Lazy lads balk at 'feminine' study

July 14, 2006

Many young men assume they are too laddish, lazy and disorganised to go to university, a study suggests, writes Jessica Shepherd.

According to a recent survey, they believe that university life requires them to adopt more "feminine characteristics" such as diligence and self-control.

Academics at the Institute of Education quizzed 38 men enrolled at two universities and three further education colleges in London for the study.

They discovered that society's preconception of men as "naturally lazy" made it more difficult for the men, aged between 18 and 54, to enter higher education.

Penny-Jane Burke, who led the study, Ma sculinities and Educational Participation - Men Returning to Study , said: "The men expressed a need to fight against their perceived natural flaws, such as a tendency to take a lazy attitude to their studies.

"The men thus engaged in disciplining their minds and bodies against some forms of masculinity - lack of diligence and, in the words of one participant, being too 'loud and crazy'."

Despite the male stereotypes, university was still linked to success in the respondents' minds.

They saw a male university student or a male graduate as an independent and successful man who could meet his family's material needs.

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