Home » Teachers Are Hard-Wired To Give Girls Better Grades, Study Says

Teachers Are Hard-Wired To Give Girls Better Grades, Study Says

by Narges Mohammadi

Teachers give higher grades to girls than to boys with the same academic ability, according to a study published today in the British Journal of Sociology of Education.

And the bias is evident across different types of schools and for different teacher characteristics, suggesting teachers are hard-wired to give girls higher marks.

The size of the gap is considerable and could have significant long-term consequences, both on college admission and employment prospects, the researchers say.

“There is a strong correlation between having higher grades and desirable educational outcomes, such as gaining admission to good colleges or having a lower probability of dropping out of school,” says researcher Ilaria Lievore, at Italy’s University of Trento.

“Consequently, higher grades are also correlated with other outcomes, such as having higher earnings, a better job or even higher life satisfaction.”

The gender gap is a common feature of education systems around the world. In standardized tests, girls tend to outperform boys in humanities, languages and reading skills, while boys tend to do better in math, but when grades are awarded by teachers, girls do better in all subjects.

But today’s study is thought to be the first to demonstrate that the problem is systemic, rather than being dependent on types of school, the gender mix in the classroom or individual teachers.

Researchers compared the results of standardized anonymous tests taken by almost 40,000 15 and 16-year-olds in language and math with the grades the same students were awarded in classroom tests.

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