Are Schools or Pedagogical Systems Designed to Favor Girls Over Boys? No, Not By and Large
Some of the links and excerpts below are applicable also to the posts I made about James Damore’s hideous Google Memo (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4), a memo which sought to explain (and it did so poorly) as to why there are more men than women working at Google or other tech areas or tech companies.
Some people – who bemoan that all feminists supposedly maintain a “victimhood culture” – never- the- less themselves depict boys and men as being cultural victims, or victims of feminism, and one area they sometimes bring up to try to prove this point is education.
Speaking specifically of American culture (though this can apply to some other nations or cultures as well), the anti-feminists, or “boys and men are victims” advocates, believe that all to most schools cater to the learning styles of girls, and that this comes at the expense of boys.
This argument reminds me of Christian gender complementarians who like to claim the reason more and more men have stopped attending church is because churches are supposedly “too feminine.”
I posted about that idiotic viewpoint here. (In the last few years, more and more women have stopped attending churches as well, but I see no where near the concern over that than I do over men.)
About half the American culture is single now, but churches tend to alienate adult singles with a steady stream of pro-marriage centered sermons, festivities, classes, and social events. As a result, singles of both biological sexes don’t feel welcome, so they tend to stay home.
Maybe churches should look into how to market to singles to entice more of them back to church, rather than lament they’re not getting as many male visitors.
At any rate, regarding the assumption that schools favor girls to boys, and this is why boys do not do as well:
But is this true or, is it true to the extent that “Boys Are Victims” advocates maintain? I don’t believe it is.
I don’t believe schools are more hospitable for girls or women than they are for boys and men, for the most part (especially considering American schools).
I don’t believe girls and women are at fault for men doing poorly in schools by virtue of the fact that in recent years, they have been making better grades or receiving more college degrees than men, which is how anti-feminists sometimes frame this subject.
Only in the world of sexists can it be thought rational or fair to blame females (or all of feminism) for the shortcomings and mistakes of boys and men.
This goes right back to the the book of Genesis in the Bible, where Adam sinned, and rather than own up to his responsibility, Adam shifted the blame back on to God and Eve, when he said to God, when questioned about his disobedience: “It was that women you gave me who told me to eat…”
Adam couldn’t just say, “Yes, I ate the apple. I was wrong, I apologize.” No, he had to blame God and Eve (the woman).
Some men (and the women who like to defend them) to this day are still trotting out that, “It was that woman (or women) who is (are) to blame for my failures…” line.
The thinking process among anti-feminists and sexists seems to be as follows:
“How can we blame girls, women, and feminism for this latest report of most to all boys or men failing at X, Y, or Z in life, or for the recent spate of sexual harassment allegations under the MeToo campaign?
“How can we find a way to shift the blame back on to women, and say they are at fault for why men are failing at work, school, marriage, or why so many grope and rape women?
“We have to get the focus and blame off men and boys and back on to girls and women again! How do we do that?
Seldom do men, or the fervent anti feminism supporters, ever want to hold men accountable or investigate ways to encourage men to behave better, and certainly not in ways that do not involve asking women to just put up with the poor behavior of men.
Or, women are asked, by men or anti-feminist women, to fix the male-created problem for men (usually this is done by asking or expecting women to police their own behavior, such as: ‘don’t wear short skirts,’ ‘don’t walk alone at night,’ ‘don’t act so asssertive,’ etc., ‘if you don’t want to be raped or create problems in your career’). The blame shifting is ridiculous, but from what I’ve seen online, it’s pretty common.
And sadly, women who are either conservative or who misunderstand, and therefore hate, all of feminism, use that same rationale:
They blame girls and women for the mistakes or shortcomings of men and boys.
The playbook: say feminism is at fault. Don’t hold the boys and men accountable for their own personal failures, but instead, blame women, or blame women seeking redress from sexist actions or attitudes (which is one of the reasons or goals of feminism, by the way).
Something ironic I’ve noticed in these articles and research papers quoted about educational gaps between girls and boys is that when or if boys are held back in an educational system, it’s usually because of sexist or patriarchal cultural attitudes:
For example (according to the articles below and other ones I’ve seen in years past), boys get the message from their cultures (this is true of America and some other nations, the studies and investigations say) that studying is feminine and for girls.
Boys arrive at this view in part (the articles explain) because culture sends messages that everyone picks up and understands that girls are expected to be neat, tidy, attentive, and to possess other traits that lend themselves to long hours of quiet study, but not boys.
So, even in situations where one may want to blame schools for supposedly favoring girls to boys, the real situation appears to be that cultural gender expectations or stereotypes – and these are ones that favor boys and men to girls and women – are actually what is holding boys back educationally.
Here are links pertaining to these topics.
Bias and Stereotypes Sideline Girls in STEM
BUSTED: Physics teachers give girls lower grades than boys – for the exact same answers
Female students are more likely to get lower scores on physics exams than male counterparts, even though they give identical answers, researchers at a Swiss university found.
All Teachers Should Be Trained To Overcome Their Hidden Biases
by Soraya Chemaly, 2015
Last week, two studies revealed that unexamined teacher biases are having a significant effect on girls’ education. The first found that gender stereotypes are negatively affecting girls’ math grades and positively affecting boys’.
The second revealed how disproportionately penalized young black girls are for being assertive in classroom settings. Together, they make the clearest possible case for making it mandatory for teachers to be trained in spotting and striving to overcome their implicit biases.
The findings of the first study reveal both the short and long-term effects of primary school teachers’ implicit beliefs about gender on children’s math skills and ambitions.
Researchers found that girls often score higher than boys on name-blind math tests, but once presented with recognizable boy and girl names on the same tests, teachers award higher scores to boys.
…. The impact of unconscious teacher bias is long understood and well-documented.
This new research confirms decades of work done by Myra and David Sadker and Karen R. Zittleman.