Gender differences in the classroom


Maddie Aronson

With schools sometimes geared towards one gender or the other, Wingspan's Allie Lynn gives her take on gender differences within an academic environment and the changes that should be made.

Allie Lynn, Guest Contributor

Gender difference are obvious in certain ways, but when it comes to academic performance, it takes a bit of digging. But a meta-analysis by the American Psychological Association found that, overall, girls get better grades than boys. This comes from a look at schools across 300 countries and going back more than a hundred years.

But there’s no simple explanation as there are various factors in play. Usually girls start to develop skills such as the ability to sit still or stay focused earlier in life than boys. Therefore, since school is an environment that encourages those skills, some may argue school is tailored more for girls. Let’s look into some reasons why girls feel more suited to the school environment.   

Unlike girls who usually stick to one or two close friends, boys tend to gravitate more to big groups of friends. The school environment is not one that encourages large groups of boys because they most regularly cause trouble. This causes boys to face more consequences than girls showing once again how the school environment is more designed for girls.

Male students also have a tendency to get distracted during class leading to incomplete assignments or failure on tests or exams. 80 percent of students on medication for ADD and ADHD are boys which are both disorders affecting attention span and energy levels leading to a decreased focus in the classroom. With a higher percentage of male students having problems focusing in class, female students perform better in the classroom because they are less easily distracted.

In most school scenarios, teachers give boys more attention than girls due to the fact that boys are usually the troublemakers in the classroom. According to Lumen learning, male students are paid 20 percent more attention by teachers than female students. This attention influences boys to get into more trouble because of the fact that children and young adults have a tendency to do the opposite of what authority figures tell them to do.

With all these factors playing a role in gender differences in students, school has proven to be more suited for females than males. That’s the answer, now a new question arises, what’s going to be done about it.