Essay Example on Gender & Education: Unlocking Opportunities for Women & Girls

Paper Type: 
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1383 Words
Date:  2023-09-02

Gender is an essential element in the education sector but, at the same time, used as a discriminatory factor. Until recently, the girlchild was denied the chance to access education as it was dominated by males. Women were only expected to carry out their domestic roles and subject themselves to men; thus, empowering them through education was considered unnecessary. For instance, in an African family setting, a girl was expected to marry at a very young age while the boy was allowed to school, and later explore his career goals. Nonetheless, through feminism struggles and other human activists, the girlchild is now schooling and is even doing better academically than boychild, as shown by studies.

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One reason that makes girls to perform better academically than boys is their potential of self-discipline or self-regulation. Discipline is key to the general human behavior as it organizes an individual in relation to relating well with others. In academics, it guides and motivates the student towards excellent performance goals. A Kenyan study on the connection between discipline and academics by Simba, Agak and Kabuka (2016) showed the pupils that exhibited high levels of regulation performed better than those whose discipline conduct was unsatisfactory. According to the findings, disciplined students show positive traits such as cooperating with teachers and obeying instructions, making their learning more successful (Simba et al., 2016).

Now, numerous studies show that females students are more self-disciplined, and that is why there are sharper than boys at school. Mathews, Morrison and Ponitz (2009) investigated this claim by studying kindergarten pupils’ behavior based on how effective they would understand and obey instructions. They assessed the children’s self-regulation skills by asking them to perform the Head-to-Toes task (Mathews et al., 2009). They found that boys found it difficult to do as they were told. For example, they would touch the head if they felt like doing so even when the instructors told them to touch other places. Thus, they failed the assessment terribly (Mathews et al., 2009). On the other hand, girls followed the instructions correctly even when they wished to touch other places. More so, the instructors had a difficult time trying to manage the boys to concentrate on the assessment as they were more playful than the girls. With this revelation, the study concluded that boys’ discipline was a bit poorer than girls’, hindering them from behaving accordingly while handling their academics.

Importantly, girls are more successful than boys because they are highly mastery-oriented, which means that they believe more in strategic hardworking and planning towards achieving excellent academic goals. The goal in mastery orientation is to motivate students not to depend on innate qualities, such as intelligence and brightness; instead, they combine their smartness with effort to achieve more excellent academic results. For example, they ought to study hard to grasp concepts that they are taught in class, even when they have a high memory ability.

Research shows that boys tend to avoid this strategy by adopting work-avoidance goals. It means that boys are not interested with key details of their study in that they tend to avoid the work's effort but do what they need to accomplish the task (Dekker et al., 2013). As a result, they fail to attain knowledge for the sake of mastering and understanding, leading to their poor performances. In their study to determine sex differences in goal orientations, Dekker and his colleagues (2013) revealed that boys exhibited low mastery orientation levels and high work-avoidance, with most them showing lazy type personality. Based on the vignette design that the researchers used, the work-avoidance goals entailed the students who did not see the importance of studying to get good graded and those who strived for academic excellence to show off. In summary, this attitude by boys makes them to limit how they grasp content that they learn in class, leading them to perform poorly despite their high intelligence potential.

As mentioned above, the girlchild was discriminated against attaining the potentials to clinging to their empowerment for the longest time in history. However, women slowly began to develop their voice and started fighting for the male-dominated positions, making society to begin embracing the importance of caring for the girlchild. She began to be protected, grasping all the attention from the boychild who was now not being given the care that he needed. For instance, social institutions try to assist girls in completing their education by addressing the challenges they face. For example, NGOs worldwide are pushing governments to make pads and tampons free to avoid menstruation from disrupting girls’ social lives. Similarly, the UAE laws against premarital sex aim mainly to prevent teen pregnancies among school-going girls. In this case, the big question is, “what about the boys?

Notably, the boychild’s plights are as crucial as the girlchild’s. According to Chang’ach (2012), neglecting boy’s interest and needs, endanger their education progress. The belief that boys are steadier than boys while girls are more vulnerable contributes to the neglection of boys, causing a decline in their academic performance. Chang’ach (2012) insisted that letting boys to be independent causes a psychological breakdown in their personalities since they lack models to guide them as well as attend to their needs. The teachers, the respondents in Chang'ach's study, claimed that the negative parental environment around the boys affected their performance (Chang’ach, 2012). Chang’ach gives an example of Kalenjin parents in Kenya who are less strict to their male children (Chang’ach, 2012). For example, boys are allowed to attend discos and pools while the girls are expected to stay at home or to go church only if they must go out. This freedom that young boys are exposed to risk them to a lot of immorality like alcoholism, that affect their academic performances.

Likewise, the Children’s Bureau (2019) suggested the implication that result from neglecting children. The most significant one is that children suffer psychologically and emotionally once they feel neglected. They usually feel unloved; thus, they end up losing their self-worth and withdrawing themselves from society (Children’s Bureau, 2019). Based on this information, it can be concluded that the boychild neglection by community, at large, damages his mental fitness that limits his effectiveness in schooling. For instance, an unloved boy will get depressed, affecting his intelligence level since his brain is getting stressed by other unnecessary events. Moreover, the low self-esteem limits him from interacting with others at school due to diminished confidence, which, in turn, makes his learning a bit challenging (Children’s Bureau, 2019). For example, the boy becomes shy to answer questions in class, making it impossible for his teacher to assess his understanding capabilities.


Indeed, the reasons that make girls perform better academically than boys are affected by innate and social factors. Girls’ tendency of behaving accordingly to having good grades, like being disciplined, can be explained through gender disparities that maintain that girls are softer than boys. However, behavior is strongly encouraged by social factors, such as parental strictness, that tend to favor them by molding them towards achieving excellence in school, and life, in general.


Chang’ach, K. J. (2012). An Unfinished Agenda: Why Is the Boychild Endangered? International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 2(4), 181-189. Retrieved from

Children’s Bureau. (2019). Long-term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect. Child Welfare Information Gateway Factsheet. Retrieved from

Dekker, S., Krabbendam, L., Lee, N. C., Boschloo, A., De Groot, R., & Jolles, J. (2013). Sex differences in goal orientation in adolescents aged 10–19: The older boys adopt work-avoidant goals twice as often as girls. Learning and Individual Differences, 26, 196-200. Retrieved from

Mathew, S. J., Morrison, J. F. & Ponitz, C. C. (2009). Early Gender Differences in Self-Regulation and Academic Achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(2), 689-704. Retrieved from

Simba, O. N., Agak, O. J. & Kabuka, K. E. (2016). Impact of Discipline on Academic Performances of Pupils in Public Schools in Muhoroni Sub-County, Kenya. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(6), 164-174.

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Essay Example on Gender & Education: Unlocking Opportunities for Women & Girls. (2023, Sep 02). Retrieved from

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