Teen boys less attentive at school than girls: OECD

March 5, 2015

Teenage boys are more likely to underachieve at school than their female counterparts but more likely to go on to study science and maths, an OECD report said Thursday.

"15-year-old boys are more likely than of the same age to be low achievers," the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its study of students from 65 countries and territories.

Boys spend "one hour less per week on homework than girls", the found, which translates into significantly lower scores for reading, mathematics and science.

"Outside of school, boys spend more time playing video games than girls and less time reading for enjoyment, particularly complex texts like fiction," the OECD added.

Boys are eight percentage points more likely than girls to declare that school is a "waste of time."

However, boys do have the advantage in mathematics—in no country surveyed do girls outperform boys at this age.

"In general, girls have less self-confidence than boys in their ability to solve mathematics or science problems. Girls—even high achieving girls—are also more likely to express strong feelings of anxiety towards mathematics," the report found.

As a consequence, the OECD found that less than five percent of girls surveyed said they were considering a career in computing or engineering.

"In virtually all countries, the number of boys thinking of a career in computing or engineering exceeds the number of girls contemplating such a career," said the OECD.

Overall, over the past century, rich world countries have made "significant progress" in narrowing gender gaps.

"Given equal opportunities, and girls, men and women have equal chances of achieving at the highest levels," the OECD stressed.

The OECD report was based on data collected for the 2012 PISA education survey, which questioned more than 510,000 15-year-olds and was published three days ahead of International Women's Day.

Explore further: Girls lead boys in academic achievement globally

Related Stories

Girls lead boys in academic achievement globally

January 26, 2015

Considerable attention has been paid to how boys' educational achievements in science and math compare to girls' accomplishments in those areas, often leading to the assumption that boys outperform girls in these areas. Now, ...

Teacher unconscious prejudices put girls off math, science

February 26, 2015

It's a fact: Women are vastly underrepresented in the fields of computer science, engineering, and mathematics. But less clear are the trajectories—academic and otherwise—that lead young women toward other professions. ...

1 in 5 boys got HPV shot in first year recommended

August 29, 2013

A new report offers a first look at how many boys are getting shots designed to protect girls from cervical cancer. Health officials say the number getting vaccinated so far is a good start.

Recommended for you

In colliding galaxies, a pipsqueak shines bright

February 20, 2019

In the nearby Whirlpool galaxy and its companion galaxy, M51b, two supermassive black holes heat up and devour surrounding material. These two monsters should be the most luminous X-ray sources in sight, but a new study using ...

When does one of the central ideas in economics work?

February 20, 2019

The concept of equilibrium is one of the most central ideas in economics. It is one of the core assumptions in the vast majority of economic models, including models used by policymakers on issues ranging from monetary policy ...

Research reveals why the zebra got its stripes

February 20, 2019

Why do zebras have stripes? A study published in PLOS ONE today takes us another step closer to answering this puzzling question and to understanding how stripes actually work.

Correlated nucleons may solve 35-year-old mystery

February 20, 2019

A careful re-analysis of data taken at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has revealed a possible link between correlated protons and neutrons in the nucleus and a 35-year-old mystery. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.