Title

Female Flight? Gender Balance and Outmigration by Native Alaskan Villagers

Abstract

Surveys in Alaska's predominantly Native, Bristol Bay and Northwest Arctic regions examined attitudes toward education and migration among high school students, as well as outcomes among high school graduates. These surveys encompassed 430 high school students and 144 recent high school graduates in 15 predominantly Native villages. About 63 percent of students said they expected to leave their present region, with girls more likely than boys to expect permanent outmigration. Girls were also significantly more ambitious than boys with regard to higher education. Among the graduates surveyed, women were more likely than men to have attended university, to have a full-time job, and to be living outside their home region. Statewide 1990 Census data confirm a significant relation between percent female and community population, consistent with the hypothesis that "female flight" from Native villages is shifting the young adult gender balance. Bush villages tend to have more young Native men than women, whereas larger cities have more young Native women than men. Such imbalances must directly affect opportunities for marriage, family, and cultural continuity. They could also have wide-ranging indirect consequences, including exacerbation of village social and health problems associated with unmarried young men.

Publication Date

6-22-1993

Publisher

National Science Foundation

Document Type

Report

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