Gender Differences in Academic Performance

Biological determinism implies that social behaviour is an outcome of biological dissimilarities among boys and girls. Hence, the famous debate related to nature versus nurture biological determinism tends to accentuate the role of nature in explaining human behaviour. For instance, in explaining the role of elderly females in the moral upbringing of their children and grandchildren, this paradigm may explain that, after a period of fertility, females have menopause where their sexual desires are attenuated and moral desires are amplified through a biological process. Hence, moral socialisation is a result of these biological instincts rather than social pressures or norms. Similarly, this biological determinism approach argues that the female and male basis of differences is based on God’s gifted intelligence and skills. Moreover, this biological differential approach to study academic performance in tertiary education is also used in the fields of sociology, education, anthropology, psychology, and other interlinked disciplines.
Several researchers have highlighted that females and males have different sizes of brain, intelligence, and reasoning skills based on their biological characteristics. Based on these differences, they argue that males perform better than female students in educational examinations at the tertiary level. Moreover, the male brain size is bigger than the female brain size. So, they store more memory. Therefore, males with a big size of the brain perform better in educational examinations as compared to females who have small brains.
Moreover, biological proponents argue that females and males have physiological differences. Furthermore, males have high reasoning and cognitive skills as compared to females. Therefore, male students outplay females in tertiary educational examinations. Likewise, this approach also segregates the educational performance of female students in arts and male students in science disciplines. This argument is also linked that female students are strong in verbal and gesture learning. On the other side based on reasoning skills, male students perform better in engineering and science. Furthermore, males are considered physically strong as compared with females which give results in better results in reasoning skills. Likewise, females are passive and males are enthusiastic. Therefore, female performance in education is linked to their body characteristics. Consequently, they can’t perform the daring type of work including studying science subjects and outdoor activities in normal life. Similarly, learning abilities are linked with their menstruation period.
Empirical evidence showed that female students secure better grades in examination results. This notion rejects the argument of biological proponents in terms of the biological basis of the academic performance of females and males. Moreover, this approach also highlights that female students’ lagging in examinations was traditionally linked with biological determinism, and socio-cultural determinism was unnoticed. Likewise, there is also debate that female students in the developed world are free to form cultural pressure and may perform better than males in examinations. In addition to this argument, female students also perform well in achieving better positions during puberty, and the menstruation cycle does not affect their cognitive roots.
Contrary to it, female students outshining males in tertiary education based on socio-cultural and study environments including other linked factors rather than biological determinism’s view. It is a gaudily clearer picture from the previous results records of developed, developing, and Muslim world that female students are performing better not only at school, and college, and also at a higher educational level. It also opens a new discussion among research scholars that biological differences are not valid factors for females lagging in educational examinations.
Moreover, it favours the argument that gender is a socially constructed phenomenon and that differences among female and male educational performances are based on femininity and masculinity rather than biological differences. Socio-cultural and socio-religious factors of female education have not been considered with serious concerns in the past. Relatively, it was assumed based on biological deterministic factors that males are more intellectual and better performers than females. Likewise, there was a debate between non-academic and academic circles in the light of gender differentials in academic performance in education. It is pertinent here to mention that deterministic factors on gender differentials in educational performance have added a major contribution to the subject i.e., gender and education.

The writer is working as a chairperson and associate professor of sociology at University of Gujrat. He may be contacted at shoaibsoc@uog.edu.pk

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