Gender Differences In Achievement - Boys' Underachievement Flashcards Preview

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What factors have sociologists identified that may be responsible for boys' underachievement?

1). Literacy.

2). Globalisation and decline of traditional 'men's jobs'.

3). Feminisation of schooling.

4). Lack of male role models at home.

5). 'Laddish' subcultures.


How is literacy a reason for boys' underachievement?

- Reading is seen as a feminine activity as mothers conduct it, therefore, boys tend to avoid reading at home.

- Boys' leisure activities don't encourage language and communication (sports and games).

- Whereas, girls adopt a 'bedroom culture' --> staying in working.


Why does boys' poor language and literacy skills affect their overall achievement?

Because language and literacy are important in most subjects, so affects their overall school performance.


How has globalisation impacted boys' attitudes to attaining qualifications?

Since the 1980s, globalisation meant industrial manufacturers relocated to developing countries =

- due to a decline in jobs, boys develop an 'identity crisis', with a loss of motivation.

- boys believe they wont get a job so don't try to get qualifications.


Criticise the impact of globalisation on boys' qualifications?

Traditional manual jobs didn't require many qualifications, so;

- it's unlikely that this affected boys' attitudes to qualifications.


How has the feminisation of education led to boys falling behind?

Sewell (2006) =

- schools no longer nurture 'masculine' traits (competitiveness and leadership).

- intro of coursework has feminised schools, disadvantaging boys.


What statistics support the feminisation of schools?

1). 1/6 primary school teachers are male.

2). 39% of 8-11 year old boys have no lessons with a male teacher.


How does Read (2008) disprove the claim that only male teachers can be assertive?

Disciplinary discourse = teachers authority is made explicit.

- shouting is expressed both by male and female teachers, therefore, they still provide the strict culture boys are said to need.


Evaluate Read's study?

Just because female teachers adopt a 'masculine' style, it doesn't mean it's as effective as a male teacher.


How has a lack of male role models in the home led to boys' underachievement?

Rise in female-headed lone-parent families means;

- boys no longer identify with a breadwinner father.

- they are less likely to see the value of employment and therefore also of qualification.


What perspective supports the view that the increase of lone-parent families has led to boys' underachievement?

New Right =

- lone-parent families fail to socialise boys, leading to numerous social issues (inc. lack of qualifications).


What is meant by 'laddish' subcultures, in relation to boys' underachievement?

The increase in 'laddish' subcultures has contributed to boys' underachievement =

- boys adopt an anti-school subculture to demonstrate their masculinity.


What did Epstein (1998) suggest the reason was for boys adopting an anti-school subculture?

Pro-school w/c boys are likely to be labelled as sissies, 'gay' and harassed if they appear as swots.

- they become anti-school to demonstrate their masculinity and avoid bullying.


What did Francis (2011) find in relation to 'laddish' subculture?

Boys were more concerned than girls about being labelled as 'swots' =

- as this threatens their masculinity.

- masculinity is associated with manual work, so school work is viewed as inferior.


Criticise the studies into 'laddish' subculture?

- studies suggest that 'laddish' subcultures are mainly w/c.


What did Ringrose find about the effect of the moral panic of boys' underachievement on educational policies?

Concern of boys' underachievement has led to policies that focus on =

- solely the underachievement of boys, and not w/c or ethnic minorities.

- neglect to the sexual harassment and stereotyped subject choice of girls.


Put boys' underachievement in context?

The similarities between the sexes are much greater than the differences =

- class gap = 3x wider than gender gap (GCSE).


Compare boys' underachievement to class and ethnicity?

When compared, the gender gap is smaller than that of class and ethnicity =

e.g. GCSE;

- gender (12% points).

- same gender but different social class (44 points between girls social classes).