gender bias

2247 Words Oct 28th, 2013 9 Pages
Gender Bias in Education by Amanda Chapman of D 'Youville College
"Sitting in the same classroom, reading the same textbook, listening to the same teacher, boys and girls receive very different educations." (Sadker, 1994) In fact, upon entering school, girls perform equal to or better than boys on nearly every measure of achievement, but by the time they graduate high school or college, they have fallen behind. (Sadker, 1994) However, discrepancies between the performance of girls and the performance of boys in elementary education leads some critics to argue that boys are being neglected within the education system:
Across the country, boys have never been in more trouble: They earn 70 percent of the D 's and F 's that teachers dole
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Reay 's research shows that each of the groups of girls defined their own femininities in relation to boys. (2001)
The Reay study further demonstrates how socialization of girls occurs at the school level by tolerating different behaviors from boys than from girls. Assertive behavior from girls is often seen as disruptive and may be viewed more negatively by adults. In Reay 's study, the fact that the spice girls asserted themselves in ways contrary to traditional femininity caused them to be labeled by teachers as "real bitches". (2001) This reinforces the notion that "...girls ' misbehavior to be looked upon as a character defect, whilst boys ' misbehavior is viewed as a desire to assert themselves." (Reay, 2001)
A permissive attitude towards sexual harassment is another way in which schools reinforce the socialization of girls as inferior. "When schools ignore sexist, racist, homophobic, and violent interactions between students, they are giving tacit approval to such behaviors." (Bailey, 1992) Yet boys are taunted for throwing like a girl, or crying like a girl, which implies that being a girl is worse than being a boy. According to the American Association of University Women Report, "The clear message to both boys and girls is that girls are not
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