner la relation sexe/origine culturelle sur le niveau des résultats aux tests d'aptitude proposés aux candidats se présentant aux examens d'entrée à l'Université. L'analyse statistique a portée sur 1778 candidats d'origine juive‐israélienne et sur 1017 candidats d'origine arabe. Les résultats montrent une influence déterminante de la culture et du sexe et de leur interaction. La différentiation entre les sexes est sensiblement plus importante dans le groupe juif que dans le groupe arabe. Notre recherche tente d'interpréter les résultats selon des causes spécifiques à l'origine culturelle, et suggère que la culture a un rôle prépondérant dans la création des différences existants entre candidats masculins ou féminins selon les examens d'aptitude proposés aux candidats se présentant à l'Université.

© 1987 International Union of Psychological Science