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Sexual stereotypes;In brief

The Equal Opportunities Commission has called for action to end stereotyping of boys and girls after new figures showed massive differences in the subjects they take after the age of 16.

An EOC report says girls are doing better than boys in maths, science and technology at GCSE but stereotyping is still strong at A-level and on university courses.

The most dramatic imbalances are shown in new figures on the former Government's flagship Modern Apprenticeship scheme.

Only 192 girls started apprenticeships in engineering and manufacturing, compared with 5,708 boys, according to previously unpublished figures, while hairdressing remains a typically female pursuit with 2,149 girls taking it up, compared to only 162 boys. Business administration and childcare are also overwhelmingly chosen by girls. Other figures published by the EOC confirm that on A-level and university courses far more men take maths, physics and technology while women opt for English, languages and social studies.

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