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In the 1960s and 1970s sociologists were
concerned about the underachievement of
By the 1990s this concern had switched to
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
found girls scored higher on all tests.
62% of girls could concentrate for 10 minutes
Only 49% of boys could
56% of girls could write/spell their name
42% of boys could
DfES (2007) 70% of children with special
educational needs are boys
Girls do better in all subjects
Although the gap is less in Maths and Science
There is around a 10% difference between
boys and girls achieving 5 GCSEs at grade
Girls are more likely to pass and get higher
The gap is much narrower than at GCSE.
(2006) 95.8% of girls passed two or more
Alevels and only 94% of boys did.
Both genders have improved every year
It’s just that girls have improved more
Not all boys underachieve (Coffrey, 2001)
Certain groups of boys are more likely to fail
Social class is a huge determining factor in
(Epstein et al, 1998)
Class has over 5 times the effect of gender
on attainment (Gilbourne and Mirza, 2000)
When the 11+ test was introduced in the
1940s more girls passed than boys
The results had to be ‘adjusted’
So girls doing better is not necessarily a new
phenomena (Chitty, 2002)
Create a mind map of reasons for this
Factors affecting achievement can be split
into two categories.
What is feminism?
Briefly describe two different strands of
Outline how feminism may have helped girls
achieve more at school
Feminism is a social movement concerned
with equal rights for women in all areas of
Liberal feminism – seeks to create equality
through changes to the law.
Marxist feminism – believes that inequality
stems from the capitalist economic system.
Radical feminism – believes inequality
stems from male power (Patriarchy) and only
truly radical solutions will work
Difference feminism – notes the
importance of individual experience (not all
women experience the same difficulties)
Sue Sharpe ‘Just like a girl’ (1976 and 1994)
Found that 1990s girls were
Main priorities of 70s girls were
‘love, marriage, and children’
Feminism has challenged the ‘traditional’
image of women as housewives and mothers
Feminism has challenged the gender binary
In need of protection
From the moment children are born, they are
assigned a gender that will affect the ways
people interact with them.
Children learn gendered norms and gender