September 20, 2003
Girls surging past boys academically, new study says
For example, three of five members of high schools' National Honor Societies today are girls. Girls outnumber boys 124 to 100 in advanced-placement courses. As recently as 1987, boys outnumbered girls in those classes.
Girls also tend to make better grades. A survey of U.S. high-school seniors who took the SAT in 2000 found that 44 percent of the young women reported A averages. Among men, 35 percent did. And a count of Philadelphia-area valedictorians last spring turned up 106 females and 64 males.
I blame institutional sexism.
McGaw attributed the growing gap to a kind of obstinacy in boys, especially boys in lower-income families.
"Working-class boys define themselves as 'not girls,' " McGaw theorized. "So, if the girls value education, that's what boys don't do."
Maybe it's time to offer single-sex education
for boys, too.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at September 20, 2003 04:52 PM
Maybe the boys should just get a clue. "Institutionalized sexism" - puhleeze. The "institutionalized sexism" is the fact that from an early age boys get taught that whatever girls do is uncool. So teach them that girls are cool. End of problem. This isn't genetic, you know.
PS There are plenty of single-sex boys schools.
Shark, you are usually sharper than this - what gives?
I think what is happening is similar to the yoke that black boys in particular put on themselves in that attempting to do well academically is acting white and so uncool. Same thing for boys in general. Our culture has become corrupted to the point that making an effort academically is not deemed manly so a large percentage of boys don't make the effort. I write this as a father of two boys who are now US Marines. I'm proud of their service to the country, but they did not make a good effort in high school and more or less left themselves the military as their most viable career course upon graduation. Being tough guys was more important than being academic all-stars. I hope they will go to college once their enlistments are up.
I think the blame can be placed on our anti-intellectual pop culture, ie MTV etc, and I as a parent DID make an effort to screen them from that, in that I didn't have cable in my house until they were through with high school. That didn't keep pop culture from getting to them. The blame for that can be placed on the media that is more concerned with making a buck off our youth and feeding them the rebellion that they naturally want, than trying to help responsibly raise our children. Two dilemmas there - free speech vs social responsibility and socialization vs individualism.
I also unfortunately blame the great effort that has been made to improve girls self-esteem and their academic performance over the last 25 years. The (possibly necessary) over-the-top boosting-up of girls in school has had the unintended affect of denigrating boys. Not sure how a balance can be struck there.
Single-sex education for boys is great.
Where I grew up, in a city with outstanding public schools, you nonetheless went to a single-sex private school if you could (i.e. if you were smart and rich). The quality of education was superb, with large numbers of kids going to elite universities. (10% H-Y-P in my year.)
BTW, I'm amazed that more poor & working-class people don't follow the simple rule: observe what the rich folks do and do it, too. Single-sex education, in my experience, simply gives better results, and is the choice of people who could get whatever they want. Why shouldn't that option to be available to everyone?
Single-sex education for boys is great.
[ The "institutionalized sexism" is the fact that from an early age boys get taught that whatever girls do is uncool. So teach them that girls are cool. End of problem. This isn't genetic, you know. ]
Oh, yes, it's the boys' fault.
As if school isn't already too feminized and pc.
Tell you what, Yehuda. Let's bring up all Israeli boyus as lovely, feminized little angels, and then see how long your country survives.
You're right. Separate schools for boys and girls is an idea whose time has come again. You got it.
Are you aware of how hard people like the ACLU and Legal Services Corporation have fought to eliminate boys-only public schools? Particularly when the proposed schools (in Detroit) or the existing schools (in Baltimore) serve mostly blacks? It's an appalling story.
I went to a co-ed school. Life is co-ed, and school is supposed to prepare a person for life.
I learned how to work with boys and girls, play sports with boys and girls, and looked up male and female teachers. I formed meaningful friendships with boys and girls from my class. Maybe for some children single-sex education is a better choice, but for some people, it is not. I value the fact that my education did not stick me in a bubble for the first 18 years of my life.
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i am writing an essay the main thrust of it being in all my classes (i teach in FE) males onlt account for at most 15% of students. why is this?