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Evaluate the sociological reasons for the differences

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Introduction

Evaluate the sociological reasons for the differences in the attainment by boys and girls. Evidence shows that there are clear differences in attainment between boys and girls. At Key Stage 1 to 3 girls do much better compared to boys especially in subjects such as English. During boys and girls GCSE 57% of girls achieve 5 or more A*-C's grades compared to boys. At AS and A level girls are more likely to pass and go on to university than boys. For example in 2002 88.5% of girls passed compared to the 84% of boys, which passed. At A level 95.4% passed as opposed to the 93% of boys, which passed. A higher proportion of females stay on in post-16 sixth form and further education, and post-18 higher education. As a result more women are being accepted to university than men. Both boys and girls have improved over the years but girls are improving at a much faster rate. There are many reasons why girls are doing better than boys in school. These can split up into External and Internal factors. An example of an External Factor would be feminism in the 1970's. Feminism has raised women's expectations and self-esteem. Mc Robbie (1994) work shows that soaps and magazines now contain images and perceptions of assertive independent women, which together have influenced girl's ambitions and careers encouraging them to work hard and get good jobs. ...read more.

Middle

The introduction of oral exams also benefited girls, because girls have got better developed language skills than boys. Gender stereotyping has been removed from exercise books. Weiner (1995) argues that this presents girls with a more positive image of what they can do, because books no longer transmit the subconscious ideas to girls that they're only purpose in life is to become housewives. Swann & Graddol (1994) found that boys are more boisterous than girls, so teachers spend more time on them, than they do girls. However a majority of this time the teachers spend on boys is time spent telling them off for their bad behavior, whereas the time teachers spent with girls might have been less, but was positive feed back from the teacher about their work. These interactions could lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy in which successful interactions with the teacher could promote girls self-esteem and raise their achievement levels. Girls by the age of 16 are estimated to be more mature than boys by up to 2 years. They recognise the importance of exams and career chances that lie ahead of them earlier than boys, and so work harder than boys early on. Boys tend to underachieve for many different reasons. One reason could be because of the 'laddish' subculture. ...read more.

Conclusion

Best (1993) found boys are encouraged to develop more interest more interest in technical and scientific subjects, whereas girls are discouraged from taking them. In giving career advise teaches might reinforce subjects and careers on students according to their gender stereotypes, which his what these teachers may have been told when they were these students age. Kelly (1983) found that in her study, the boys in the lab tended to grab equipment first, and answer questions directed at girls. By doing this, they are intimidating the girls, discouraging them from taking up these subjects. To conclude I believe that the most significant reason for as to why girls do better in school than boys is because of the feminist movement tin the 70's. Those women showed housewives everywhere that being a housewife was not the only job women had to do. Feminisms made women open their eyes to all the other possibilities and opportunities society had to offer them. It showed them that they no longer had to put up with men's dirty laundry, or having to prepare the evening meal for their husband, when they could actually be going to work and earning for themselves. From then on women and girls have never looked back, and have even gone on to beat boys in gaining a higher percentage of A*-C's at GCSE. ?? ?? ?? ?? Natalie Ibbott 5/7/2007 3 ...read more.

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