Monday, October 31, 2011

my thoughts on gender in education

There is no doubt in my mind that although we attend the same schools, the same classes and have the same teachers not everyone is subject to the same education.  Perhaps this has to do with the direct learning ability of boys versus that of girls.  I think however the boys who are less successful than girls are merely a product of their environment.  

"Across the country, boys have never been in more trouble: They earn 70 percent of the D's and F's that teachers dole out. They make up two thirds of students labeled "learning disabled." They are the culprits in a whopping 9 of 10 alcohol and drug violations and the suspected perpetrators in 4 out of 5 crimes that end up in juvenile court. They account for 80 percent of high school dropouts and attention deficit disorder diagnoses. (Mulrine, 2001)"

I do not think that boys are less capable of earning honor roll.  Perhaps they are just receiving the short end of the grade spectrum when girls are scoring higher.  Perhaps this is all due to mental capacity but I believe the teachers are more hesitant to fail female students because of the higher likely hood to cry.  The girls are more likely to start the water works when they think it may work in their favor, perhaps getting their grades raised.  Perhaps the parents of a girl are more likely to blame unfair grading for the low grades rather than low work quality, forcing the teacher to meet with angry parents.  Perhaps the teachers just grade the girls less strictly to save themselves grief.  Maybe a low performing girl is viewed as ditzy, or blames it on being blonde when a boy is just viewed as learning disabled.

I do not think that girls drink or used drugs at a quarter of the rate that boys do.  I think being girls, particularly pretty ones they are more likely to get let off with a warning.  It works for speeding tickets, again with water works, so I do not see why this wouldn't work with a drug or alcohol charge.  The girls are more likely to be told to dump out the remainder of their alcohol and continue on their night than they are to be charged with possession of alcohol.  Also when it comes to drugs, even if searched girls are more likely to get away uncharged by hiding the product in their cleavage, or in their underwear.   Check the police beat of a local paper, more adolescent boys are charged with underage possession of alcohol than girls.  Are we to believe there were no girls at the large parties broken up?  Are we to believe none of the girls were drinking?  Or are we to believe the police are more likely to look the other way when it comes to girls?

In the end I believe boys and girls both have equal opportunity to succeed in school.  If people of power were more consistent in the way they graded, or handled legal matters the inequality would be closer to equal.


  1. I was about to argue with you about the point of girls crying over their grades, but now that I think of it, girls may incite more sympathy in teachers and parents causing them to not be failed as often, or have it easier to change their grade. Hmmm. Good point.

  2. I agree Shannon and Vinny, but for the idea of changing the grade, I believe it's less likely for that to happen in higher education. We are expected to be mature and crying will not raise your grade no matter what your gender is. Your chances are higher for grade raises in elementary and secondary school because of the overall difference in maturity levels compared to College students.

  3. I agree. And going with what Lang said, while we are expected to be mature in the older years of school, I know plenty of girls that have used charm or "the pouty face" (as I like to call it) to get their grades raised, especially if it's a male teacher/professor. A lot of girls are aware of their power over men, so to speak, and will use it for their advantage.