Which Gender Is More Successful At School?
It is generally reported that girls succeed boys throughout school life due to a developmental advantage, but often this statement is too general.
New research aimed to examine this idea in more detail:
The primary purpose of this investigation was, therefore, to examine developmental gender differences in reading, math, and writing in a large and nationally stratified sample of children and adolescents on an individually administered test of achievement.
The research team recruited a total of 2,495 participants in order to gain a good picture of development in these areas.
Once the researchers had analysed the data they found for reading that:
A small but stable female advantage in reading was detected
A similar result was found for maths:
No gender differences in math achievement were detected in the present sample, but Kaufman et al. did identify small gender differences in favor of adult males
Finally and probably more as expected a bigger difference was found for writing:
Females demonstrated a considerable writing advantage over males in a representative sample of typically developing children and adolescents. The magnitude of the difference increased with age
That is to say that as age increased, so did the gap in ability.
Given the possible developmental implications for boys when it comes to writing the researchers gave the following advice:
Given the findings in this study and others, researchers, school psychologists, and educators may need to pay special attention to gender differences in writing. The current research demonstrates that males are more vulnerable to writing failure than are females.