Academics in the United Kingdom believe that a gap in the development and learning milestones between genders, could be significantly reduced by parents and teachers adopting a few changes. With UK Government research showing that 74.3% of five year old girls achieved the expected level of development, compared with 58.6% of boys, the gap appears to be widening.
The results showed that boys were particularly susceptible to being behind in language and communication when they commenced school, and by age 11, boys also were found to have weaker reading skills than their female peers of the same age.
These figures echoed a study by the ‘Save The Children Fund’ that warned of the need to take action to ensure boys were not left behind. Lagging behind at the start of their school career was often an indicator these youngsters would continue to be behind later on, the children's charity said.
To help reduce the gender gap researchers suggested that parents and teachers engaged boys in activities which were often more reserved for girls. These simple activities include painting and drawing, plus singing nursery rhymes and songs can assist with boosting language skills.
While the research was based on a UK study, the themes and results were by and large reflecting a trend apparent in many first world countries.