Boys, Masculinity and Education

Barbara Bailey
Data for three levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary) for 202 countries across the globe 1 indicate that moving from primary through secondary to the tertiary level, Gender Parity Indices (GPI) increased from 0.96 to 0.97 to 1.40 indicating that at the higher levels of education enrolment ratios favour females. This pattern is consistent with the general situation in the Caribbean resulting in the now widely accepted but largely uncritical discourse on male underachievement, fuelled
more » ... chievement, fuelled as this is by what appears to be a concomitant increase in violent crimes across the region, perpetrated, in many instances, by males under the age of 25 years. Based on analyses of secondary level entry and performance data at two different time periods, 2004 2 and 2007 3 , it is evident that the phenomenon has more to do with under-participation than it has to do with underachievement. The data indicate that performance of the boys who remain in the system is creditable, particularly in critical areas such as science and technology. Claims of 'male underachievement', therefore, are relative and emerge by comparing the achievement of boys with that of girls. This approach to the problem draws Barbara Bailey: Boys, Masculinity and Education 283