A culture of low expectations around boys has been blamed for their low performance.
But now a new study has revealed naughty girls are actually more likely to get away with misbehaving in the classroom as it has less of an impact on their performance.
The research, by Brown University, found that behavioural problems at four or five years of age are more likely to have a long term impact on the exams results of boys than girls.
Researchers found that young boys with the same behaviour problems as girls tend to complete fewer years of schooling.
They argued this is partly because of the way their behaviour is treated by teachers.
The research suggested that behavioural problems in early childhood have a larger negative effect on high school and college completion rates for boys than girls.
Professor Jayanti Owens, author of the report, said: “When I compared four and five-year-old boys and girls who had the same levels of behaviour problems – including difficulty sustaining attention, regulating emotions, delaying gratification, and forming positive relationships with teachers and peers – I found that boys were less likely to learn and more likely to be held back in school.”
The study looked at how responses to children’s behaviour at school vary by gender and help determine overall educational attainment using a national sample of children born to women in their mid 20s in the 1980s and followed through to adulthood.
Prof Owens said: “Although the same behaviours have a worse impact on boys’ education, it is also the case that on average boys start school with higher levels of behavioural problems than girls.
“That boys typically have worse behaviours when they start school may help explain why their behaviours are more detrimental to achievement – stereotypes about boys’ bad behaviour may cause educators to take more and harsher actions against male students.
“This process may lead to a compounding and cyclical relationship between boys’ behaviour problems and lower achievement.”
(Written by Javier Espinoza, Education Editor, The Telegraph, June 22nd, 2016)