The Male Dilemma: Patterns of Gender Disparity in Academic Performance in Oman

Mohammed Osman, Thuwaiba Albarwani, Abdo Al Mekhlafi

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The fact that young males lag behind their female counterparts in school and at university has become part of a
worldwide phenomenon. There is currently a reasonable concern in many academic circles that boys are not succeeding
in school as much as they should. It is feared that this phenomenon will have serious implications on the structure of
the labor market, as well as on the family structures and relationships. Globally, boys are more likely to ‘drop out’ of schooling prematurely, and
this in turn, results in lesser employment opportunities and therefore, inferior quality of life. It is important, therefore, to understand not only
the nature of the actual performance differences, but also which differences matter and why. This paper is part of a larger project, which seeks
to systematically examine why young males in Oman do not seem to be performing academically well compared to their female counterparts;
and to identify and examine the factors that influence boys’ school performance. This specific study aims to determine the level of academic
disparity in different subject areas and at different age groups. The total sample of the study consists of 8000 students from all regions of the
Sultanate in three different grade levels: Grades 5, 10, and 12. Data collected from students' records revealed that girls outperformed boys with
an average of 10% in science, math, IT, English and Arabic language. The results of this study will be used as a launching board for planning
relevant pedagogical, psychological, and sociological interventions as well as in developing a practical gender equity strategy. This paper may
have implications for other education systems that are beginning to experience reversed gender discrimination in education.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberISSN No 2277- 8160
Journal Global Journal for Research Analysis
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Gender Gap, Academic disparity, Science, Math, IT, English, Arabic language, Social balance, male dilemma, Oman, gender equity, Reversed gender discrimination.

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