• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The aim of this experiment was to see if there is gender difference in the subjects chosen for study at A level by students and furthermore to see if girls and boys chose subjects appropriate to their genders.

Extracts from this document...


A level Sociolology Coursework - Angela York 13JAS Rationale The aim of this experiment was to see if there is gender difference in the subjects chosen for study at A level by students and furthermore to see if girls and boys chose subjects appropriate to their genders as according to stereotypical views about education. The hypothesis was that girls would chose more abstract and less academic subjects such as dance, sociology, drama, psychology and music whereas boys would chose more technical and theoretical subjects like mathematics, physics, sports studies and economics. Some subjects were also decided to be gender neutral subjects like history, languages and geography. The null hypothesis was that students would chose gender inappropriate subjects for example girls choosing subjects like science or boys choosing subjects like art. Concepts and Contexts Context One - Arguments about gender inequality relating to factors outside the institution of schools. Concept One - Gender differences in innate ability. It is often suggested that the reason boys and girls do better at certain subjects and so are pushed into studying particular courses based on such results is because there are differences in innate abilities between the sexes. However, in contradiction these results often find girls to have greater ability than boys. Sociologist Harvey Goldstein suggested that on average girls perform better in the 11+ exam than boys. He also suggested that overall girls display greater ability (at least at the age of 11) and concluded "broadly speaking, for achievement in mathematics and reading the average differences are small, while for both verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests, the girls have a higher average score than boys". ...read more.


Boys observed in the study were criticised more for untidiness in their work, failing to make sufficient effort and misbehaving in the classroom, this gave boys room for improvement whereas girls who did not receive this minor criticism were unable to make excuses for their failure. Concept Two - Invisible women. Dale Spender, in her book 'Invisible Women', suggested that education is largely controlled by men who use their power to dictate masculine knowledge as important, and feminine knowledge as less significant. But she suggests that this dominance of men in the education system as only an example of the larger dominance of men in the outside world with the example of economics and the unpaid domestic work of women as being ignored. She points out that while the structure of and workings within the education system is not the cause of gender inequality in society - it is still a major contributor towards the inequality of educational opportunity that gives rise to the overall dominance of men and subordination of women. In her study, she tape recorded some of her classes and attempted to consciously divide her time equally between both the boys and the girls of the group, yet when she referred back to the tapes she found only 38% of her time had been spent interacting with girls. She argues that the boys in the group often dismissed girls' contributions to discussions and debates, were often insulting to the girls of the group and when they did they were rarely rebuked by the teacher for their behaviour. ...read more.


This was done again except for the next question whereby it was calculated how many participants of each gender had given each reason for choosing their chosen subjects. Finally the subjects each gender group said they would consider taking at degree level, including those who said they would not be taking any degree were gathered. This gave some very clear gender differences. No ethical considerations particularly had to be taken into consideration as it was unlikely to cause any of the participants any offence or harm, although all were fully debriefed after completing the questionnaire and given the chance to withdraw their information from the study. It was not possible to fully explain the purpose of the questionnaire before they had completed it because it may have affected results or even biased them if participants had tried to answer in a way they perceived to be impressive or 'correct' to the experimenter. There are many problems with questionnaires and the data found is not always valid. This is because the participant has to interpret the question and respond appropriately, which can often lead to ambiguity if the questions are not clear using non-specialist language. Sometimes the questions can also be too transparent. Results It was clear from the results that participants mostly studied subjects appropriate to their gender for example boys mostly studied sciences and mathematics while girls mostly studied dance, sociology and languages. Boys were least likely to study a gender inappropriate subject. More girls than boys studied gender inappropriate subjects. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Demography topic revision notes. The study of populations and their characteristics is called ...

    Both immigrants and emigrants were generally young, and slightly more likely to be male than female. The main reasons for migration are study of work, with about a quarter of all immigrants coming to study in the UK and over a fifth coming to take up a specific job.

  2. Differences between sex and gender

    Such examples are visible body hair, physical appearance, clothing and behaviour, to name a few. In contrast, the 'sex-gender distinction' is moreover backed up by Garfinkel (1967) who examined that western societies rely on a dimorphic model of sex. This model suggests that as soon as a newborn child is

  1. Why are girls doing better than boys in school?

    Exam results I analysed the exam results of pupils at G.C.S.E level in my school, South wolds comprehensive, Nottingham, in 1999. From looking at the results, I can clearly see that girls are achieving higher grades than the boys. In the total percentages of all subjects, girls have a higher

  2. Sociological theories and Healthcare.

    The above life expectancy figures make no allowance for future changes in mortality. Allowing for the latest projected future improvements in mortality from the 2006-based population projections the cohort life expectancy at birth in 2006 is projected to be 88.1 years for a boy and 91.5 years for a girl.

  1. Assess sociological explanations of why girls achieve better results than boys.

    It is proven that on average girls work harder and are more motivated, this might be sue to their expectations. Girls put more effort into their work and are more willing to spend more time on homework which is better presented and organized.


    Aversion therapy used to treat an alcoholic would follow this procedure: * the patient is given a drug that makes him feel very sick. The drug is the unconditioned stimulus and the sickness is the unconditioned response. * the patient is then given alcohol and the drug at the same time, so alcohol and feeling sick are paired together.

  1. Gender and Education. Explanations of gender differences in subject choice notes.

    Focus on relationship between education and social inequality. Inequality is necessary to ensure that the most important roles in society are filled by the most talented people! For example it would be inefficient and dangerous to have less able people performing roles such as surgeon or airline pilot.

  2. Creating Gender: Nurture Vs. Nature

    His parents spoke to the psychologist who had originally told them to try to use gender re- assignment. The psychologist then suggested that they go through with a reconstructive surgery for her vagina. When his parents had told him at age nine, he refused to go through with the surgery and threatened to kill himself if he had to.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work