Why do women study abroad more?

On average, because their parents are more inclined to finance this endeavour.

I sought to figure out the question why girls are more likely to study abroad than guys. I did this on my own volition, I reminded myself tacitly, after reading a doctoral thesis, and three journal articles about a topic I care so very little about, and one with no impact on my daily life and an extremely low percentage of the world’s population (and college students, too, given that ~1% follow through with it).

The obvious answers pervasive throughout literature is that it is major-specific, more women are in the languages and have classes more amenable to international transfer.

But why? Like why why.

– To increase mate availability. I do not see evidence this is the case, but how do you frame a study that says “Do you go overseas to meet hot French guys?” Self-report measures of this question would be unreliable, and actual data impossible.

This runs contrary to subjects being attracted to people that look and feel like them (narcissism dating theory). I wonder if the reported self-confidence improvement from traveling abroad would decrease that. There is also some currency being American, except in Western countries. Self-esteem among interracial daters appears to have similar to similar to other populations. The self-report of “sexy” accents is contravened by literature , maybe I will get to that later.

– As a marker or consequence of class.

– Because traveling abroad with a group is safer vs. privately. This issue was not addressed at length. Men still travel abroad at a similar rate, but outside of a college setting. It’s probably more cost-effective.

The raw data indicates that parents are more likely to support their daughter’s desires to go abroad. This can be construed as either “emotional” support, but what it probably means is “financial” support. At this point, if you are a researcher in the field, you are most likely saying money is not really a factor. Then, remember the caveat it is based on the students report of their parents income. I mean, adults do not even know their own parents income, and 45% of millionaires not viewing themselves as wealthy.

On the whole, maybe female college students traveling abroad have no idea how much money their parents make… nor do most students. The deepest stretch in a series of stretches is that male students are better able to guess their parent’s financial status.

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