Seminar / Workshop Details
CCFS Seminar: A Tale of Two Genders: Demystifying Girls’ Concurrence of Higher Educational Achievement and Higher Depression Levels
Professor SHEN Wensong
Assistant Professor of Sociology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
24 November 2021 (Wednesday)
Webinar via Zoom
+852 39431209

About the Webinar
Girls’ concurrence of higher educational achievement and higher depression levels seems incompatible with the negative correlation between educational achievement and depression. This seeming paradox suggests hidden gender disparities. I propose a framework of Bive correlation patterns to accommodate this seeming incompatibility, with each pattern representing a unique gender disparity structure. To test this framework, I analyze two waves of data from the China Education Panel Survey. The results support a “female-driven, male followed” pattern of correlations, i.e., compared with boys, girls have a stronger, negative correlation between achievement and depression. Moreover, the reciprocal relationship between achievement and depression holds only for girls, not boys, which partially explains girls’ stronger correlation between achievement and depression. For girls, achievement and depression contribute equally to their reciprocal relationship. Finally, the gender disparity in depression is more pronounced among low-achieving students. High-achieving girls do not exhibit higher levels of depression than high-achieving boys, while low-achieving girls exhibit much higher depression levels than low-achieving boys. Such results suggest low-achieving girls are particularly vulnerable to depression.  These  Bindings  have  broad  theoretical  implications,  and  the  framework  of  Bive  correlation patterns can also be adapted to investigate other forms of inequality.

About the Speaker
SHEN Wensong is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on education and health, and especially the interaction  between  education  and  health  in  the  context  of  social  stratiBication and inequality. Broadly speaking, he utilizes quantitative methods to explore how individuals and families with different social backgrounds experience the complex process   of   social   stratiBication,   and   how   such   experiences   shape   their   life opportunities and consequences such as education and health.

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