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Abstract

While boys and girls have similar educational aspirations and eventually attain similar educational levels, family background characteristics matter more to girls, especially rural girls. Additionally, rural girls do not enjoy the same educational benefits from taking part in extracurricular activities, despite the fact that they have relatively high participation rates. In contrast, male aspirations and attainment appear to be less the result of family background processes and more a result of their own achievement and activities. The largest differentials in educational goals and attainment occur within rural and urban areas between those who experience advantaged versus disadvantaged family backgrounds, schools, and communities.

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