Education Topic 5 - Educational attainment and gender

In the 1940's and 1950's, boys tend to do significantly better than girls in school. However, in the 1960's and 1970's feminists challenged this perception and provided ample research evidence to show that girls and boys received very different education even within the same classroom. There have been many strategies introduced to tackle gender inequality. Now, girls are outperforming boys in examinations, which has come to be seen as the problem for public policy.

Gender

  • Gender is a social construction

  • Sociologist Bob Connell suggests that the biological differences between males and females are overemphasised and that the differences between individual men and women are far greater than the differences between the genders as a whole

  • Assumptions are made about men and women that overlook individual differences and assume that everybody of the same gender is similar

  • In the past, this resulted in women being placed in an inferior position in society, and there are still many who believe that masculinity is "better"

  • By the 1990's challenges to this type of thinking and changes in society were so difficult to ignore that Helen

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