Last Updated on April 18, 2018 by Karl Thompson
Using material from item A and elsewhere, analyse two reasons why women remain economically disadvantaged compared to men despite the increase in the gender gap in educational achievement (10)
Girls have been outperforming boys in education for 30 years now. However, despite this, men still earn more than women.
There are many explanations for this: the most obvious being that schools fail to adequately tackle other aspects of gender inequality: such as gender differences in socialisation, social roles and gendered differences in subject choice.
One reason is that despite getting better qualifications than men, women are more likely to work part-time than men.
This is because despite changes to education in the world of work women are still more likely to be the primary child carers, and thus take time off work, putting their careers on hold in order to bring up children.
According to Radical Feminists this shows that schools fail to tackle in-grained gendered socialisation learnt at home and via the media…. girls may increasingly be going into careers, but by the time they get to 35 and have their first baby it is generally women who take time off work, not men.
This might be because schools only focus on the formal aspects of qualifications (i.e. exam skills, grades) and fail to challenge gender-stereotypes about appropriate future work roles for men and women.
This could also be linked marketization – the curriculum narrows to focus on teaching to the test rather than focussing on broader educational issues such as promoting gender equality and diversity.
A second reason may be that girls are more likely to choose caring subjects which are linked to lower paid careers such as health and social care which leads into nursing.
In contrast boys choose more technical subjects which are linked to more highly paid careers, such as maths and computer programming leading onto engineering and computer programming.
According to labelling theory, this happens because of gendered stereotypes held by careers advisors, with subject advisors steering girls and boys into ‘traditional subject choices’.
This criticises the Liberal Feminist view that mere ‘equality of opportunity’ is sufficient to being about wage equality, and supports the Radical Feminist view that patriarchy (in the form of stereotypical assumptions) still works within schools to disadvantage girls.
However, all of this is changing and that a higher proportion of girls are choosing to do traditionally male subjects and are going into male jobs in greater numbers and that things are actually becoming more equal. Supporting evidence for this lies in the fact that women in their 20s actually earn more than men in their 20s.
Women do lower payed jobs than men.
Also subject choice