External factors are like home and family background, and wider society. Many sociologists argue that these differences are due to four key factors outside of school.
- The impact of feminism.
The feminist movement has had considerable success in improving women's rights and opportunities through changes in the law. It has also raised woman's self esteem. An example of this is, in the 1970's, girls magazines emphasized factors like getting married, whereas nowadays, they contain images of strong independent women.
- Changes in the family.