College women study more than men, research shows

The Cyndi Lauper song may need to be changed to "Girls Just Wanna Study."

Female college students tend to study more frequently and more intensely than male students, according to a study released last week. This means they tend to get better grades and expect to graduate sooner.

"This is not something new," said Eric Weil, managing partner of Student Monitor, the organization that conducted the study. "I think it's been there for some time."

The study was conducted last spring, Weil said. Nationwide, 1,800 college students were surveyed over the phone. The study has a 2.3 percent margin of error.

The study found that women are 21 percent more likely to study 15 or more hours per week, 23 percent more likely to read their textbook thoroughly, and 35 percent more likely to study every day.

The Rev. John Naus, S.J., assistant to the president at Marquette, said those three categories were pertinent criteria for whether someone is a good student or not. In the past, Naus has given a lecture on study skills to incoming freshmen.

The study also found that men were 20 percent more likely to party and 7 percent more likely to study late at night.

The Association of American Publishers, which represents the textbook industry, commissioned the study.

"We're trying to determine what we can create to make students better students," said Stacy Scarazzo, assistant director for higher education for the AAP. "Our goal is to make the products appealing to the students."

The AAP will share the results of the study with its member organizations, Scarazzo said.

"Basically we saw that good study habits… do make a difference," she said. "You end up with better grades, which is why the women are doing better."

A number of factors can account for this difference in study habits.

"I think sometimes women feel challenged now…to do just a little bit more than men," Naus said.

"I know this sounds like I'm being disloyal to my gender, but I think many psychologists would tell us that women tend to mature earlier than young men," Weil said.

Students studying at the John P. Raynor, S.J. Library had their own opinions on whether there is a gender divide.

"I think girls stress more," said Britt Watsjold, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences. "I think girls are more likely to go to their teachers and ask questions."

"I see a lot of girls in and out of the library," said David Luyando, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration. "But right now on the bridge it looks pretty even."

"I did all-girls' high school, and coming from a co-ed grade school I learned that girls were a lot more concerned about their grades," said Sarah Lowendick, a freshman in the College of Communication.

One student suggested the difference is all relative.

"I think it depends on the person," said James McGough, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. "I think if you went to every guy and girl, you might find a difference, but I think it depends on the person."

This article was published in The Marquette Tribune on September 1, 2005.

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