Caroline Murphy writes for the University of Birmingham’s Redbrick on the problem behind gender type-casting in education:
In the past, when I’ve sat around the dinner table, my parents have often referred to the fact that they did odd subjects at school that would never be considered now. My mum was exposed to a compulsory knitting class, whilst her male counterparts were ordered to do woodwork. Whilst many would not even consider doing this now, is this gender separation still present in some subjects that we’re offered at school and university?
There has been discussion in the news recently about how girls are lacking in many A level physics classes, mainly in mixed sex comprehensives. The Institute of Physics found that this year, almost half of all state schools did not send any girls onto A level physics at all, and with those that do just under 2% of girls take on physics at A level. Is there really still the thought that boys do science and girls to arts?
I would like to think not, but there is still a slight, unforced gender difference in some subjects. In Birmingham’s History of Art department there are two boys out of a group of approximately thirty in second year. In my English lectures and seminars you only need to scan the room to notice the ratio of boy to girl tips quite considerably towards the female side. A friend of mine studying Astrophysics in Aberystwyth University believes she could count the amount of girls on her course with one hand. Why is this?
Full article here.