How Gender Influences Education

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Outline and explain 2 ways in which gender influences education. (17) Overall girls tend to do better within education than boys. In 2013 72% of girls achieved a C grade or above at GCSE level where as only 63% of boys achieved a C grade or above. This could be due to a number of possible reasons. One of these reasons argued by sociologist Sharpe is that working class girls are more aspirational than the working class boys. Sharpe carried out interviews on working class girls in 1976 and again in 1994, in 1976 the girls’ aspirations were to find love, get married and have children. In 1994 the girls’ aspirations were to get a career of their own. Another reason could be due to the fact that girls have better communication and socialisation skills. From an early age girls are in the playground interacting with each other whilst the boys are off playing football. The change in the class structure could also be a factor. Lots of working class families have become more socially mobile and have instilled a set of norms and values into their daughters to be aspirational within education. Coursework is also said to be advantageous to girls as they are able to manage their time better in order to meet deadlines and are more conscientious. There are also a few reasons as to why boys don’t tend to do so well in education. One reason is the feminisation of education. Sewell argues that as primary schools are female dominated this puts boys off education as they see learning as being feminine. Another reason could be due to their poorer literacy skills. Parents tend to spend less time reading with their sons, and the mother is usually the reader which makes boys think that reading is feminine. Boys tend to form anti-school subcultures, which means they adopt the norms and values of traditional masculinity. Messing around helps their status within the group. Francis says that
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