This report examined 3 decades of U.S. student achievement in reading and writing from the National Assessment of Educational Progress to determine the magnitude of gender differences, and whether these were declining over time. Examination of effect sizes found a developmental progression from initially small gender differences in Grade 4 toward larger effects as students progress through schooling. Differences for reading were small-to-medium, medium-sized for writing, and were stable over the historical time. Additionally, there were pronounced imbalances in gender ratios at the lower left and upper right tails of the ability spectrum. Language and verbal abilities represent one exception to the general rule of gender similarities, and the researchers discuss the educational implications of these findings.
Reilly, D., Neumann, D. L., & Andrews, G. (2018). Gender differences in reading and writing achievement: Evidence from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). American Psychologist. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000356