New Research Suggests Boys Are Twice As Likely To Hate Writing: Research from the National Literacy Trust has suggested that boys are more than twice as likely to say that they ‘hate writing’ and would find it uncomfortable for their friends to watch them do it. More than one in five (20.9%) of boys suggested that they did not enjoy writing at all, compared to less than a tenth (8.6%) of girls – these results are taken from a survey of 35,000 pupils between the ages of eight and sixteen located across the UK. In addition, this dislike spreads to outside the classroom – with just under a third (30.2%) of boys saying they never or rarely write outside of school lessons, compared to only 17.3% of girls.
Perhaps most worryingly for male respondents are the connotations which seem to be associated with writing – almost a fifth of boys admitted they would be ‘embarrassed’ if their peers saw them writing, compared to only around one in eight girls. Either way, these figures seem high for a skill that is important in day to day life – particularly when around a third of boys felt there was no need to check spelling and grammar as technology is now able to carry out this task (only a fifth of girls said the same). Around 15% of both genders admitted to writing some of their school work in text speak – i.e. in a similar style to that they would use on mobile phones. Some of these abbreviations include ‘thnx’ for ‘Thanks’ and ‘cya l8r’ for ‘See you later’.
Positively, more than a third of girls said that they wrote everyday outside of school – and that they considered it cool.
In the survey, more than 3 in 4 of the children felt that writing was more fun when they were able to choose the topic – although around half struggled to choose a subject when given this opportunity. The National Literacy Trust has provided several tips on how to get boys to write more, including choosing subjects they will enjoy, laying out stories in a visual way and thinking about characters and setting before the plot.
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