Though attitudes have shifted considerably with the recent growth of feminism, women's primary destiny is still seen as mother and housewife, and education still discriminates against girls. This sex discrimination takes place not only by the visible sexist messages still to be found in many school textbooks but also by the invisible and more subtle messages within the classroom which are inherent in the way teachers relate to students and students to each other. These messages are so important that even if sex discrimination were purged from textbooks, social relations within the classroom might open another door allowing bias to enter. Relationships inside the classroom are powerful but also largely unconscious, because they reflect the dominant social relations between men and women outside school. Since women are generally subordinate in the public world of work and politics and do not really count in the larger society, they do not really count in the schools. Despite this, research shows that girls are generally more successful than boys in primary school but are not rewarded for this early academic success. Boys receive most of the teachers' time and the lessons are geared to their interests. Teachers tend to know them better as individuals and spend a lot of time helping and encouraging them. By secondary school the silent lessons of earlier grades have taken effect. An Australian research shows that by this time boys receive on average 70% of teachers' time. The overall academic achievement of girls begins to lag behind boys. In the UK, 60% of girls leave school at age 16 without any educational qualifications. The sexes also begin to divide in subject choice with technical and scientific subjects dominated overwhelmingly by males.
In the poor countries 20.63% of boys and 17.39% of girls are in secondary or middle school education. In the middle income countries the figures are 37.48% of boys and 30.64% of girls. In the rich countries the corresponding figures are 89.55% of boys and 95.86% of girls. In these countries a level approaching 100% are entering basic or primary and secondary or middle school education, both generally corresponding to 10 or 12 years of me study.