Male Underachievement continues to be a major part of academics, not only in the Caribbean but worldwide. It has been heavily encouraged through negative stereotypes as well as media. For example in some television series, the protagonist is shown as being ‘too cool for school’ and in some cases has failing grades. The problem of male underachievement is becoming more prevalent within our society today, and can be seen as result due to a vichyssoise of problems such as peer pressure, negative portrayal by the media and lack of proper upbringing in homes. This problem continues to be detrimental to our society, not only in terms of the short term but also in the long run. The best solution for the lack of performance in education is actually education itself. My problem statement is, “What are the social factors that contribute to male underachievement in____ ?”The purpose of my research is simple; to ascertain and unearth the causal factors for male underachievement. Some other useful questions are, 1) What are the results of male underachievement?
2) In what situations is it most likely to occur?
3) What social factors may lead us to change this phenomenon? 4) What are the long term implications of this?
I will undertake this task within my school community. My research shall also benefit future researchers of the same topic so that they may further their own work. Additionally it may seek to be beneficial to those who wish to combat these phenomena by steering them in the direction of remedies and methods of prevention. Finally I hope that my research may impact on factors that may lead their child to underachievement and what may be done to prevent this from occurring.
Definition of Key Terms
Ascertain- attain knowledge of
Vichyssoise- Mixture or combination.
“There are also socio-psychological reasons for boys being outperformed by girls. Boys in certain circumstances will deliberately suppress their academic competence just to fit in with the macho culture of their peers.” Theodore. It may be seen that teenaged boys are susceptible to many negative factors that would lead to underachievement in school. One of these major factors continues to be that of peer pressure as boys attempt to fit in with their peers.
“Teenage alcoholism is the excessive and progressive use of alcohol in adolescents and young adults between the age of 12 and 20.” (Bailey J. 2000). It may be seen that teenagers are susceptible to serveral negative factors which would lead to consumption of alcohol. These include; the nature of family life, school life, peer pressure and advertisements by local media. He also saw that it is frowned upon in Jamaican societies to be smart, contrastingly if a boy could fight he is deemed as more attractive to women. This is a challenging situation which has been occurring more and more in the Trinidad based schools. However also within Trinidad, one may see that underachievement is a phenomena more common in ‘non-prestige schools’. For instance in the year 2011, on receiving 33 National scholarships Naparima Boys College Principal stated, “For so many years we have heard that girls do better than boys. We are claiming this year that we have destroyed that myth of male under-achievement.” Likewise in 2011 schools such as Presentation College San Fernando and Chaguanas have both attained the Presidents Medal. Observation of the scholarship list in Trinidad highlights that male prestige schools do well and attain scholarships, holding their own against the girl schools. From this we may infer then that the type of school a boy attends will greatly influence his life as he will be socialized into their culture.
George J. (2011) notes that in Trinidad the lack of a father figure may result in poor grades and what we deem to be underachievement. In an interview with the Newsday she stated with regard to children looking up to teachers as...