Girls and boys, there is life beyond Venus and Mars

Schools need to tackle narrow ideas about gender in the classroom that are damaging both to students’ education and life chances, argues Ruth Golding

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One former student of mine avoided lessons for three weeks because she didn’t want to see her ex-boyfriend. The break-up affected her attendance, she had sexualised comments aimed at her, and she was constantly crying.

It was apparent by her comments that she considered her feelings as less important than those of her ex. But the saddest part was that her education came last of all.

She was one of the girls I see regularly now in schools who are “hyperfeminine”. Girls like this take their self-worth from the boys around them and it can have devastating effects on their hopes, dreams and ...

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