Gender and Subject choice
There were significant differences in the choice of subjects chosen by females and males.
- Early Socialization:Murphy and Elwood argue that EARLY DIFFERENCE in GENDER SOCIALIZATION has led to girls and boys having DIFFERENT TASTES IN READING. This leads to subject differences.
Boys prefer to read hobby books so later develop an interest in science subjects
Girls prefer to read books about other people and so this leads them an interest in english
- Gendered Subject Images: Kelly argues that gendered subject images also affect gender differenced in subject choice.
Science is seen a masculine subject because examples used in TEXTBOOKS link to boys experiences the most i.e. related to football and cars. Boys also DOMINATE the classroom i.e. shouting out answers and grabbing apparatus.
Simlarly, Colley argues that boys dominate the computers in ICT where girls are left out and teachers do little about it. Shows that some subjects are considered tradionally male
Gender and Subject Choice
- Gender Domains: According to Brown and Ross, gender domains are task and activities that are seen as masculine and feminime.
Girls prefer taks related to health & nutrition whereas boys may be more confident in tackling a problem related to cars
This can explain why girls are attracted to arts and humanities subjects
Boys are attracted to the sciences and mathematics- which usually require problem solving to do with cars
- Peer Pressure: Peer pressure can influence subject choice. For example boys tend to OPT OUT of dance and music lessons because others perceive them to be subjects OUTSIDE THEIR GENDER DOMAIN and sometimes boys can be made fun off- questioning their masculinity
Simialrly, Paetcher points out that pupils see sport as being firmly inside the MALE GENDER DOMAIN. Therefore, they tend to label girls into sports as 'butch' and even 'gay'.
This shows how peer pressure can affect the types of subjects chosen by students.
Evalutaion of subject and gender choice
However, the intorudction to policies such as National Curriculum, GIST and WISE has meant that more girls have been given equal opportuntiies and they have chosen subjects that are tradionally considered to be masculine. There are now certain COMPULSARY subjects that must be taken by both boys and girls and so there will be less pressure faced by certain students
Also, pupils in single sex schools conform LESS to the STEREOTYPICAL SUBJECT CHOICES because they do NOT FACE PEER PRESSURE from the OPPOSITE SEX .