AskDefine | Define schoolgirl

Dictionary Definition

schoolgirl n : a girl attending school

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English

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Extensive Definition

A schoolgirl is a girl attending either primary or secondary school. They are generally aged between four and eighteen years old.

Academic performance

In general, girls perform more poorly than boys on standardized tests. This has led to calls for greater equality in the school system. The disparity in test scores is attributed to a number of factors, such as girls being generally less aggressive than boys and thus getting less attention from the teachers, gender-bias in test questions, or a gender difference in proficiency at essay and fill-in questions versus multiple choice. According to The National Center for Fair & Open Testing, "despite the fact that females earn higher grades throughout both high school and college, they consistently receive lower scores on the exam than do their male counterparts. In 2001, females averaged 35 points lower than males on the Math section of the test, and 3 points lower on the Verbal section."
Some researchers, such as Howe, http://www.scre.ac.uk/rie/nl60/nl60howe.html have found that schoolgirls respond less well to a competitive environment than do schoolboys, and some argue that girls are better suited to a single sex classroom environment.
One of the factors hampering girls in the developing world is attending school in the first place. The United Nations has argued that given that "Two-thirds of illiterates are women", they argue that we should work to "Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015". This was set out by the UN as a Millennium Development Goal.

School uniform

In many schools, girls are required to wear school uniforms. For many girls, this gives them a sense of collective identity, unity and equality. For others, the fact that they are forced to wear a particular type of clothing (such as a dress) is a source of frustration and tension.

In popular culture

Schoolgirls are often discussed in books, films and the media in general. Often in fiction, they are portrayed as giggly, immature and flip-flopping in their opinions. Occasionally they are portrayed as nymphets, as in the book Lolita and on various commercial websites. However, this portrayal is somewhat at odds with the experience and behavior of most schoolgirls.
The school uniform, particularly the Catholic school uniform and Japanese school uniform, is an icon representation of schoolgirls in popular culture. For example, the schoolgirl outfit that Britney Spears wore for parts of the "...Baby One More Time" music video has also become one of her unofficial 'trademarks', an easily-recognizable public way of representing her.

In pornography

Schoolgirls are a common genre of pornography, particularly Japanese pornography. The schoolgirl genre generally focuses on the schoolgirl uniform fetish or cheerleaders in combination with an interest in youthful women ranging from ephebophilia to Pedophilia (referred to as child pornography), though sometimes it features neither having adults dress as schoolgirls. Lolicon is the Japanese slang term for the fetish of young girls used to refer to pornography featuring drawn images of children or characters or models that appear to be children, especially schoolgirls.

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