Assess Sociological Explanations for Gender Differences in Education Essay

670 WordsSep 10, 20123 Pages
Assess sociological explanations of gender differences in education (20 marks) Exams results for GCSE and A level have shown that girls are doing better than boys even in the traditional male subjects like maths and science, although boys are slightly improving, they are not improving as fast as girls are and this is dues to many external and internal factors. An external factor of why girls are achieving better than boys in education is because there is now changes in the attitudes, ambitions and roles of females in society. Sue Sharpe’s (1994) did a study on working class girls in the 1970’s and found that girls main priorities were love, marriage and family. She then did the study again in 1990’s and found that attitudes of females have changed as girls now believe a career and being independent is important. Sharpe’s believe this could be because of the changing attitudes of society in general towards women and the impact of feminism. Mitsos and Browne (1998) say that the service sector which is traditionally seen as women’s work has expanded. Employers usually like women in this sector as they have good communication skills and the rise in the employment of women has given girls the incentive to do well at school. Mac and Ghaill claim that the decline in male employment opportunities has led to an ‘Crisis of Masculinity’ as many boys now believe they have a less chance in a getting a proper job. This undermines their motivation and self-esteem therefore they give up on trying to do well in education and have a fatalistic attitude towards it. Another reason why girls achieve better could be because of the changes in the family. There is now an increase of the number lone-parent female headed families and these changes are affecting girls attitudes towards education. This could be because an increased number of female headed lone-parent families means that
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