Gender versus GPA

Biology can have an effect on academic success


In school every day, students across the globe feel pressure to perform well and strive for a high GPA. For many of them, their success is so important because of the impact it could potentially have regarding further education and careers. The unrecognized fact is that there is more to good grades than work ethic. So many factors can contribute to grades including gender and the developmental stage of the brain that correlates with it.

Comparing males and females can produce useful information in the movement towards political, social, and economic equality. Particularly in the education systems, gender gaps can be observed.

One of the biggest criticisms of the school system is the way grades are earned and distributed. Generally speaking, grades have a multitude of contributing factors including homework, classwork and testwork. In my opinion, this plays on the strength of a more mature brain, which, according to Sarah Napton at The Telegraph, is likely to be found in growing females, causing the GPA gap.

During the development of the brain, some factors of maturity can affect organizational skills. Napton says that maturity develops very different in each person’s life. At a certain point, their brain begins to “prune” or forget information so that they are able to focus on more important things and become more effective in a school setting. This process is closely linked to puberty.

Girls can experience these changes up to 10 years earlier than boys. In fact, boys may not experience some of these changes until as late as the age of 20, far later than the average graduation age. This means that during high school, boys may not be as apt to do the kind of work provided as girls are. They may learn at the same rate as girls, but they are not as fit for the kind of work given to them during high school. The simple difference between the development of the brain can impact performance drastically.

According to and, It is a common trend that on standardized tests like the ACT and SAT, boys perform better specifically on math and science portions. Girls generally take the lead in the English portions. The overall scores between the genders are very similar on standardized tests that measure aptitude for secondary education.

When it comes to school work, patterns contradict test scores and are very clear and consistent between boys and girls. According to a study from 2013 by ACT inc., there was an average of .17 GPA difference with girls surpassing boys in all course subjects tested. With an perceptively even playing field in standardized tests, a difference in GPA may be the only thing distinguishing boys and girls. While this seems minute, it can have a large influence on the college admittance process.

Performance differences do not stop in the school setting. Even after the developmental stages of life, the biology of the human brain varies among gender. According to a study provided by, women face discrimination and limitations imposed by gender roles in the workplace. For this reason, they generally work hard in order to compete with men. There will always be a difference between the sexes because of the structure of society. The only controllable thing is our reaction.