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A Critical Analysis of the Educational Gender Gap

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Emotional and behavioral differences between boys and girls have often been linked as a result of attributed responses from neuro-biological dissimilarities. Essentially, behavioral variances between males and females result from biological differences that remain unaddressed in a classroom setting. Biologically, boys have less serotonin and less oxytocin than girls – the chemicals that are primarily responsible for human bonding. This makes it more likely for boys to be more physically impulsive than girls. Girls in the classroom are naturally able to sit still and pay attention while their male counterparts – generally – fidget, drift off, and are restless. Boys are expected to keep their concerns to themselves in the classroom and yet boys are also expected to act in the ways girls do by sitting still and writing neatly. The emotional incoherence between boys and school has led to a repetitive misunderstanding of boys that leads them to a “self-defeating” performance in the classroom.
The educational gender gap has similarly been widened as a result of an emerging social environment that is increasingly unfavorable to boys. Chiefly, this is brought about through social norms and society’s perceptions of boys that have been tied to a false sense of masculinity. Society encourages girls to be “thin, pretty caregivers,” while boys are encouraged to be “strong, brave, silent, and macho.” These social perceptions are unknowingly reinforced by what studies have referred to as the ‘“Boy Code’” or “unwritten list of societal beliefs about how boys should act.” For example, the ‘Boy Code’ obliges boys to suppress their feelings, tells them not to cry, and to be physically aggressive and competitive. These constraining ...

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