Tag: gender gap

The Cost of Living

(As a Clash aficionado, this phrase always makes me think of the EP released in 1979. This has nothing to do with the post, but I thought I’d get it out there and out of the way for myself. I…

“Strength” of Character: How the Silver Screen Perpetuates Gender Stereotypes

What do we mean when we define a female character as “strong”? When an actress is the protagonist, her conflict is decidedly different than the average male protagonist’s: In literary terms, we often see the female protagonist engaged in a “man vs. self” struggle, while male protagonists wrestle with outside forces. The point is not at all that any one iteration of female “strength” is more admirable – more worthy of depiction on-screen – than another, but rather than our female characters consistently demonstrate one kind of strength while our male characters demonstrate another. Furthermore, when our female characters demonstrate stereotypically “male” strength, they do not win the awards.

These complications of storytelling are all exacerbated by Hollywood demographics :

The Gender Education Achievement Gap: how it used to be, what changed, what “they” say, what researchers say, and the way forward

Many observers believe that boys’ lower engagement with school is a result of biological differences between males and females. They say that boys need to engage in rough and tumble play, get their hands dirty, build things, and read books about war, espionage and sports if they are supposed to learn. Boys fail, they claim, because schools do not give boys enough opportunities to do “boy” stuff.

We do not agree. Our research shows that boys’ underperformance in school has more to do with society’s norms about masculinity than with anatomy, hormones or brain structure. In fact, boys involved in extracurricular cultural activities such as music, art, drama, and foreign languages report higher levels of school engagement and get better grades than other boys. But these cultural activities are often denigrated as un-masculine by pre-adolescent and adolescent boys — especially those from working- or lower-class backgrounds. Sociologists C.J. Pascoe and Edward Morris relate numerous examples of boys who strive for good grades as being labeled “pussies” or “fags” by their peers.

Commentators who emphasize boys’ special needs usually propose that wemake schools more “boy-friendly” by offering single-sex classrooms where “boys can be boys,” by recruiting more male teachers, and by providing more rough and tumble activities. Our research shows that, contrary to what is rapidly becoming “conventional wisdom,” this is precisely the wrong strategy. Most boys and girls learn more in classrooms where girls are present. In classrooms with more girls, both boys and girls score higher on math and reading tests. And several recent studies refute the claim that teacher gender matters for boys’ or girls’ achievement.

Your Weekly Lachenweinen: College student fights for men’s equality

Here’s something that should make you smile-cry of a Monday morning: Feminism has met its goals and achieved what it set out to do, and we’ve become equal both in education and in the job market. We’re on top, and that’s why men can slack off and make C’s. It’s time, says University of Nebraska senior Zach Nold, for men to jump up on that pedestal next to women as equals.

Let’s talk about that “ambition gap”

It needs no re-telling here, but there’s a big gender gap in leadership roles: there are 20 women in the Senate, and that’s a record high. As of November 2012, there are 21 women who are Fortune 500 CEOs – about 4% – and that is also a record high. Yet, women are getting college degrees and entering the workforce at higher rates than men. Between graduating college and reaching senior management, something is stopping women from making it to the top echelons of the workforce

Both Sides

There’s an article in the SF Chronicle today about a transgender professor who’s writing about sexist bias, particularly in the sciences: As an Ivy League-trained neurobiologist who oversees a research lab at Stanford, Ben Barres feels qualified to comment on…

More on Boys in School

By Majikthise (be sure to read the comments) When a gender gap that favors boys, the proposed solutions generally involve changing girls to meet the prevailing ideal. This is usually the most sensible way to approach the problem. Girls are…