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Chapter 7: Gender and Education

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William Cockrell

on 30 September 2017

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Transcript of Chapter 7: Gender and Education

Chapter 7: Gender and Education
Differential Treatment in Education
To recap, the interplanetary theory of gender argues that men are naturally better at math and women are naturally better at the arts.
Of course, we have learned that this is an artificial, American concept.
BUT, even though the differences are not real, why do people who support differences still grade the two sexes the same?
If they really believed the sexes had different skills, why would they even force math on young girls? Why push men to learn about famous literature?
Even more extreme, if they really believe the two sexes learn so differently, why don't they separate the two?
Some of these arguments have been classic, historical statements used to prevent women from having accessing to formal education
We have already mentioned in class how higher education is a new opportunity for women, but now we will focus on early education.
America and Education
From colonial America to 1918 most children finished education with the 8th grade
Mandatory Education Laws :
laws in America that require children to participate in education until they are 16. Now commonly called
"compulsory education"

When agriculture was the center of the workforce, children's priorities were centered around the farm.
Education rates have continued to increase as time has progressed
Education :
a culturally unique process by which a society transfers knowledge to the newest generation. Both social skills and core knowledge are taught in educational settings.
Schooling :
the typical format of instructors and students in a lecture based format. Schooling is the typical model used to provide education.
We have to remember that America's educational system is only one of many.
Education and Conflict Theory
The primary focus of conflict theorists with education is researching the question "how does education perpetuate the current social system?"
Hidden curriculum :
conflict theorists state that there are countless beliefs and behaviors that children learn in school that are not related to educational requirements.
What if teacher's consciously (or unconsciously) treat children differently based on family income? This could be an example of hidden curriculum
Grammar skills are taught differently between lower and higher income students.
Research suggests that standardized tests (IQ, ACT, SAT, GRE, etc) are
culturally biased
towards upper class students.
The distribution of funding between public schools is another example of conflict theory. The richer neighborhoods always receive more funding
Functional Perspective of Education
A functional analysis of education reveals two different types of functions
Manifest function :
the intended outcome of the created structure (e.g., to provide uniform, national education in a country)
Latent function :
outcomes that were not expected but are still beneficial (e.g., children in school simultaneously learn how to navigate their social world)
Most countries use their educational system to teach children national patriotism, social values, and cultural norms associated with their country
Helps reinforce social class before children learn to rebel (Henslin, 2013)
Historical Beliefs of Educational Segregation
It was not until the mid 1800s that people in America finally started talking about women receiving formal education.
"Men will lose as women advance, we shall have a community of defeminated women and demasculated men." This is what the President of the University of Michigan said in 1858.
"(co-education) harms girls by assimilating them to boy's ways and work and robbing them of their sense of feminine character," but it harms boys "by feminizing them when they need to be working off their brute animal element." This is the opinion of G. Stanley Hall. Hall is famously known for the normative approach in developmental psychology.
the concept of men and women attending formal education together.
Many opponents argued co-education would cause male homosexuality. The idea was that if male students spent large amounts of time around female students they would become "demasculated".
Normative Approach:
the very important scientific perspective that we need to analyze thousands of participants to determine appropriate human development. The normative approach means using averages instead of unique cases.
Institutional Homosexuality:
the finding that MEN are more likely to participate in homosexual behavior when there are only men around. Examples include: boarding schools, prison, military, fraternities, and hunting clubs. This behavior is typically not discussed openly and they try to remove homoerotic elements (e.g., "bro-jobs").
No research has found women are influenced by institutional homosexuality.
The Seven Sisters
The Seven Sisters:
the top seven universities in America that were created to allow women to attend.
The schools are: Vassar, Wellesley, Smith, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, and Radcliffe
These are Ivy League schools. Therefore, they are feminist colleges, but RICH feminist colleges.
So while these colleges are mainly women, they are also predominately white women.
Women's education is "revolt against slavery in which women are held by the customs of society - the broken health, the aimless lives, the subordinate position, the helpless dependence, the dishonesties and the shams of so-called education" Henry Durant, the founder of Wellesley College.
Let's read the amazing quote on pg. 191 by Dr. Henry Maudsley.
Women who couldn't afford these colleges went to colleges still experiencing sex discrimination.
Is There
A Math Difference?
Original Thought: men reported higher averages than women on mathematical performance.
Opposing Thought: "It wasn't that average scores were all that different, but that the shape of the distributions was different, that males were over-represented at both ends of the continuum-that is, there were more male math geniuses and more males at the extreme low end." (Kimmel, pg. 194, 2013).
Kane and Mertz found that when comparing 86 countries, the math gap does not exist in countries where women are treated more equally.
Childhood Reading & Learning
The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare created a sample pool of 134 children's books back in 1975.
The study found that there were many more stories with male than female leads.
In media, females are expected to like media with a male lead, but there are fears of boys not watching female leads.
The ratio for the children books was 5:2.
In the past thirty years, there has been a substantial improvement of female representation in children's media.
Unfortunately, while representation has increased, the characterization of women is still less than realistic.
One gendered belief that shocks research is violence.
The National Television Violence Study reported that 61% of shows contained violence.
Most media violence is depicted by white males that do NOT receive punishment on the show.
Gender and Adolescence
In elementary school, girls typically report higher self-esteem than boys in America.
ALL children experience a drop in self-esteem when they enter elementary school, and a second drop typically occurs when entering high school.
One study reported that girls drop 13 IQ points when entering high school, but boys only drop around 3 IQ points.
According to Kimmel (pg. 199, 2013), "One in ten teenage girls becomes pregnant each year.
Although most of the fathers of those babies are over twenty-one
, those fathers who are still students are likely to stay in school; the mother is likely to drop out and stay out".
Adolescence is when many girls first experience sexual harassment. Of course, this is not to devalue many children that are victims of sexual abuse.
Teenage Depression
The DSM symptoms for depression : sadness, frustration, hopelessness, disturbances in sleep (insomnia or hypersomnia), appetite change, problems focusing, and lack of energy.
15-20% of teenagers have had at least one major depressive episode.
A depressive episode would be experiencing at least five of the above mentioned symptoms for two weeks or more.
Globally, by adolescence, girls are twice as likely to report depressive symptoms. This could be analyzed two ways. 1) It is more acceptable for girls to report feeling "upset" than boys and 2) Girls may actually experience higher rates of depression due to unequal gender treatment.
Like many other psychological disorders, depression is both due to genetics and parenting (environment).
When examining gender instead of sex, researchers find that people who display feminine characteristics are more prone to depression.
Depression is a serious illness considering the most common outcome, if help is not received, is suicide.
Throughout life, we find that as a person ages, their chance of suicide increases.
This makes sense, considering very few 5 year old children commit suicide, but it is not uncommon for a 65 year old to commit suicide.
Suicide is the third most common cause for death among teenagers. The first is automobile accidents followed by murder.
Classic, historical sociological studies found that
social integration
is one of the most important preventative measures of suicide. The more involved and integrated person is into society, the less likely they are to commit suicide.
Native Americans, at any age, are at high risk of suicide due to continued, blatant discrimination from the American government.
LGBTQ youth are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
It is important to remember that antidepressant medications tend to amplify suicidal thoughts in the first week or few days. Many people (not all) who are not helped by antidepressants stop taking them before they even fully enter the system.
The NRA would never want you to believe it, but there is a strong relationship between gun control and suicide among teenagers. What would this be?
We have now progressed to realizing that close ties to a suicide victim tend to need counseling themselves to deal with the bereavement and guilt.
The gendered pattern of suicide method is actually found and valid in many countries.
Gender and Suicide
There are mixed findings on if the "It Gets Better" project has been succesful.
Recent Findings of Boy's Behavior in School
Boys are 4X more likely to be sent to the school psychologist.
Boys have higher rates of being diagnosed with dyslexia and ADD than girls.
Boys have lower report cards than their female peers.
Boys are more likely to repeat a grade when compared to girls.
Boys are diagnosed as hyperactive 9X more than girls (faulty statement, Dr. Kimmel).
58% of special education classes are comprised of students who are male.
75% of school suspensions are for boy students instead of girl students.
Boys are much more likely to drop-out than female students.
Are these natural differences or the product of enforcing masculine behavior on boys?
Different Perceptions in Gendered Performance
The argument is that our patriarchal society inflates male self-esteem artificially.
The claims are that since most structures (read: education system) are male created, men tend to overvalue their abilities.
The same arguments can be used to explain that girls tend to
their academic performance.
One study by Shelley Correll provides observational support for these claims. Correll separated male and female students based on sex. The participants ALL HAD EQUAL SCORES.
The participants were simply asked their opinion on personal math skills.
Boys said "they were confident in their skills", "math was their best subject", and "they were naturally good at math."
The male students that valued their math skills usually said they were naturally bad at English.
Male children are often ridiculed for being avid readers. Subjectivity tends to conflict with masculine ideals.
Women in Higher Education
Women have outnumbered men in American colleges since 1982.
60% of college students in 2013 were female.
We do have to remember that more people are going to college now than ever. So just seeing an increase in female college students is not enough. We need to study rates of change in comparison to male population trends.
"In 1960, 54% of boys and 30% of girls went directly to college; today the numbers are 64% of boys and 70% of girls." (Kimmel, pg. 204, 2013).
The top Ivy League colleges still have a male dominated student population: Princeton (53%), Columbia (53%), and MIT (55%).
Often, many people think the focus should be on the "declining" population of male students. But when looking at stats, we see this actually isn't the case.
In essence, this could be distraction for the fact that men leaving college automatically make more than women leaving college at the same time.
Income is VERY important when measuring different gendered experiences in education. The more money a family has, the less impact race or gender has on performance.
In other words, when we compare children whose parents make over 100K, we see little gender differences. But parents who make less than 20K a year will have very noticeable gender differences in education.
Eating Disorders
Around 24 million Americans suffer from eating disorders yearly. You need to remember that eating disorders cover both under and over eating.
Anorexia Nervosa :
Mental and physiological disorder that is commonly described as the person starving themselves and/or participating in excessive exercise.
Around 5-8% of people with anorexia die because of not eating. Anorexia has the highest morality rate of all mental illnesses.
Bulimia Nervosa :
Disorder characterized by binge eating that is followed by purging food. This is either done by forcing oneself to vomit or taking laxatives.
There is a large gender difference between eating disorders (this is largely attributed to different social expectations of the two biological sexes).
Common symptoms associated with bulimia : damage to the esophagus, hair loss, muscle spasms, kidney damage, dehydration, tooth loss/decay, menstrual irregularities, etc.
Around 10% of people with anorexia are men and 25% of people with bulimia are men. Men are typically more affected by
muscle dysmorphia
(they want to have more muscles instead of getting thinner).
Gay men are the exception to males, they tend to have MUCH higher rates of eating disorders than heterosexual men.
Bulimia is more common than anorexia. It is easier to binge and purge than ignore hunger.
Causes of Eating Disorders
Body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders typically go hand-in-hand.
The media often implicitly reinforces many teenagers obsession with losing weight. Teen pop stars with million dollar gyms, personal trainers, and access to photoshop are not realistic role models for appearance!
There is a positive correlation between the amount of time spent reading fashion/health magazines and eating disorders. The more one spends time reading the magazines, the higher chance they have of developing an eating disorder.
Many sports that require individual performance AND strict weight control (gymnastics, wrestling, surfing, figure skating, etc.) have the highest rates of eating disorders.
Both anorexia and bulimia are associated with control issues. The strict maintenance of weight often helps the people feel like they are in control of their life.
Bulimics often develop emotional conditioned responses due to binging and purging.
Eating disorders are becoming more common for younger children each year in America.
Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenthood
Teenage pregnancy has been declining since the 1990s, but it is still higher in America than any other industrialized country.
The three major factors that influence teenage pregnancy : lack of sex education, little access to contraception, and family poverty.
40% of teenage pregnancies end in abortion. There are no stats for pregnant teenagers in America who experience unsafe abortions.
Most teenage pregnancies used to result in adoption also.
Having a child earlier tends to decrease life long financial stability when compared to people of the same age who do not have children.
Common characteristics of teenage parenting behaviors : less parental warmth and involvement (grandparents usually pick up the slack), domestic violence, child abuse, repeated parental divorce and remarriage.
"Girls at risk for early pregnancy do poorly in school, engage in alcohol and drug use, have a childhood history of aggressive and antisocial behavior, associate with deviant peers, and experience higher rates of depression" (Berk, pg. 378, 2010).
Are any of these characteristics positive mothering qualities? Nope.
Negative Outcomes Associated with Teenage Pregnancy
Only 70% of teenage mothers graduate high school. In American society, graduating high school isn't even that important anymore job wise. Maybe they should measure how many get a Bachelor's Degree?
Pop culture is correct in the fact that teenager mothers are less likely to get married. The most common finding is that these mothers experience multiple divorces throughout her lifespan.
Teenage mothers spend more time single than any other group of women.
Low income jobs that are usually part-time without benefits are the most common job for teenage mothers (even into adulthood).
An estimated 50% of teenage fathers commit illegal offenses resulting in arrest.
The developing child usually experiences more negative consequences due to teenage mothers being more likely to smoke, use alcohol, use drugs, have poor nutrition, and avoid early prenatal care.
It is more common for these children to in turn have academic achievement problems or learning disabilities. The children also are prone to risky sexual behavior when they reach puberty.
Daughters of teenage mothers are much more likely to become teenage mothers themselves (I wonder if research has studied sons of teenage mothers becoming fathers at an early age?)
Peer Victimization :
the scientific term for bullying that describes how certain children are targets of physical and verbal harm by other children.
10-20% of children are bullies and 15-30% of children are bullied.
The stereotypical image of male bullies being physically violent and female bullies being relationally aggressive are accurate. Girls also are now using cyberbullying at higher rates than guys.
Diffusion of responsibility :
social psychological term that supports bystander behavior. The larger the crowd, the less likely a person is to intervene and help a victim.
20-30% of bystanders actually antagonize and encourage the bullying.
Bullies and victims of bullying start displaying similar traits : depression, loneliness, low academic achievement, and school avoidance.
There is an established link between bullies experiencing child abuse at home. In other words, they are socially learning this behavior at home and applying it at school.
Very little research focuses on how to stop bullying; it primarily focuses on how victims can avoid bullying. Parents of bullies are also notoriously noncommittal.
The Gender PoPo
In America, girls do not perceive academic success as a gendered behavior.
Boys view all forms of academic succcess as a "girl characteristic."
Boys that are academically successful usually have to deal with lower self-esteem, smaller group of friends, and bullying.
Eminem is a jackass....an uneducated, violent, jackass who makes himself look better by spreading hate and supporting violence (Bonnie & Clyde is disgusting). "The lowest degrading thing that you can say to a man...is to call him a faggot and try to take away his manhood. Call him a sissy. Call him a punk. "Faggot" to me doesn't mean gay people. "Faggot" just means taking away your manhood."
This was Eminem's argument that he is not homophobic. He says it's not about negative feelings towards gay people,
but he says the worst thing you can call a man is "gay"
. If he had no negative opinions about gay people, he would not view it as a slur the way he does.
Gender Policing:
the concept related to "Doing Gender". Gender policing is the argument that in early school, children are extremely observant of gendered behavior. When gender incongruent behavior happens, other children "police" the behavior away. Adults practice this as well sometimes.
The Fag Discourse:
the concept which argues boys are always afraid of being called gay, therefore they are constantly aware of the presence or absence of masculine behavior.
Gender and School Shootings
As of the printing of this book (2013), 29 school shootings had occured in the United States.
All 29 of these school shootings were committed by boys. There has yet to be a school shooting by a female (we do NOT want gender equality on this issue).
How many times have you heard a news reporter or FB poster say "boys are trained to be violent when they are frustrated" instead of automatically talking about mental health, guns, etc.?
28 of the 29 school shootings also occured in rural schools. I went to a rural school where male students hunted before school and left guns in their truck during school....
27 of the school shooters have been white.
Given the shooters have been white males, race or gender is rarely discussed because they are "default citizens".
Your textbook links the argument that constant teasing of homosexuality can cause heterosexual men to become violent. What do gay men do? How do heterosexual and lesbian women handle this?
School as a Gendered Workplace
When we go back to colonial America, all school teachers were men.
Separation of Spheres/Occupational Feminization:
the finding that a male dominated occupation loses it's prestige as it becomes occupied by women. Men also leave the occupation as it becomes largely female dominated.
Examples include: Schoolteachers, Nurses (medics), Librarians, Inn Keepers, Barbers, Tailors, etc.
One military general worried that boys taught by female schoolteachers
would not be violent enough
. I wonder if his job influenced his worry?
One very reliable study found that the teacher's sex is one of the least important factors related to educational achievement. The most important factors are: resources, class size, teacher prep, and peer relations.
The more women in a job, the lower the reported salary (negative correlation).
Women in the Ivory Tower
In 1975, 75% of all American professors were men.
The representation of women in higher education has increased, BUT we have to acknowledge progress is staggered.
Today at Ivy League schools, less than 10% of professors are women.
Women make up 25% of community college professors.
Men typically dominate majors that give professors a lighter teaching load to conduct research. Women are usually given a 5 course load.
The 1970s had the lowest gender wage gap for American academia with women making 84% men's wages. Today, women make around 70-75% of what men in the same job receive.
In 1973, only 3% of college administration positions (President, VP, Registrar, etc) were female.
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