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Literacy - Rid reading of 'feminine' tag

The gap between boys and girls in their attitudes and participation in reading and writing has widened since 2005, according to new National Literacy Trust research.

Of the 17,089 young people surveyed this year, girls read significantly more frequently than boys: 39 per cent said they read every day, compared with 28 per cent of boys. Five years ago, 42 per cent of girls said they read every day, compared with 35 per cent of boys. Reading frequency is strongly linked to attainment levels.

National Literacy Trust director Jonathan Douglas said: "Our culture typecasts reading, and writing as feminine activities, and stereotypes and attitudes must change if we want our boys to achieve the same academic success as girls."

The National Literacy Trust research also found that:

- 43 per cent of boys say they enjoy reading compared with 58 per cent of girls;

- 19 per cent of boys say they only read in class, while just 11 per cent of girls agree with this statement;

- 24 per cent of boys think reading is boring, compared with 13 per cent of girls;

- twice as many boys as girls "never" write (8 per cent of boys; 4 per cent of girls).

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