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Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere, Assess Sociological Explanations Of Gender Differences In Achievement And Subject Choice. (20 Marks)

817 words - 4 pages

In the past females have achieved less well than boys at higher levels in the education system, then during the 1990', the girls over took boys at all levels in the education system. The percentage of females in the UK achieving two or more A-levels or equivalent has increased from 20% in 1990 to 42% in 2006. Over the same time period, the percentage of males achieving the same level increased from 18% to 33%. On the other hand, there still continues to be a large difference in the choice of subjects by males and females. Even with the national curriculum being restrictive in the lower levels, meaning both male and females do the same subjects, when they get to a-levels and degree level, ...view middle of the document...

Mitsos and Browne (1998) support this view that education favors girls as they are more successful in coursework due to the fact that girls are seen to be more careful with their work, and are more likely to spend longer on their work and meet deadlines. However, its argued that the improvement of females in education could be the result of the decline of males, therefore making the gap between gender differences not that significant.

Secondly, the interaction between teachers and male and female students. Sociologist Francis (2000) argues that classrooms are still male dominated and that boys are disciplined more frequently and harshly by teachers compared to girls. Therefore, it is seen that boys get more attention than girls as they are disciplined more harshly than girls, leading to girls getting less attention than boys, also in terms of ethnicity, boys from African Caribbean backgrounds are also more likely to be disciplined than white British boys. This may result in boys feeling picked on in school which may result in gender and ethnic differences in achievement.

On the other hand, many sociologists have argued the importance of external factors in influencing gender differences in achievement. Feminism strives for equality in society for men and women and has questioned the typical role of males and females in society and challenges the role of women being the housewife. Feminists have had a...

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