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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of female leaders from the real IELTS exam.

It’s a very interesting question – one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen on IELTS!

You should be very careful to not come off as sexist in your response…

Read mine below and check out my online courses and corrections and exclusive Patreon essays to improve more!

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio file to improve your listening as well:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Female Leaders (Real Past IELTS Exam/Test)

This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer on the topic of female leaders from the real IELTS exam.

It is one of the most interesting questions I’ve ever seen on IELTS and I really enjoyed writing about it!

I recommend writing about it yourself either before or after you’ve read my answer.

Be sure to check out my online courses here and my online corrections as well.

Dave

Listen to the audio before reading, for some extra listening practice:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Female Leaders (Real Past IELTS Exam/Test)

Throughout history, male leaders have led us into violence and conflict. If a society is governed by female leaders it will be more peaceful.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

Many are of the opinion the male inclination towards violence is the root of many international conflicts and societies ruled by women might be more peaceful. In my opinion, this is likely true.

The reason that some oppose this seemingly sexist viewpoint is based on past examples of female leaders. The sample size is much smaller but leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Cleopatra, Hilary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Queen Elisabeth I, Joan d’Arc and countless others have started, maintained, and escalated violent conflicts. There are very few examples of peaceful female leaders and those that exist can be matched proportionally with male leaders. The claim that women are more peaceful is not supported by historical evidence. A major caveat is that these are the exceptions and women rulers have held power in a world otherwise dominated by male hierarchy. It is impossible to know how peaceful the world would be if women held the majority of powerful positions.

Furthermore, men are naturally predisposed towards aggression. This stems from both biology and society. Men produce more testosterone than women and this has been shown to increase aggressive tendencies and violent behaviour. Men can curb this instinct but it has the potential to undermine their better nature at any moment. There are also societal forces at work that play on men’s pride. From a young age, boys are raised to be tough, to not back down, to not compromise and to idealise violent heroes. The majority of male role models are violent, ranging from historic figures to action stars and even videogame characters. It is hard to disentangle the roles of nature and nurture clearly but the end product of their combination is clear for both males and females.

In conclusion, males are more violent and women would likely be more peaceful given the opportunity to rule widely. The question of the desirability of ending all conflicts and its global impact is another matter.

Analysis

1. Many are of the opinion the male inclination towards violence is the root of many international conflicts and societies ruled by women might be more peaceful. 2. In my opinion, this is likely true.

  1. Simply paraphrase the overall topic.
  2. Write your opinion. You can include your topic sentences if you like.

1. The reason that some oppose this seemingly sexist viewpoint is based on past examples of female leaders. 2. The sample size is much smaller but leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Cleopatra, Hilary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Queen Elisabeth I, Joan d’Arc and countless others have started, maintained, and escalated violent conflicts. 3. There are very few examples of peaceful female leaders and those that exist can be matched proportionally with male leaders. 4. The claim that women are more peaceful is not supported by historical evidence. 5. A major caveat is that these are the exceptions and women rulers have held power in a world otherwise dominated by male hierarchy. 6. It is impossible to know how peaceful the world would be if women held the majority of powerful positions.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with your main idea at the end.
  2. Begin to support it with specific female leaders.
  3. Draw conclusions based on those leaders.
  4. Conclude that argument.
  5. Because I agree with the other side, I start to undermine this argument.
  6. I finish undermining the opposing view here.

1. Furthermore, men are naturally predisposed towards aggression. 2. This stems from both biology and society. 3. Men produce more testosterone than women and this has been shown to increase aggressive tendencies and violent behaviour. 4. Men can curb this instinct but it has the potential to undermine their better nature at any moment. 5. There are also societal forces at work that play on men’s pride. 6. From a young age, boys are raised to be tough, to not back down, to not compromise and to idealise violent heroes. 7. The majority of male role models are violent, ranging from historic figures to action stars and even videogame characters. 8. It is hard to disentangle the roles of nature and nurture clearly but the end product of their combination is clear for both males and females.

  1. Write another clear topic sentence with a main idea for the other viewpoint.
  2. Begin developing it with specific ideas/details/examples.
  3. Continue developing it.
  4. Conclude how nature influences males.
  5. Here I switch to the societal factors.
  6. And develop those factors specifically.
  7. I continue developing this.
  8. I summarise how both might make men worse leaders compared to women.

1. In conclusion, males are more violent and women would likely be more peaceful given the opportunity to rule widely. 2. The question of the desirability of ending all conflicts and its global impact is another matter.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add an extra detail/final thought for full marks from the examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many are of the opinion the male inclination towards violence is the root of many international conflicts and societies ruled by women might be more peaceful. In my opinion, this is likely true.

The reason that some oppose this seemingly sexist viewpoint is based on past examples of female leaders. The sample size is much smaller but leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Cleopatra, Hilary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Queen Elisabeth I, Joan d’Arc and countless others have started, maintained, and escalated violent conflicts. There are very few examples of peaceful female leaders and those that exist can be matched proportionally with male leaders. The claim that women are more peaceful is not supported by historical evidence. A major caveat is that these are the exceptions and women rulers have held power in a world otherwise dominated by male hierarchy. It is impossible to know how peaceful the world would be if women held the majority of powerful positions.

Furthermore, men are naturally predisposed towards aggression. This stems from both biology and society. Men produce more testosterone than women and this has been shown to increase aggressive tendencies and violent behaviour. Men can curb this instinct but it has the potential to undermine their better nature at any moment. There are also societal forces at work that play on men’s pride. From a young age, boys are raised to be tough, to not back down, to not compromise and to idealise violent heroes. The majority of male role models are violent, ranging from historic figures to action stars and even videogame characters. It is hard to disentangle the roles of nature and nurture clearly but the end product of their combination is clear for both males and females.

In conclusion, males are more violent and women would likely be more peaceful given the opportunity to rule widely. The question of the desirability of ending all conflicts and its global impact is another matter.

Answers

are of the opinion believe

male inclination towards violence men’s tendency to hurt others

root source

international conflicts fights between countries, wars

likely true probably the case

seemingly sexist viewpoint apparently demeaning men or women

sample size example group

countless others many more

maintained continued

escalated violent conflicts increased the scale of wars

matched proportionally mirrored with the same number of

claim argue

not supported no evidence for

historical evidence unsupported by the past

major caveat factor undermining this view

exceptions outside the norm

held power were in charge

otherwise dominated by male hierarchy besides that controlled by men

powerful positions in charge

naturally predisposed genetic inclinations

aggression violent behaviour

stems from comes from/is caused by

testosterone the hormone that makes males aggressive

increase aggressive tendencies make more violent

curb this instinct slow down this tendency

potential possible

undermine their better nature at any moment work against their reasoning powers

play on interfere with

pride arrogance

not back down stand up to

compromise work together on a deal

idealise look up to

ranging from including

disentangle separate from

nature and nurture genetics and upbringing

end product final result

rule widely have power everywhere

desirability something that we want

Pronunciation

ɑːr ɒv ði əˈpɪnjən 
meɪl ˌɪnklɪˈneɪʃən təˈwɔːdz ˈvaɪələns
ruːt 
ˌɪntə(ː)ˈnæʃənl ˈkɒnflɪkts 
ˈlaɪkli truː
ˈsiːmɪŋli ˈsɛksɪst ˈvjuːpɔɪnt 
ˈsɑːmpl saɪz 
ˈkaʊntlɪs ˈʌðəz 
meɪnˈteɪnd
ˈɛskəleɪtɪd ˈvaɪələnt ˈkɒnflɪkts
mæʧt prəˈpɔːʃənli 
kleɪm 
nɒt səˈpɔːtɪd 
hɪsˈtɒrɪkəl ˈɛvɪdəns
ˈmeɪʤə ˈkeɪvɪæt 
ɪkˈsɛpʃənz 
hɛld ˈpaʊə 
ˈʌðəwaɪz ˈdɒmɪneɪtɪd baɪ meɪl ˈhaɪərɑːki
ˈpaʊəfʊl pəˈzɪʃənz
ˈnæʧrəli ˌpriːdɪsˈpəʊzd 
əˈgrɛʃ(ə)n
stɛmz frɒm 
tɛˈstɒstəˌrəʊn 
ˈɪnkriːs əˈgrɛsɪv ˈtɛndənsiz 
kɜːb ðɪs ˈɪnstɪŋkt 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl 
ˌʌndəˈmaɪn ðeə ˈbɛtə ˈneɪʧər æt ˈɛni ˈməʊmənt
pleɪ ɒn 
praɪd
nɒt bæk daʊn
ˈkɒmprəmaɪz 
aɪˈdɪəlaɪz
ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm 
ˌdɪsɪnˈtæŋgl 
ˈneɪʧər ænd ˈnɜːʧə 
ɛnd ˈprɒdʌkt 
ruːl ˈwaɪdli
dɪˌzaɪərəˈbɪlɪti 

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many a_________________n the m_________________________________e is the r______t of many i__________________________s and societies ruled by women might be more peaceful. In my opinion, this is l______________e.

The reason that some oppose this s__________________________t is based on past examples of female leaders. The s_____________e is much smaller but leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Cleopatra, Hilary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Queen Elisabeth I, Joan d’Arc and c___________________s have started, m_____________d, and e_________________________s. There are very few examples of peaceful female leaders and those that exist can be m__________________________________y with male leaders. The c________m that women are more peaceful is n___________________d by h____________________e. A m________________t is that these are the e________________s and women rulers have h______________r in a world o________________________________________________y. It is impossible to know how peaceful the world would be if women held the majority of p_________________________s.

Furthermore, men are n__________________________d towards a______________n. This s______________m both biology and society. Men produce more t_______________e than women and this has been shown to i______________________________s and violent behaviour. Men can c_________________________t but it has the p________________l to u____________________________________________t. There are also societal forces at work that p________n men’s p________e. From a young age, boys are raised to be tough, to n_______________n, to not c_______________e and to i______________e violent heroes. The majority of male role models are violent, r__________________m historic figures to action stars and even videogame characters. It is hard to d_____________e the roles of n___________________________e clearly but the e__________________t of their combination is clear for both males and females.

In conclusion, males are more violent and women would likely be more peaceful given the opportunity to r_____________y. The question of the d_________________y of ending all conflicts and its global impact is another matter.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

There’s a great playlist from TedEd on this topic, starting with Cleopatra:

Reading Practice

Read the article below for more examples you can use in your writing or speaking:

https://www.historyextra.com/100-women/100-women-results/

Speaking Practice

Answer the questions below from the real IELTS speaking test:

Leadership

  1. What makes someone a good leader?
  2. Are there differences between male and female leaders?
  3. What makes for a bad leader?
  4. Is it important for leaders to be decisive?
  5. Have leadership qualities changed much over time?

Writing Practice

Answer the related writing topic and then check with my sample answer essay below:

Some believe that people are naturally born as leaders while others feel that leadership skills can develop.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

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