According to a new doctoral thesis, the answer to why pupils perform differently in school is not found by looking at girls and boys as separate groups.
There is no doubt that boys and girls perform differently at school. But simply looking at gender in order to understand why is not enough.
Boys in primary school talk about their feelings and hold hands. And they are very, very concerned about their bodies and appearance.
A dedicated football player, a disciplined martial arts practitioner or a respected weightlifter? According to a recent Norwegian study, young girls are most concerned with their appearance as they become teenagers, but boys must do something to become young men. Their choice of activity is also a choice of masculine identity.
In the public debate Norwegian schools are criticized for being feminized. But according to Professor Harriet Bjerrum Nielsen, it is not the schools that are poorly suited to boys – it is the girls who are better suited to the demands of modern working life.