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Sociological Reasons for Differences in Gender Choice

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Sociological reasons for differences in gender choice

There are a number of reasons for the difference in subject choices, for example stereotyping, labelling, peer pressure, gender domain, etc. Firstly a reason for early socialisation is gender difference in subject choices, this is because early socialisation shapes children's gender identity. Patricia Murphy and Jannette Elwood (1998) show how these lead to different subject choices. Boys read hobby books and information texts, while girls are more likely to read stories about people. This helps to explain why boys prefer science subjects and why girls prefer subjects such as English. Furthermore gender domain shapes the child as a young as due to there experience like Naima Browne and Carol Ross (1991) argues those children's beliefs about 'gender domains' shaped by their early experiences and the expectations of adults. By gender domains, they mean the tasks and activities that boys and girls see as male or female 'territory' and therefore as relevant to themselves as relevant to themselves. Children are more confident when engaging in tasks that they see as part of their own gender domain. Secondly the gendered subject images gear the different in subject choices this is as some subjects are seen as boys' or girls' subjects. For example Anne Colley (1998) notes that computer studies are seen as a masculine subject for two reasons: it involves working with machines - part of the male gender domain and the way it is taught is off-putting to females. Tasks tend to be abstract and teaching styles formal, with few opportunities for group work which, as we saw earlier, girls tend to favour. Thirdly peer pressure is another cause of the gender difference in subject choices. Boys and girls may apply pressure to an individual if they disapprove of his or her choice. For example, boys tend to opt out of music…...

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