An Investigation Into Gender Difference On Academic Performance Of Science Students


The purpose of the study was to find An Investigation Into Gender Difference On Academic Performance

Of Science Student  in Nigeria, A study of  Lagos state; the study was carried out using five secondary schools. Data sources included head teachers, directors of schools, teachers and students. There were three research questions which were used namely: what is the academic performance of boys and girls? What are the differences in academic performance of boys and girls? What factors lead to differences in academic performance between boys and girls? The study involved (40) students, (30) teachers (05) directors, (05) head teachers making a total sample size of 80 respondents. The teachers and students were randomly selected yet; the head teachers and directors were purposively selected. The data was collected using questionnaires for students, teachers and head teachers and interview guides for directors of studies. Finding revealed that by overall performance, male students performed much better as compared to their female counterparts. At subject level, girls outperformed boys in the languages, while boys led the girls in the sciences. The majority views of students (56%), male teachers (65%), head teachers (76%), and directors (82%) agreed and strongly so that, boys perform better than girls, only a total of 51% of female teachers disagreed and strongly so with this view. There were significant gender differences by overall performance with more boys passing in form 1 and 2 as compared to the girls in the same divisions. At science subject level girls attained a higher mean average mark compared to the boys. Conversely, boys scored higher mean average in the sciences than girls. There were no gender differences in the views of students although majority agreed on the superior performance of boys, just like the head teachers and directors female and male teachers showed gender differences in their views. Results shows that, teachers, negative attitudes and behaviors and ,time wasting among girls, more reading hours for boys, inadequate facilities, teachers, dissatisfaction and lack of motivation in girls, irregular attendance to school by girls, low persistence and their inferiority complex, were the factors for observed gender differences in the selected school in Lagos state. Based on the findings, the study recommends that; Training in gender sensitive techniques through workshops for to teachers to change their attitudes and behaviours, Parental involvement, Girls should be taught time management techniques, Government should help schools acquire basic learning facilities.





This chapter introduces the background to the study, statement of the study, statement of the problem, purpose, objectives of the study, research questions, scope, significance and definitions of terms and abbreviations.


            Backgrounds to the study.

Education in Nigeria is the responsibility of the ministry of education where by one of the aims of the ministry is to guarantee quality education system in the county. Schools whether public or private have a number of stakeholders undertaking certain activities.


On the contrary, findings of different scholars, Maceoby and Jackline (1974), blot Jeane (1979) seem to advance that sex differences also contribute to variation in academic performance .while archer and mc advocate that of boys better perform better than girls in many subjects. So basing on the above controversies among teachers and scholars, the research seeks to find out whether there are significant differences between boys and girls in academic performances and more so find out the causes for academic differences.


The governance of schools is therefore done through a coalition of interest, working together while performing different roles all aimed at enabling the school to operate and achieve its aims and objectives. The success in academic performance in schools is dependent on the quality of services available.


Academic performance is the quality and quantity of knowledge, skills, techniques and positive attitudes, behavior and philosophy that students achieve or acquire. This achievement is evaluated by the mark or grade that students attain in a term or education cycle. The quality of grades and the number of students that pass in the various grades determine the level of academic performance.


There are many factors, which account for the good or poor academic performance in secondary schools like; the quality of students admitted the type of scholastic materials available in the school and home environment, the methods of teaching, the nature of administration and teachers involvement in academic matters. However, it seems that the most important factor to the academic performance of students is the impact of sex differences on students; academic matters.


In the same way, academic performance in secondary schools is a concern of all people who have invested interest in schools. This category may include teachers, parents, administrators, proprietors and the public. Regarding performance discrepancies of boys and girls, Megary (1984) concluded that once out of the primary school environment, Females under achieve in a variety of subjects. The reason why this occurs has to be answered. This is in order to get a clear picture of situation from the Nigerian perspective; research on this topic is of paramount importance. Attempts will be made to identify the conditions presumed to be responsible for the differential performance of boys and girls as claimed by the teachers and some researchers.


            Statememt of problem

Research has shown that there are sex differences in the academic performance between boys and girls and researchers who have come out with contradicting finding about the impact of sex differences on academic performance have showed this. No similar studies have been undertaken in Nigeria more particularly in Lagos state



To investigate Into Gender Difference On Academic Performance Of Science Students



            Objectives of the study

  1. To establish academic performance of boys and
  2. To establish differences in academic performance between boys and
  3. To establish factors that lead to difference in academic


            Research questions

  1. What is the academic performance of boys and girls?
  2. What are differences in academic performance of boys and girls?
  3. What factors leads to academic performance between boys and girls?




The study was carried out in some selected secondary school in Lagos, Nigeria



This study might be of great importance to the following groups of people:


The teacher used this study to design suitable methods of teaching and to make the subject they teach relevant, interesting and meaningful to the learners. The teacher in grouping learners for self help, grouping in the class, that is, they avoid to bundle boys alone in one group but mix them with the rest of their girls counter parts.

It will also help them have an insight into some factors that affect girls’ academic performance.


It will also help them have an insight into some factors affecting the girl child academic performance. The teachers are also to explain to lay men in the profession of teaching, why boys are better classroom positions whenever responsibilities and tests are given respectively.



Other researchers may use this report as a point of reference and a base for carrying out research in other related areas of education.


Definitions of significant terms

In the study, terms used vary in meaning depending on their different contexts; it is therefore, the intention of the researcher to use the following meanings whenever the mention of the will be made;

Impact: The force with which one thing hits another or with which two things hit each other.


Sex: A state of being either male or female

School: Is a social institution that has a set up to ensure intellectual and cultural progress through teachings and learning?

Performance: Students academic score attained in a given task

Discrepancies: Differences between two things that should be the same.

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