3. Gender differences in achievement

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: jkathana
  • Created on: 15-05-16 14:32

Gender patterns// external Factors

KS 1-3; girls do consistently better than boys- espcially english
girls do better in traditional boys's subjects e.g. science
more girls go on to higher education that boys do 
boys only 'doing badly' in comapritive terms- both improved

Influence of feminism: women's rights and opportunities, changes in law- equal pay, feminist ideas affected girls' self esteem/image and aspirations= do better in education(motivation)

Girls' changing perceptions and ambitions: Sharpe- w|c girls priorities 1970s/90s; 70s- love, marriage, childrens, jobs and careers(in that order)-saw domestic role as their future//90s- careers and being independent-future in paid work.
Francis: higher career aspirations so need educational qualifications.
Beck and Beck-Gernsheim: independence valued more than in the past- careers part of a woman's life project now.
Fuller: some aimed for proffesional careers to support themselves.
eval^: BUT many w|c girls w/poor job prospects have stereotyped aspirations for marriage and children- attainable traditional identity (offers status) 

1 of 10

External factors (cont)- girls achievement

Changes in the family (since 1970) -increase divorce rate(40% of all marriage).
-more lone parent families(90% female headed).
-more cohabitation, less first marriages.
-smaller families, more women staying single.
= more of a need/opportunity to be economically independent= good qualifications.

Changes in women's employment: -more equal opportunities for women, expansion of the service sector (traditional area of women's work)
-changes in law improved position of working women: 1970 Equal Pay Act, 1975 Sex Discrimination Act= more employment right ( since 1975 pay gap almost halved)
= girls today have more incentive to see their future in terms of paid work=incentive to gain qualifications. 

2 of 10

Internal factors- girls achievement

Equal Opportunities policies: feminist ideas now widespread in education system; basic belief now that boys and girls equally capable/same opportunities.
- policies aimed at equal opportunities : GIST and WISE= girls into science/technology 
-(1988) National Curriculum= largely stidy same subject, equalised opportunites
= meritocracy- education more meritocratic (principle of equal opportunity).

Role models: - more female teachers/head teacher= positive, pro educational role models for girls = feminises learnng environment/ encourages girls to see it as part of female "gender domain" (desirable feminine characteristic)

Coursework: Mitsos and Browne- girls do better than boys in c.work, more conscientious/organised. Gorard: introduction into curriculum boosted girls' exam results. eval: exams more influencial than c.work on final grade, limited affect on gender differences. 

Stereotypes in learning materials: past- females under-represented/subordinate to males (domestic roles/unsuited for some subjects,science). 1980s- sexist images removed/replaced by positive images= impact on girls perception of what women can do/raised aspirations. (linked to impact of feminist ideas/equal opportunities). 

3 of 10

Internal factors (cont.)

Teacher attention: Swann - boys dominate class disscussion/ girls prefer group work(listening, co-operation) = favoured by teachers, respond postively= more encouragement. 
French and French- similar amounts of attention for academic reasons but boys more overall for punishement of misbehaviour= lower self esteem, under-achievment.
Francis- boys more attention= disciplined more harshly, felt picked on and teacher had lower expectations of them. 

Selection and league tables: -marketisation=competition= recruit more able students.
Girls- generally more successful= more attractive to schools.
Boys- lower achieving, badly behaved(4x more likely to be excluded)= "liability students", bad image for school, poor results. 
Girls get places at successful schools, better education, achieve more
eval:-Liberal feminists; welcome change, Radical feminists; critical, remains patriarchal (sexual harrasment, secondary school h.teachers likely to be male).

4 of 10

Internal factors (cont pt.2)

Identity, class and girls' achievement: Archer- w|c girls under-achieve due to conflict between feminine identities and school habitus= symbolic capital from peers or educational capital.
4 strategies to create a valued sense of self;
-Hyper-hetrosexual feminine identities- 'glamourous' identities, conflict with school over appearacne, school commits SV- defining girls culture as worthless.
-Boyfriends; brings SC, get in the way of schoolwork, lowers aspiration.
-Being 'loud'; outspoke, assertive identities- teacher views as aggresive= conflict.
-Ladettes; tomboyish, 'Nike' identities, sporty, traunting, getting excluded.

'Successful' working-class girls: Evans- succeed but may still be disadvantaged by gender and class identity= want to go to uni to increase earning power to help their families.
- live/study at home, reflecting w|c feminine habitus (cost of education, fear of debt)= self exclusion, limiting choices and future earning power. 

5 of 10

Boys underachievement

  • Literacy- poorer literacy skills; less time reading to sons/ mothers do it = feminine activity, leisure interests (sports) dont encourage language/communication skills. Important in most subjects= wide ranging effects on achievement. 
  • Globalisation and decline in traditional 'mens jobs'- 1980s, decline in heavy industries due to globalisation, decline in male employment= 'identity crisis', less motivstion, self-esteem. Boys believe little prospect of gettung jobs= stop trying to get qualifications. eval: these needed few qualifications, unlikely to have affected motivation.
  • Feminisation of schooling- Sewell: schools no longer nurture 'masculine' traits (competitiveness/leadership). Assessments feminised, introduction of c.work= disadvantages boys. Lack of male p.school teachers (1in6), over 60% didnt have lessons with a male teacher = idea that education feminine activity. eval: Read, not only men can give firm discipline boys said to need, disciplinary discoure= authority made explicit, associated w/ masculinity but females also used this style.
  • Lack of male role models at home: increase femalae headed lpf= boys grow up lacking postive male role model (going work/providing for family)= less likely see value of employment/qualifications.  
6 of 10

Boys underachievement (cont.)

'Laddish' subcultures: 
Francis- boys more concerned than girls about labelled as 'swots' by peers, threatens masculinity, w|c culture; non-manual work (schoolwork)= effeminate/inferior. 
Epstein- pro school w|c boys likely be harrassed/ labelled 'gay' subjects to verbal abuse. 
Girls in traditional 'masculine' areas= become more 'laddish' to identify as non feminine= under-achievment.

Policies to raise boys achievement: leisure interests/famous male role models = improving literacy skills, motivating to achieve e.g. Raising Boys Achievement Project, Reading Champions, Playing for Success. 
eval: Moral panic about boys- Ringrose: 'failing boys' caused neglect of problems faced by grils = sexual harrasment/ sterotypes subjects choices.

7 of 10

Gender and subject choice

boys and girls follow different 'gender routes' in subject courses:
-National Curriculum; most are compulsory but where there's choice, choose differently. 
-Post 16 education; more choice, bigger gender differences emerge, continue into HE.
-Vocational subjects; gender segregation at its greatest, 1% construction apprentices female. reasons: Early socialisation: (behaviour expectde from m/f)- family = dressed differntly/ different toys/ boys rewarded fro being active, girls passive.
-at school= Byrne, teachers encourage boys to be tough, show inititative/ girls= quiet, helpful.
-leisure reading and subject chocie= Murphy&Elwood, boys- hobby books/ information texts (science), girls- stories about people(english).
Gender domains: (tasks seen as m/f territory), views shaped by early experiences and expectations of adults, affects subject choice- girls worried about people(looked after elderly person"female")= humanity subjects, how things work is in boys domain= science.
Gendered subject image: related to gender domains seen as either m/f - e.g. science taught by men, uses boys interests as examples in textbooks= masculine subject, part of male gender domain= taken mostly by boys

8 of 10

Gender&subject choice(cont.)//Gender Identity&scho

Gender identity and peer pressure: pressure to conform by others, b's opt out of music bc negative peer responses, g's choose sport labelled "butch/lesbian" - link to subject image and gender domains(sport-masculine, music-feminine)
Gender careers: seen as either mens/womens - dominated by one gender (nursing), vocational courses= prepare for specific careers= tend to be dominated by one gender or another, w|c male more decision about courses based on traditional gender identity. 

Gender Identity&schooling- school experiences reinforce gender/sexual identities
Connell: school reproduces "hegemonic masculinity"(dominance of hetrosexual masculine identity, subordination of female and gay identities.
Feminists: experiences in school, form of social control, reproduces patriarchy- several ways:
-verbal abuse; if not behaving certain way, social control, make g's conform to male expectations. Lees: "slags"but no equivelant for boys. Mac an Ghails: w|c anti-school, VA to reinforce their defintion of masculinity. 

9 of 10

Gender Identity&schooling (cont.)

-teachersHaywood&Mac an Ghails, tell boys off for "behaving like girls"(reinforce gender id's)
 -male gaze; social control, male pupils/teachers look g's up and down as sexual objects (boys dont participate labelled "gay", also social control).
-double standards; one set of moral standards applied to one group but not another. Lees: boys boast sexual exploits, girls do = negatively labelled.
-female peer groups:policing identity; Archer, w|c girls gain SC  performing hyper-heterosexual identities. female peer groups police this identity- risk getting called a 'tramp' if fail to conform. Ringrose: w|c girls tension between idealised feminne identity and sexualised identity- "sl t shaming" and "frigid shaming" = social control labels, police each others identities with. 

10 of 10

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Education resources »