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Gender and education refers to the sociological opinion that the educational system doesn’t offer the same opportunities to both genders equally. It’s a type of gender discrimination, where a student is excluded from a certain group due to their gender, or they’re denied a program or student loan or other opportunity due to gender. It could affect either men or women.

What’s known as the “gender gap” in education most often focuses on the advantage males have over females in science and math. However, females are almost always ahead of males in literacy. In fact, the latest U.S. test scores, by the NAEP, show that girls have met or exceeded the reading performance of boys at all age levels. According to Wikipedia: “Studies have attributed these disparities to several main factors. First of these is an innate difference in the brain function of males and females. Females have the advantage in their left hemisphere with speaking, reading and writing. Their right hemisphere allows females to feel empathy and to better understand and reflect on their feelings and the feelings of others. Both hemispheres are actively contributing to necessary literacy practices. On the other hand, boys use their left hemisphere to recall facts and rules and to categorize, while their right-hemisphere is used with visual-spatial and visual-motor skills, which enables them to excel in topics like geography, science, and math.” In 2005-2006, in the United States, women earned more degrees (Associates, Bachelor‘s and Master‘s) than men, but more men earned Doctorates.

What’s interesting, however, is that despite these figures for the United States, worldwide, men are more likely to be literate than women, with 100 men for ever 88 women considered literate. It’s even more of a difference in some countries. For instance, in Bangladesh, there are only 62 women literate for every 100 men. Things have improved in some countries within the last generation, with a significant increase in women’s education.


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