Why have girls improved in school and boys declined?
There are two aspects that affect this change; the external and internal factors. The external factors are the one that occur outside the school; first factor is the impact of feminism and the decline of patriarchy. Since 1960s, the feminist movement has challenged the traditional stereotype of a women’s role only as mother and housewife, which was subordinate to her breadwinner husband. This raised women’s expectations and self-esteem, as well as affected girls’ self-image and ambitions with regard to the family and careers – this may explain girls’ improvement in educational achievement and boys’ underachievement, not being the important and all-knowing one, for a change. Second is that there have been important changes made in women’s employment; first introduction of Equal Pay Act in 1970 which made it illegal to pay women less than men for work of equal value, and second the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act which outlaws sex discrimination in employment. These changes have encouraged girls to see their future in terms of paid work rather than as housewives. Greater career opportunities and better pay for women, and the role models that successful career women offer, provide an incentive for girls to gain qualifications. Also there has been a fall in working class male jobs as a result of globalisation which contributed in the underachievement of boys. And final external factor for girls improvement in school is the change in the family from the patriarchal nuclear family to women headed lone parent families. These changes has affected girls’ attitudes toward education because in women headed, lone parent family it’s the mother that takes the role of breadwinner for the family, which create new adult role models for girls which is the financially independent women. The internal factors are the one that happen inside the school; first one is the equal opportunities policies; the belief that boys and girls are...
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