Reading gap between boys and girls is widening again

Girls enjoy reading more than boys and receive more encouragement from their parents, according to a new report. But although the reading gap is widening, there is no strategy to tackle it, the BBC reports.

The report from the All-Party Literacy Group Commission found that although there had been improvements in boys’ reading, some boys find it ‘nerdish’. In 2011, only 80% of boys reached the expected reading level at 11 compared with 88% of girls, 14 year-old girls outstripped boys by 12%, and 59% of boys achieved an A-C in English compared to 73% of girls.

The report estimates that the girls have been outperforming boys in literacy for up to 60 years, so the reading gap is nothing new. It suggests that the interplay of the school system, the home environment and gender identity damage boys’ reading and Commission chairman Gavin Barwell MP called for specific action to tackle the issue.

Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo said: “The problem is cultural and deep-seated, therefore unlikely to be resolved quickly. The effort to turn things round has to be multi-faceted and has to be sustained over decades.”

Who or what do you think is to blame for the gender gap in reading and what should be done about it?

 

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