The belief that girls are brainier and better behaved is holding boys back at school, research suggests.
A study of British pupils found that, from a young age, children think girls are academically superior.
And, what’s more, they believe that adults think so too.
University of Kent researchers said the beliefs may be self-fulfilling and help explain why boys lag behind at so many subjects.
Simply boosting boys’ self-belief could help close the academic gap, they said.
Research showed that boys performed better in tests when told they were as good as girls.
In the first part of the study, 238 pupils aged between four and ten were given a series of statements about children’s ability and behaviour.