Studying the Motivation According to the Gender

Instead of focusing on how behaviors are developed about achievement motivation, there is a current trend of finding out the why behind achievement-related behavior. Among the variables correlated with motivation, gender appears to yield inconclusive yet insightful results. This chapter will highlight literature related to the study of gender and motivation among students. It will provide support for the significant role that gender plays in the motivation of children in school. Furthermore, it will give justification for the importance of conducting the proposed study.Research on gender differences in terms of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation has only provided partial support for significant effects. Using the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory, Gottried found no differences in intrinsic motivation in reading, math, social studies, and science in a sample of fourth through seven graders (qt. in Grolnick, Gurland, Jacob and Decourcey 153). The same is true for extrinsic motivation as supported by the study of Grolnick et al. using the Relative Autonomy Index. In related research, Pintrich and Degroot also found that girls and boys did not differ on their reported intrinsic value for school (qt. in Grolnick et al. 153). Still, certain domains on motivation have been reported to be significantly affected by gender. As such, there is continuing research interest in the role of gender in the motivation of students.There have been studies showing that significant gender differences in motivation exist at specific domains and ages. In a longitudinal study conducted by Wigfield, among students in first to sixth grade, girls valued reading and instrumental music more than boys, (qtd. in Grolnick et al. 153) while sports was found more important among boys than girls. A study conducted by Harter and Jackson also revealed that there was a sharp decline in intrinsic motivation for science and math between fifth and sixth grade for girls but not boys (qt. in Grolnick et al. 153).