Gender, education and work: The weaker sex
Boys are being outclassed by girls at both school and university, and
the gap is widening
“IT’S all to do with their brains and bodies and chemicals,” says Sir
Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College,
a**posh**English**boarding school**. “There’s
a**mentality**that it’s not cool for them to perform, that it’s not
cool to be smart,” suggests Ivan Yip, principal of the Bronx Leadership
Academy in New York. One school charges £25,000 ($38,000) a year and has
a**scuba-diving**club; the other serves subsidised lunches to most
of its pupils, a quarter of whom have**special needs**. Yet
both**are grappling with**the same problem: teenage boys are being
left behind by girls.
It is a problem that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago.
Until the 1960s boys spent longer and went further in school than girls,
and were more likely to graduate from university. Now, across the rich
world and in a growing number of poor countries, the balance
has**tilted**the other way. Policymakers who once fretted about
girls’ lack of confidence in science now spend their time dangling
copies of “Harry Potter” before surly boys. Sweden has commissioned
research into its “boy crisis”. Australia has devised a reading
programme called “Boys, Blokes, Books & Bytes”. In just a couple of
generations, one gender gap has closed, only for another to open up.
那是一个十数年前无法想像的题材。直到19世纪70年间早先，男孩比女孩花费更加长日子并赢得更加高等教学育，且更有希望从大学结业。现在，不论是富裕世界还是越多的贫穷国家，平衡向另一方倾斜。曾经顾忌女孩缺乏正确信心的国策制订者们，以往越来越多日子在强行男孩前边摇荡《哈利Porter》。Switzerland政坛已委托了大器晚成项关于“男孩危害”的研讨。澳大布兰太尔联邦（Commonwealth of Australia）开展了生龙活虎项”男孩，男士，书和比特”的档次。仅仅几代时间内，前壹天性别差距消失，而后大器晚成种性别差距又现身。
The**reversal**is laid out in a report published on March 5th by the
OECD, a Paris-based rich-country think-tank. Boys’ dominance just about
endures in maths: at age 15 they are, on average, the equivalent of
three months’ schooling ahead of girls. In science the results are
fairly even. But in reading, where girls have been ahead for some time,
a gulf has appeared. In all 64 countries and economies in the study,
girls outperform boys. The average gap is equivalent to
an**extra**year of schooling.
The OECD**deems**literacy**to be the most**important skill that
it assesses, since further learning depends on it. Sure enough, teenage
boys are 50% more likely than girls to fail to achieve basic proficiency
in any of maths, reading and science (see chart 1). Youngsters in this
group, with nothing to**build on**or**shine at**, are prone to
drop out of school altogether.
To see why boys and girls fare so differently in the classroom,
first**look at**what they do outside it. The average 15-year-old
girl devotes five-and-a-half hours a week to homework, an hour more than
the average boy, who spends more time playing video games
and**trawling the internet**. Three-quarters of girls read for
pleasure, compared with little more than half of boys. Reading rates are
falling everywhere as screens draw eyes from pages, but boys are giving
up faster. The OECD found that, among boys who do as much homework as
the average girl, the gender gap in reading fell by nearly a quarter.
Once in the classroom, boys**long to**be out of it. They are twice
as likely as girls to report that school is a “waste of time”, and more
often turn up late. Just as teachers used to struggle to persuade girls
that science is not only for men, the OECD now urges parents and
policymakers to steer boys away from a version of**masculinity**that
ignores academic achievement. “There are different pressures on boys,”
says Mr Yip. “Unfortunately there’s a tendency where they try to**live
up to**certain expectations in terms of [bad] behavior.”
Boys’**disdain**for school might have been less irrational when
there were plenty of jobs for uneducated men. But those days**have
long gone**. It may be that a bit of swagger helps in maths, where
confidence plays a part in boys’ lead (though it sometimes extends
to**delusion**: 12% of boys told the OECD that they were familiar
with the mathematical concept of “subjunctive scaling”, a red herring
that fooled only 7% of girls). But their lack of self-discipline drives
Perhaps because they can be so insufferable, teenage boys are often
marked down. The OECD found that boys did much better in its anonymized
tests than in teacher assessments. The gap with girls in reading was a
third smaller, and the gap in maths—where boys were already ahead—opened
up further. In another finding that suggests a lack of even-handedness
among teachers, boys are more likely than girls to be forced to repeat a
year, even when they are of equal ability.
What is behind this discrimination? One possibility is that teachers
mark up students who are**polite, eager and stay out of fights**,
all**attributes**that are more common among girls. In some
countries, academic points can even be**dock**ed for bad behaviour.
Another is that women, who make up eight out of ten primary-school
teachers and nearly seven in ten lower-secondary teachers, favour their
own sex, just as male bosses have been shown to favour male underlings.
In a few places sexism is**enshrined**in law: Singapore
still**canes**boys, while**澳门新葡亰xpj88，sparing**girls the rod.是什么
Some countries provide an environment in which boys can do better. In
Latin America the gender gap in reading is relatively small, with boys
girls less than they do elsewhere. Awkwardly, however, this nearly
always**comes with**a wider gender gap in maths,**in favour
of**boys. The reverse is true, too: Iceland, Norway and Sweden, which
have got girls up to parity with boys in maths, struggle with
uncomfortably wide gender gaps in reading. Since 2003, the last occasion
when the OECD did a big study, boys in a few countries have caught up in
reading and girls in several others have significantly narrowed the gap
in maths. No country has managed both.
在多少国家为男孩展现优质提供了条件。在拉丁美洲，阅读方面包车型客车性别差别相对十分小。如智利、哥伦比亚共和国、墨西哥和秘鲁共和国（La República del Perú）的男人落后于女人小于其余地点。不过，令人纠结的是，那总伴随着男人在数学方面超过于女人的差异加大。反过来也创设。女孩与男孩在数学方面表现非常的冰岛、挪威王国和Switzerland，挣扎于令人生气的日益加宽的读书方面性别差距。自二〇〇一年OECD最终三回就此展开的周围考察突显，少数国度男人在阅读方面蒙受了女人，而在另生机勃勃对国家女人成功减弱了数学方面包车型客车歧异。但绝非国家成功完毕双方。
Girls’ educational dominance**persists**after school. Until a few
decades ago men were in a clear majority at university almost everywhere
(see chart 2), particularly in advanced courses and in science and
engineering. But as higher education has boomed worldwide, women’s
enrolment has increased almost twice as fast as men’s. In the OECD women
now make up 56% of students enrolled, up from 46% in 1985. By 2025 that
may rise to 58%.
Even in the handful of OECD countries where women are in the minority on
campus, their numbers**are creeping up**. Meanwhile several,
including America, Britain and parts of Scandinavia, have 50% more women
than men on campus. Numbers in many of America’s elite private colleges
are more evenly balanced. It is widely believed that their opaque
admissions criteria are relaxed for men.
The feminisation of higher education was so gradual that for a long time
it passed unremarked. According to Stephan Vincent-Lancrin of the OECD,
when in 2008 it published a report pointing out just how far it had
gone, people “couldn’t believe it”.
Women who go to university are more likely than their male peers to
graduate, and typically get better grades. But men and women tend to
study different subjects, with many women choosing courses in education,
health, arts and the humanities, whereas men take up computing,
engineering and the**exact sciences**. In mathematics women
are**drawing level**; in the life sciences, social sciences,
business and law they have moved ahead.
Social change has done more to encourage women to enter higher education
than any deliberate policy.**新浦京娱乐场官网，The Pill**and a decline in the average
number of children, together with later marriage and childbearing, have
made it easier for married women to join the workforce. As more women
went out to work, discrimination became less**sharp**. Girls saw the
point of study once they were expected to have careers. Rising divorce
rates underlined the importance of being able to provide for yourself.
These days girls nearly everywhere seem more ambitious than boys, both
academically and in their careers. It is hard to believe that in 1900-50
about half of jobs in America were barred to married women.
So are women now on their way to becoming the dominant sex? Hanna
Rosin’s book, “The End of Men and the Rise of Women”, published in 2012,
argues that in America, at least, women are ahead not
also**professionally**and**socially**. Policymakers in many
countries worry about the**prospect**of a
growing**underclass**of**ill-educated men**. That should worry
women, too: in the past they have typically married men in their own
social group or above. If there are too few of those, many women will
have**to marry down**or not at all.
那么，女子是不是慢慢改为骨干性别？出版于二〇一一年的Ranna Rosin的《The End
of Men and the Rise of
According to the OECD, the return on investment in a degree is higher
for women than for men in many countries, though not all. In America
PayScale, a company that**crunches**incomes data, found that the
return on investment in a college degree for women was lower than or at
best the same as for men. Although women as a group are now better
qualified, they earn about three-quarters as much as men. A big reason
is the choice of subject: education, the humanities and social work pay
less than engineering or computer science. But academic research shows
that women attach less importance than men to the graduate pay premium,
suggesting that a high financial return is not the main reason for their
At the highest levels of business and the professions, women remain
notably scarce. In a reversal of the pattern at school, the anonymous
and therefore gender-blind essays and exams at university protect female
students from bias. But in the workplace, says Elisabeth Kelan of
Britain’s Cranfield School of Management, “traditional patterns assert
themselves in miraculous ways”. Men and women join the medical and legal
professions in roughly equal numbers, but 10-15 years later many women
have chosen unambitious career paths or dropped out to spend time with
their children. Meanwhile men**are rising through the ranks**as
qualifications gained long ago fade in importance and personality,
ambition and experience come to matter more.
For a long time it was said that since women had historically
been**underrepresented**in university and work, it would take time
to fill the pipeline from which senior appointments were made. But after
40 years of making up the majority of graduates in some
countries,**that argument is wearing thin**. According to Claudia
Goldin, an economics professor at Harvard, the “last chapter” in the
story of women’s rise—equal pay and access to the best jobs—will not
come without big structural changes.
In a recent paper in the American Economic Review Ms Goldin found that
the difference between the hourly earnings of highly qualified men and
their female peers grows hugely in the first 10-15 years of working
life, largely because of a big**premium**in some highly paid jobs on
putting in long days and being constantly on call. On the whole men find
it easier than women to work in this way. Where such jobs are common,
for example in business and the law, the gender pay gap remains wide and
even**short spells**out of the workforce are severely penalised,
meaning that**motherhood**can**exact**a heavy price. Where pay
is roughly proportional to hours worked, as in pharmacy, it is low.
There will always be jobs where flexibility is not an option, says Ms
Goldin: those of CEOs, trial lawyers, surgeons, some bankers and senior
politicians come to mind. In many others, pay does not need to depend on
being**available all hours**—and well-educated men who want a life
outside work would benefit from change, too. But the new gender gap is
at the other end of the pay spectrum. And it is not women who are
suffering, but unskilled men.
Personally, I think that there are advantages to both systems. I went to
a mixed school, but feel that myself missed the opportunity to
specialise in cookery because it was seen as the natural domain and
career path for girl. So because of that, I would have preferred to go
to a boys’ school. But hopefully times have changed, and both genders of
student can have equal chances to study what they want to in whichever
type of school they attend.
Some people think that it is better to educate boys and girls in
separate schools. Others, however, believe that boys and girls benefit
more from attending mixed schools. Discuss both these views and give
your own opinion.
Some educationalists think that it is more effective to educate boys and
girls in single-sex schools because they believe this environment can
reduce distractions and encourage pupils concentrate on their studies.
This is probably true to some extent. It also allow more equality among
pupils and gives more opportunity to all those at the school to choose
subject more freely without gender prejudice. For example, a much higher
proportion of girls study science to a high level when they attend
girls’ schools than their counterpart in mixed schools do. Similarly,
boys in single-sex schools are more likely to take cookery classes and
to study languages, which are often thought of as traditional subjects
On the other hand, some experts would argue that mixed schools prepare
their pupils for their future lives. Girls and boys learn to live
together from an early age and are consequently not emotionally
underdeveloped in their relations with the opposite sex. They are also
able to learn each other, and to experience different types of skill and
talent than might be evident in a single gender environment.
Girls outperform boys in school exams
Some countries have single-sex education models, while in others both
single sex and mixed schools co-exist and it is up to the parents or the
children to decide which model is preferable.
Vocabulary： education： 词汇：教育