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Literacy news

Our research reveals widening gender gap in boys’ and girls’ attitudes towards reading and writing

18 Aug 2010

The widening gender gap in boys’ and girls’ achievement, as shown in the recent Sats results, is supported by new National Literacy Trust research* which reveals the difference in attitudes and participation in reading and writing between the genders has increased since 2005.

Of the 17,089 young people surveyed girls read significantly more frequently than boys, with 39% of girls saying they read everyday, compared with just 28% of boys. This is compared with 2005 when 42% of girls said they read everyday, compared with 35% of boys. Reading frequency is strongly linked to attainment levels, with 60% of those who read every day achieving above the expected levels for their age compared with just 5% of those who ”never” read achieving above the expected levels.

 The National Literacy Trust research also reveals that:

  • 43% of boys say they enjoy reading compared with 58% of girls
  • 19% of boys say they only read in class while just 11% of girls agree with this statement
  • 24% of boys think reading is boring, compared with 13% of girls
  • 45% of girls like going to the library, while only 35% of boys do
  • Twice as many boys as girls “never” write (8% boys v 4% of girls)
  • Just 12% of boys write poems, compared with 21% of girls

Like our research, the recently released Sats results also show an increasing gender gap. In English Sats, 40% of girls obtained a standard higher than that expected of their age group, while just 26% of boys did so. This is a gap of 14 percentage points, compared with just 12 percentage points last year.

The research findings come as A-Level and GCSE results are released this week and next week respectively. With A-Level results predicted to improve for the 28th year in a row, they are expected to show an evident gender gap. Last year’s GCSE results showed a slight widening of the gap between boys’ and girls’ achievements at the highest levels and a gender gap is predicted in this year’s GCSE results.    

You can read the full media release here.

Tags: Children, Reading Champions, Reading Connects, Reading The Game, Schools & teaching, Words for Work, Young People

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The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.