One of the most issues in the current debate all over the world has been that of gender difference and academic achievement among students in schools. Over the years, there has been a growing awareness of the role of women at home, in schools and community in general. However, worries have equally been expressed about the role of women in the political, social, cultural, psychological, economic, spiritual, scientific and technological development of the nation. A major area of concern has been the effect of gender difference on students’ academic achievement in social studies education.
However, the major focus of this research is to examine the difference between the academic achievement of male and female students in the junior school. In African culture, girls are not familiar with toys that promotes interest in sciences and technology. Their major duty is home management and childbearing. They are expected to cook and clean while boys engage in activities such as playing football, making bows and arrows, playing with catapults, flying kites and so on.
Bozimo (1991) noted that these activities promotes scientific knowledge and thus give them an edge over girls. Babalola and Adedeji (1997) also confirmed that women, throughout ages and everywhere in the world, have always been considered inferior to men. Jeeayinoluwa (2005) lamented that schools and the nation at large are making profound contribution to the creation of positive learning environment more in boys than girls.
Leged and Inyang (1990) confirmed in their study on gender differences and academic achievement in social studies education that male perform better than females. They affirmed that males demonstrated significantly more positive attitudes toward science than female. Schibbed (1984) also noted that females exhibit more positive attitude toward biology and male toward physics. Owuamanam and Babatunde (2007) observes that girls tend to go fpr courses or subject that do not require more energy and brain tasking such as home making while boys looked for jobs in management and engineering and other brain tasking profession. Both are social class factors which combine and interact with gender and seen as having a direct bearing on achievement. (plumme 2000 and Arnot 2003). Archer (2003) noted that gender inequalities are interwoven with social class, ethnicity, sexuality and disability. Another factor identified by him as influencing attainment is ethnicity.
However, the case of sex difference on influence as a determining factor towards academic achievement in social studies has been subjected to careless argument if there is any lapse in the performance of male and female in social education than positive attitudes should be instilled in both male and female students in order to develop their interest and capabilities in the area of social studies.
- Statement of the problem
In Nigerian school system, there are many female teachers in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State, for example, male and female are nearly at the same proportion pursue social studies in junior secondary schools. Federal Girls Secondary Schools are being established in many states of the nation to cater for girls interest, thus situation is at variance to what was obtained two, three decades ago. The society also expects different roles from both sexes. There are various opinions by some academicians as to the performance of both sexes academically. To this end, the study is programmed toward finding out wether there are difference in academic achievement between male and female students in the junior secondary school in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State as a result of gender differences.
- Purpose of the study
The study in intended to compare academic performance of male and female students in social studies in Uyo , Akwa Ibom State. The specific objective of the study are;