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OK Folks, Here is A Rorschach Test on Gender

Posted by on | June 14, 2018 | Comments Off

I am going to show you this chart from the New York Times and you tell me the lede:

gender gap 650x425 OK Folks, Here is A Rorschach Test on Gender

If your first reaction was something like “wow, the gender gap in favor of girls in English simply dwarfs any gender gap that exists in favor of boys in math,” you had the same reaction as I did.  All I could think was that all this discussion of getting more girls in STEM is a fine aspiration, but my God, boys in English are a dumpster fire.

I saw the chart standalone like this before I flipped to the source New York Times article and read more.  And, incredibly, this is the title of the article: “Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math:  Rich, White and Suburban Districts.“  That’s right, the authors look at this chart and all they want to talk about is the small area in the lower right quadrant of the chart, the only place where girls out-perform boys (and even there the maximum boy advantage perhaps a third of the girl advantage across the board in English).  This is bizarre beyond belief.

I wrote the other day in a sort of toss-off conclusion that is looking more accurate today:

Look, I have no doubt that one could easily put together a book about all the ways the public education system fails girls because I think the public education system in many parts of this country fails EVERYONE.  But we seem to keep obsessively questioning whether we are doing enough for girls in education when the problem seems to be boys….

I am not an expert on why this is.   Shifting success norms from competition to cooperation, elimination of historic outlets for non-academic males like vocational programs, and huge amounts of money and counseling resources all dedicated to girls probably play a part.  But the frustrating thing is you almost never see a discussion of this topic.  Anyone who does try to address it is immediately pigeon-holed as some alt-right male rights extremist and defenestrated from the Overton Window.

 OK Folks, Here is A Rorschach Test on Gender  OK Folks, Here is A Rorschach Test on Gender  OK Folks, Here is A Rorschach Test on Gender

 OK Folks, Here is A Rorschach Test on Gender

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