Females are now able to achieve more in the education system. This is due to the pattern of achievement. Since the early 90’s females have been achieving higher and high and have clearly overtaken males. In 2003/4 the females had taken over males by 20% in achieving 5 or more A*-C GCSE grades. This astronomical gender gap is now causing some sociologists to be concerned in male underachievement in the education system.
However, being publicised by the media, males are not underachieving; they are not improving as quickly as females. Sociologists such as Sue Sharpe and Weiner, Arnot and David look at the reasons for the female’s success. Whereas sociologists, like Paul Willis and Mitsos and Browne suggest reasons for male underachievement. Sue Sharpe’s study discovered that in the 1970’s girls had low expectations and were more likely to become a housewife and mother. They only saw jobs as a means of getting money before they married.
When she when she revisited girls in the 1990’s, they had higher expectation and saw jobs as careers. Weiner, Arnot and David are cynical about the underachievement of boys. They feel that the concern about the boy’s underachievement is a reaction against the progress of women. They say that girls are succeeding because of the National Curriculum at GCSE level, but at A-level the subjects are still gendered. Meaning that not many females pick certain subjects – therefore limiting the subjects that can do.