This table shows ten important disadvantages of being male in the UK. References are to official data sources.
|Male disadvantage||Detail and references|
|1 Boys lag behind girls at every stage of education and are more likely to be excluded from school.||Key Stage 2: 54% of boys 63% of girls met the expected standard in reading, writing and maths.|
Boys are 1% higher than girls in Maths. Source: Department for Education (Key stage 2 attainment) –
GCSE (2022): 46.2% boys and 52.5% of girls in 2022 achieved a Grade 5 or above in English and Maths. Source: Department for Education (Key stage 4 performance) –
A Level (2022): The proportion of girls with an A or higher was 36.9% this year and 34.7% for boys.
There were 80,000 more A-Levels awarded to girls than boys. Source: Ofqual A level results (England) –
Exclusions Source: Department for Education (permanent exclusions and suspensions in England) –
|2 Only 45% of university entrants are men.||UCAS entry figures 2021 (UK domicile): Statistical releases – daily clearing analysis 2021.|
(All ages) Men: 186,710. Women: 261,370
(18 year olds) Men: 118,220. Women: 154,290
That’s 43% for 18 year old men. (often used benchmark.)
|3 13% of men aged 16 to 24 years are NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training).||Source: Office for National Statistics – Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), UK: March 2021 –|
|4 Suicide death rates among men are three times higher than for women.||In 2021, 4,704 men in England, Wales and Scotland took their own lives. This is an increase from 4,500 registered in 2020. With 2020 figures from Northern Ireland (160), this is the equivalent of 13 per day. |
Men make up 75% of all deaths by suicide and it is the biggest cause of male deaths under 50.
Source: Office for National Statistics, “Suicides in England and Wales”, September 2022: Source: Public Health Scotland, “Suicide statistics for Scotland”; August 2022: Source: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, “Suicide Statistics 2020”
|5 Life expectancy is 3.9 years lower for men than women.||2020 (79.0 years for males and 82.9 years for females) Source: Office for National Statistics: National life tables (life expectancy in the UK: 2018 to 2020)|
|6 Men more likely to die of a cancer or Covid;||Cancer: In 2018, 88,959 men in the UK died of cancer (77,778 women) and their survival rates are lower than women.|
Source: Cancer Research UK, ‘Cancer mortality for all cancers combined’, visited 7/1/22:
Covid: Between March 2020 and November 2021, 93,665 men died due to Covid-19 (77,990 women) . Men made up a higher portion of Covid mortality rates. For working age men and women: 31 deaths per 100,000 and 17 per 100,000, respectively;
Source: Office for National Statistics, ‘Deaths involving COVID-19 by month of registration’, December 2021.
|7 Rough sleepers 85% are male;||Source: DLUCH (Rough sleeping snapshot in England: autumn 2021)|
|8 Men make up 96% of prisoners. Many were abused as children or have learning difficulties;||Population: Ministry of Justice: Prison population figures (2020).|
Learning Difficulties: One third of prisoners have a learning difficulty and/or disability. Source: Hansard.
Abused as a child: 84% men in prison said they experienced an ‘adverse childhood experience’.
Source: Public Health Wales and Bangor University This report also showed that many prisoners had experienced abuse (29%) or observed violence in the home (41%) as a child.
Source: Ministry of Justice, prisoners’ childhood and family backgrounds Results from the Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR) longitudinal cohort study of prisoners.
|9 A million UK children are growing up with little or no contact with their father;||Centre for Social Justice: Fractured Families –|
|10 Men and boys are often portrayed in a negative light in the media.||The bad actions of a minority are highlighted. The good, everyday actions of men at work, with their children etc are minimised.|