But is the reverse true in education - that a lack of male teachers and role models can prevent boys from "taking off" academically? Not according to University of Hertfordshire reseachers, who report that male:female teacher ratios have no effect on primary schools' key stage 2 results.
The study was unable to show that boys score the same, irrespective of whether they have a male or female teacher. Nevertheless, the researchers are almost certainly right. Rather than worrying about how to attract more hunky, sports-playing men into primaries we should be trying to ensure that teachers of both sexes have a better understanding of what makes boys tick.