In 2013, what was the approximate female-to-male ratio among students who took the AP exam in Spanish Literature and Culture?
19 girls for every 10 boys
To be precise: 11,740 girls took the AP exam in Spanish Literature and Culture, and 6,235 boys, which works out to 18.8 girls for every 10 boys. For these and other data on the AP exams, go to http://research.collegeboard.org/programs/ap/data/archived/2013.
There is no innate difference in the ability of girls and boys to master a foreign language; but in the United States, there is now a big gender gap in motivation. In other words: the biggest differences between girls and boys is not in what they can do but in what they want to do. In my visits to more than 380 schools over the past 14 years, I have learned a great deal about how to boost boys’ motivation in modern foreign languages as well as in English literature and creative writing, history and social studies, art and music. You can get a taste of this material in chapters 2 and 8 of my book Boys Adrift. Or, you could attend my workshop for teachers titled “Jane Eyre for Boys: Gender-specific strategies to break down gender stereotypes and broaden educational horizons.”
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