This innovative book looks at how and why girls and boys adopt 'laddish' behaviours in schools. It examines the ways in which students negotiate pressures to be popular and 'cool' in school alongside pressures to perform academically. It also deals with the fears of academic and social failure that influence pupils' school lives and experiences. Drawing extensively on the voices of students in secondary schools, it explores key questions about laddish behaviours, such as: Are girls becoming more laddish - and if so, which girls? Do boys and girls have distinctive versions of laddishness? What motivates laddish behaviours? What are the consequences of laddish behaviours for pupils? What are the implications for teachers and schools? The author weaves together key contemporary theories and research on masculinities and femininities with social psychological theories and research on academic motives and goals, in order to understand the complexities of girls' and boys' behaviours. This topical book is key reading for students, academics and researchers in education, sociology and psychology, as well as school teachers and education policy makers.