I think that the degree of self-conidence, heavily influenced by cultural perceptions of gender specific ability and behavior, has a lot to do with the aforementioned difference. Since this is the Harvard forum, I thought I'd be interesting to cite a book about Harvard
. I was reading "The Truth About Harvard" the other day and the author wrote that:
"Part of the reason why female undergradutes are os on top of their work may be that, compared to men, women, on average, deem themselves less academically able to their peers. A 1996 study of the top 20 American universities revealed that one-third of men, but only one-sixth of women, consider themselves smarter than the majority of their classmates."