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The changes in educational attainment of males and females in recent years are due to many factors.

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Introduction

e) The changes in educational attainment of males and females in recent years are due to many factors. 20 years ago women were not expected to, and did not succeed academically but instead, aimed to become a housewife. Girls were given no incentive to do well in school as they knew all the well paid, high profile jobs were for the men and equal opportunities were not regarded as important. However, today girls are achieving better than boys in education with the proportion of women attending higher education being higher than the proportion of men. This change can be explained firstly by the feminist movement, which has led to changing attitudes towards women's roles and also to their expectations of career opportunities. Men were always expected to go to work and support the family and girls were expected to make marriage and motherhood their primary concerns. ...read more.

Middle

By 2002, the number of men and women in paid employment was virtually the same (Social Trends, 2003) and young girls often see their future in the workplace and value education as a means to a good job. Girls have also witnessed a growing number of divorce rates proving to them that women can cope alone and do not have to be dependant on a man resulting in them seeing education as a means to financial independence. Whilst the performance of female students has increased over the last 20 years, performance of male students has not improved at the same rate. Boys are thought to be suffering increasingly from low self-esteem and poor motivation and seem less willing to struggle to overcome difficulties in understanding. Girls continue to put more effort into work and give more thought about their futures and to the importance of qualifications in achievement of this. ...read more.

Conclusion

If these results hadn't been adjusted then two-thirds of grammar school places would have gone to girls. Plummer in 2000 also suggested that the preoccupation with so-called 'failing boys' diverts attention from underachieving girls. Social class is significant with girls as much as it is boys with a high proportion of working class girls failing in the school system. There is still also a pattern of which gender choose which subjects to study at further education. Boys continue to dominate sciences, technology and maths whilst girls continue to choose the arts, English and biological science. Overall, the educational performance of girls has improved significantly since the 1980's due to the impact of feminism and opening opportunities for females. In general their improvement has been greater than that of boys but this does not necessarily mean that boys as a group are failing but are improving at a slower rate. ...read more.

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