Gender and Achievement

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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 01-05-12 19:34

Gender and achievement.

Girl's achievement - external factors

Changes in the family since the 1970s:

An increase in divorce rate,

An increase in cohabitation,

A decrease in first marriages,

An increase in lone parent female headed families,

And smaller families.

This means there is an increase of women in the breadwinner role, this provides an adult role model for girls. It shows them that they need well paid jobs and good qualifications. The increase in divorce rate tells them to not rely on a husband.

Changes in women's employment:

1970 equal pay act,

1975 sex discrimination act,

an increase in proportion of women in work,

and a falling pay gap, with more women in professional jobs means girls see a future in paid work.


Feminism means women's rights have improved. This has raised expectations and self esteem.

A study on girl's magazines in the 70s and 90s showed that in the 70s, there was more influence on getting married and finding a man. In the 90s, magazines put more emphasis on being independent.

This gave girls an improved self image and ambitions.

Changing ambitions:

Sharpe used interviews to look at girl's changing ambitions.

In the 70s, girls had low aspirations. They believed educational success was unfeminine. Their priorities were love, marriage, husband, children, job and career.

In the 90s they were much more independent and placed jobs and careers higher in their priorities.

Internal Factors.

Teacher Attention:

Girls are seen by teachers as more cooperative, as they are better at group work and listenting.

Boys were seen as potentially disruptive, because they dominated class discussion and interrupted.

This teacher interaction with girls promoted their self esteem which results in a self fulfilling prophecy.

Swann and Graddol found that boys were more boisterous in the classroom and attracted more attention to themselves, whereas girls' attention


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