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‘Boys are worse readers than girls’

By Megan Rose

Recent research has found that boys are worse at reading than girls, The Independent has reported.

Two studies, which were carried out by Keith Topping, Professor of Educational and Social Research at the University of Dundee, found that girls are more competent readers than their male counterparts.

The research, which involved more than a million children aged between five to 18, assessed participants responses to questions after reading a particular book. The questions were designed to assess how well the book was understood and were evaluated using a specially made computer system.

The data showed that ‘males were significantly worse' on all aspects of the evaluation. Speaking to The Guardian, Professor Topping said boys’ were ‘worse on the [quiz] outcome measures, didn’t gain as much in performance on reading tests and their average percentage correct in the tests was low.’

The research also found that boys were less likely to choose more challenging books than girls, as well as more likely to skip pages or leave out certain parts altogether. There was no identifiable reason to explain why boys were so far behind on their reading. Socioeconomic status had no impact. 

Professor Topping suggested that receiving regular feedback could help improve boys’ reading as well as discussing storylines and other literary devices.

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