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Reshaping Adolescents' Gender Attitudes: Evidence from a School-Based Experiment in India

Diva Dhar, Tarun Jain, Seema Jayachandran

NBER Working Paper No. 25331
Issued in December 2018, Revised in July 2020
NBER Program(s):Children, Development Economics, Economics of Education

Societal norms about gender roles contribute to the economic disadvantages facing women in many developing countries. This paper evaluates a school-based intervention in India that engaged adolescents in classroom discussions about gender equality for two and a half years with the goal of eroding their support for restrictive gender norms. Using a randomized controlled trial, we find that the program made attitudes 0.18 standard deviations more supportive of gender equality, or, equivalently, converted 16% of participants' regressive views. In addition, self-reported behavior became more aligned with progressive gender norms, particularly among boys. The effects observed in the short run were still present two years after the program had ended.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25331

 
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