< Back to previous page


Do girls make boys study? Gender composition, gender role culture and sense of futility in Flemish secondary schools

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

This study examines whether the gender difference in sense of academic futility is related to the proportion of girls attending a school. We argue that the more progressive gender role culture in schools with a higher proportion of girls might influence especially boys' sense of futility. Multilevel analyses of data gathered in 2014 from 5,162 second-grade students in 57 secondary schools in Flanders confirm a small but significant gender difference in sense of futility. The more girls at school, the less feelings of futility boys manifest. This impact can be explained by boys' traditional gender role attitudes. For girls, the impact of gender composition, higher feelings of futility in schools with more girls, is buffered by girls' progressive gender role attitudes. In schools with more girls, boys display lower levels of futility than girls. Finally, this impact of gender composition can be ascribed to the students' educational track.
ISSN: 1552-8499
Issue: 2
Volume: 52
Pages: 229 - 250
Publication year:2020