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Why Girls Do Better At School

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the sugar-and-spice-are-actually-performance-enhancing-drugs dept.

Education 690

An anonymous reader writes "A new study explains why girls do better at school, even when their scores on standardized tests remain low. Researchers from University of Georgia and Columbia University say the variation in school grades between boys and girls may be because girls have a better attitude toward learning than boys. One of the study's lead authors, Christopher Cornwell, said, 'The skill that matters the most in regards to how teachers graded their students is what we refer to as "approaches toward learning." You can think of "approaches to learning" as a rough measure of what a child's attitude toward school is: It includes six items that rate the child's attentiveness, task persistence, eagerness to learn, learning independence, flexibility and organization. I think that anybody who's a parent of boys and girls can tell you that girls are more of all of that.' Cornwell went on about what effect this has had now that education has become more pervasive: 'We seem to have gotten to a point in the popular consciousness where people are recognizing the story in these data: Men are falling behind relative to women. Economists have looked at this from a number of different angles, but it's in educational assessments that you make your mark for the labor market. Men's rate of college going has slowed in recent years whereas women's has not, but if you roll the story back far enough, to the 60s and 70s, women were going to college in much fewer numbers. It's at a point now where you've got women earning upward of 60 percent of the bachelors' degrees awarded every year.'"

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690 comments

Going to get modded down as sexist for this, but.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476351)

Girls in general are natural rule-followers. They do well in school because they follow the rules, work harder, pay attention more, etc. Teachers also cut them a lot more slack, especially when they lay on the charm or waterworks.

But boys are still smarter.

And I'd much rather be smarter in the end. Following the rules, paying attention in class, and kissing your teachers' asses can only carry you so far without real intelligence to back it up. And most of the A-student girls I went to school with were dumb as cold shit compared to me on my laziest B-student day. If you need someone to get the grade, fine--go to the girl. But if you need someone to get you to the moon--your best bet is still the guy.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, as I'm sure many of you politically-correct pansies will be falling over yourselves to point out.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (2, Insightful)

NoseBag (243097) | about a year ago | (#42476437)

"You tread heavily, but you speak the truth."

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476451)

I would seriously be interested to see charts with male/female teachers and female students cup sizes.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476775)

Charts? I wanna see pictures.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476487)

No. Hetero sexual girls do better because they're not staring at the tits and thinking about the pussy of their classmates thereby allowing them to concentrate on their studies.

We poor guys have too much to deal with at school. It's not fair and I think boys should get an handicap on their grades.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1, Interesting)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42476631)

No, they are thinking about the new clothes of that bitch sit on the next desk, and in the new hairstyle all the cool girls are using. They are also thinking about how they can get the most attention from their male counterparts. All in all men are busy thinking about useless things a lot less, rest assured.

The original poster is considerably more accurate in his analysis.

Coed education (4, Interesting)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about a year ago | (#42476637)

When I was young all-boy and all-girl schools were going away. The feminists argued that it was discriminatory against girls.
Then later the feminists started arguing that girls had to be separated from boys in class because they were intimidated by the boys.

Frankly I think single sex classrooms would be better. Taking away some of the sexual distractions. At the same time there is something to be said for mixed ed sex. Maybe what I would do is build all-boy and all-girl schools next to each other.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1, Troll)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42476535)

I appreciate your effort to troll us properly, we get too much copypasta and random offensive phrases these days.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (5, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42476659)

Sure, because everything you do not agree with is trolling. The poster has a strong opinion about something that is different of yours, which he is entitled to have. Argue against it or stay quiet. You are the troll here.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#42476717)

At what point is writing an inflammatory post with nothing to back it up (his post is nothing more than "boys are smarter because I say so") trolling?

If it's just an "opinion" then there's nothing to argue against, because he's quoted no actual facts.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (2, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42476841)

Why inflammatory? He is just stating his opinion, which happens to be the same opinion many people have about this subject. He is given his anecdotal experience as fact. If you want statistical data, just look for it and you will find it. Choose any field, anything at all, anywhere, at any time of human civilization, at the top women are from rare to non existent. Do you need more evidence than that?

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#42476901)

his post is nothing more than "boys are smarter because I say so"

Actually, no.

He posted the application of Occam's Razor to to situation described in TFA. Instead of grasping at straws and coming up with insanely convoluted reasons why girls "look" better but perform worse in school, he bluntly stated the most straightforward explanation.

That doesn't make his explanation correct, but class grades describe performance viewed through the social filter of the professor; test scores have no such filter.

Or... Girls socialize better. Film at 11.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42476771)

Are you serious? GP's post is almost entirely blatant, over-the-top sexism. Replace female and male with a couple of different races and maybe it will be easier for you to see.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (5, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42476881)

Understand that in average both sexes are not equally fit for every task and equally gifted in everything is not sexism it is lucidity. Sexism is to think that a member of one sex is always better than a member of the other in anything, which is obviously false.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476899)

By that argument this entire article is a troll.

I think that anybody who's a parent of boys and girls can tell you that girls are more of all of that.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476543)

I'd love to see your evidence for "boys are still smarter". It doesn't seem terribly smart to me to destroy your own future because you don't follow the rules and don't work harder.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0, Troll)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42476729)

You have all the evidence in the world, you just need to stop blindfolding yourself. Women are responsible for very little creation of about anything in this world, no matter which time span, location or field or you decide to analyze. Sure, there are exceptions, as in everything, but as a rule women are consumers, not creators.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42476803)

Oh you're ridiculously sexist yourself, why didn't you say so when responding to my post?

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (3, Insightful)

ranton (36917) | about a year ago | (#42476765)

It doesn't seem terribly smart to me to destroy your own future because you don't follow the rules and don't work harder.

This is not a fair statement to make about children. Kids do not have the ability to look that far into the future. Girls aren't better students because they are thinking about their future careers, they are better students because of either biological differences and/or society norms that make them more obedient.

The best students are the ones whose parents do a good job of instilling values which will help them later in life. Almost any kid left to their own devices is just going to want to play.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (-1, Troll)

Jerry Smith (806480) | about a year ago | (#42476551)

Girls in general are natural rule-followers. They do well in school because they follow the rules, work harder, pay attention more, etc. Teachers also cut them a lot more slack, especially when they lay on the charm or waterworks.

But boys are still smarter.

And I'd much rather be smarter in the end. Following the rules, paying attention in class, and kissing your teachers' asses can only carry you so far without real intelligence to back it up. And most of the A-student girls I went to school with were dumb as cold shit compared to me on my laziest B-student day. If you need someone to get the grade, fine--go to the girl. But if you need someone to get you to the moon--your best bet is still the guy.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, as I'm sure many of you politically-correct pansies will be falling over yourselves to point out.

Well, nothing much to add here: despite the fact that you're AC you clearly prove to be male. Stupid is as stupid does.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (4, Interesting)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about a year ago | (#42476697)

I disagree with quite a bit with what the GP said, but I do agree with teachers cutting them more slack. It's like speeding tickets. It's been my observation that females are a lot more likely to get a warning instead of a ticket from a cop than a guy. Girls are more likely to get emotional over the grades.

Maybe that creates an additional incentive for them to study (to avoid their emotional stress), or maybe it gives them additional incentive to use emotional manipulation. It's hard to tell.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42476759)

And your overemotional hostility and absolute lack of arguments prove you to be female.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476875)

Sure, troll, because trying to state the obvious.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476583)

Girls in general are natural rule-followers. They do well in school because they follow the rules, work harder, pay attention more, etc.

Funny, as I remember school (pre-college), a couple of the girls fit this stereotype, as did a couple of the boys. Most of the population that did "well" did so by being grouped with the competant few on group assignments (which were annoyingly common) and getting their "friends" to help them with non-group assignments. (the might've actually been friends, but as seen in the classroom, it looked very parasitic)

There was a definite difference in how males and females responded to getting caught, not always "charm or waterworks," but the girls were definately better at playing the teachers' sympathy than the boys.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476601)

It all falls apart in college, anyway.

Guys go to college to pursue a career. Girls go to college to pursue a guy with a career, so they don't have to worry about work. You can say that's sexist, but look at all the women who spend the money and time to go to college, only to drop out of their career only a few hours into it so that they can breed and raise their offspring. Then they turn around and whine about the pay discrepancy.

Not all women, surely. But a lot.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476695)

Citation needed.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476639)

What about men like me, who swear they were born a lesbian trapped in a man's body?

Seems like I get the best of both worlds, I'm smarter than all the women, but have all the natural rule-following traits of actual women.

Plus the added benefit of being heterosexual gives me tremendously more opportunities to pass my traits on to future generations :)

I can relate... (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about a year ago | (#42476643)

And most of the A-student girls I went to school with were dumb as cold shit compared to me on my laziest B-student day.

I had a 2.8 GPA in college and did a presentation on Smalltalk based mainly on the "blue book" for a programming languages class. Our de facto departmental valedictorian, who had pushing on a 4.0, was exactly what you described in terms of the waterworks and charm. She had to get someone to teach her Python because she couldn't learn it in a 1-2 week period well enough to write even basic code in it (same girl who after a whole semester of C++ took several hours to implement the most basic version of "cat" in C).

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476647)

I'd bet it's more to do with our culture glorifying "bad boy rebels" and expecting that a woman can fall back on being a homemaker of she wants to. The end result being girls get cut more slack performance wise because the teacher is less likely to expect they really need to learn, and boys get a lot of positive reinforcement for "fighting the system", or being "screwed by the man".

Also the whole feminism movement is recent enough that going back more than a couple decades is likely to be really misleading so talking about "how things were in the 70's" is pretty pointless. Hell it was what '68? when the original Star Trek was considered a win for feminism for having Uhora on the bridge even though Gene lost the fight to have the female first officer he originally wrote in.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1)

hardie (716254) | about a year ago | (#42476657)

You are supporting your argument with an exception, namely yourself? Pretty weak.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476929)

The plural of "me" is "data".

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476699)

How do you determine that "boys are still smarter"? Because they do better on standardized tests? That assumes that standardized tests are a golden standard for measuring how smart someone is. Taking tests is a talent/art form in and of itself. I've known very bright people (male and female) who were very bright and capable yet terrible test takers. I've also known people (again, male and female) who aced all the tests, but couldn't explain or use the subject they just aced the test on.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#42476701)

Well it is no secret, all our tests show women are more average. You get far less really smart ones and far less really stupid ones. You get a far bigger range in me, so if you are looking for someone above average intelligence, you will find way more men than women.

How this translates to grades is obvious. A really stupid person is going to get bad grades, and often a really smart person gets relatively bad grades as well because of "no child left behind" type teaching.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#42476965)

A really smart person will get the same grade as a reasonably smart person, because tests are made so a reasonably smart person can get the top mark; any better than that is simply trimmed off; you can maybe get an A+ or A++, but at some point they just stop adding plusses and any smarts (or effort/talent/etc) beyond that is ignored.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year ago | (#42476783)

Men and women each have their strengths and weaknesses and it seems the fear of not being PC is somewhat hindering our greater efficiency.

But as a counterpoint to your example, in all my schooling, the technical people in engineering that were the smartest were usually women.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (2)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#42476789)

That does sound kinda sexist, probably because it is.

I too was a lazy screwup that passed with 'b's in every class while sleeping through it and doing no homework. That was because I was a genius and everything came naturally. I've only ever met 1 person that I can unquestionably say was my intellectual superior, and she was a chick.

And all of that has nothing to do with which side has the higher average intelligence.

Girls are not smarter because the smartest person I know is a chick.

Guys are not smarter because most of the geniuses I know, myself included, are guys.

Even if there are more male smart people in my male dominated field of CS/Math, that does not mean that men are smarter either, it is biased by the rarity of women in this field. It would be like going to a construction crew and trying to figure out if men are dumber than women because there are more of them there.

Women on average do better at education and common intellectual jobs.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476831)

That you feel you have to pre-emptively attack just shows how confiedent you are about your position.

There's also the pathetic wiggle room you allow yourself in your bigotry.

You understand there are plenty of exceptions?

As they say "the exception proves the rule" NOT "the plenty of exceptions proves the rule"

I wouldn't call a pot with plenty of holes a pot, it's a colander. As is your outdated thinking.

As you mention shooting for the moon, let's take a look at who got us to Mars:

http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/16/13318756-mars-rover-team-faces-the-masses?lite

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#42476857)

Astonishingly, this post has reached +2 insightful. It is anything but.

Girls in general are natural rule-followers.

[citation needed]

IOW, Since when? You need to meet more girls, dude.

They do well in school because they follow the rules, work harder, pay attention more, etc.

[citation needed] See above.

Teachers also cut them a lot more slack, especially when they lay on the charm or waterworks.

[citation needed]. So how come they do better in exams where the students are anonymized?

But boys are still smarter.

[citation needed] Also even if it is true that male mean intelligence is higher, the variance is such that there is almost no useful information. It certainly doesn't mean that *you* are smarter than a girl. Odds are that you're not, given your post.

And I'd much rather be smarter in the end.

You have my deepest sympathies, then.

And most of the A-student girls I went to school with were dumb as cold shit compared to me on my laziest B-student day

That sounds unlikely.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, as I'm sure many of you politically-correct pansies will be falling over yourselves to point out.

Well, you, for a start.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (2, Insightful)

DJ Jones (997846) | about a year ago | (#42476889)

I concur. I went to a very wealthy public high school where there were multiple "tracks" one could be in mathematics. Your placement in one of these "tracks" depended on the teacher's recommendations from 6-8th grade. I did no homework, never raised my hand, never studied and still pulled down B+ averages through innate ability. Frankly, I was bored by the material. I was placed in lower tracks by the teachers. Meanwhile these girls who tested at C levels but stayed after school every day, kissed ass had tutors bought by their parents were placed in the advanced tracks.

To this day I am extremely biter about the outcome. I had to take extra courses and summer classes to get myself back into the AP tracks in high school. I went on to graduate with honors in mathematics and received a PhD in Computer Science. I imagine the girls who struggled with 6th grade mathematics material aren't still in technical fields but hey, they were the ones who "worked hard" and accepted the system so they got accelerated.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (5, Interesting)

MattW (97290) | about a year ago | (#42476891)

But boys are still smarter.

I once read a summary of a study that indicated this is somewhat wrong. Boys and girls both have roughly the same averages, but boys have a higher standard deviation. This means there are more "smart" boys and more "dumb" boys; but boys aren't smarter overall. It did mean that if you asked, "How many of [gender] have [intelligence at some high sigma]?" it would indicate there were more boys, unless you were looking for people around the median. No idea if this was ever corroborated but I thought it was interesting.

Following the rules, paying attention in class, and kissing your teachers' asses can only carry you so far without real intelligence to back it up. And most of the A-student girls I went to school with were dumb as cold shit compared to me on my laziest B-student day.

Time for a Calvin Coolidge classic:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race

I don't see the additional bachelor's degrees or the additional brains as a guarantee of anything. The genius who flunks out of college because he discovers for the first time he actually has to study and actually has no idea how to do it is almost proverbial.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476907)

I would agree with you on a lot of those things, including the "sexist" part, if you're an American, because the study was made in America, where, more or less the culture is pretty much the same, compared to other regions of the world, where you can find more and bigger differences in a smaller geographical area.

At the end of the article, there's this line:

What remains unclear, however, is how to combat this discrepancy.

Well, it's pretty obvious. I'll bet anything, that the students "doing well in school" aren't the best students or the students with the best potential the school has. Which means a lot of students potential is wasted. I believe the schooling system is to blame, not the gender of the teachers, as the last paragraph implies.

Writing this, I realize I've wasted precious minutes of my life, because the "researcher" and submitter, are either twelve year olds afraid of getting "cooties" or misogynistic pigs or gay and in denial. Actually, there is one last option, but I'm not starting on that.

An Experiment (2, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42476911)

Asians in general are natural rule-followers. They do well in school because they follow the rules, work harder, pay attention more, etc. Teachers also cut them a lot more slack, especially when they lay on the charm or waterworks.

But whites are still smarter.

And I'd much rather be smarter in the end. Following the rules, paying attention in class, and kissing your teachers' asses can only carry you so far without real intelligence to back it up. And most of the A-student Asians I went to school with were dumb as cold shit compared to me, the caucasian, on my laziest B-student day. If you need someone to get the grade, fine--go to the Asian. But if you need someone to get you to the moon--your best bet is still a white person.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, as I'm sure many of you politically-correct pansies will be falling over yourselves to point out.

Will this get modded to +5 like the parent post? Why or why not?

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (4, Insightful)

Velex (120469) | about a year ago | (#42476917)

Girls in general are natural rule-followers.

I submit my co-workers as a counterexample. Anything but rule followers. Nearly every woman I have worked with wants to do things her way and her way only, standards be damned.

That being said, the problem here is gender discrimination.

What do we do with this study?

The narrative here is that since girls are getting more college degrees that they're somehow better. Why do they earn less? Why do they do more poorly at standardized testing?

It could be that percent of degrees being awarded to women is a bad metric. I'd suspect it's simply because higher learning is simply more accessible to women. Let's skip over the gender-specific scholarships, because frankly they're probably not significant. How many women end up clashing swords with their families over trivial matters? How many parents try to push their daughters out to the streets instead of letting them stay at home while they finish a degree?

There's a whole lot of crap that's being missed by this troll story.

But boys are still smarter.

No, no, a thousand times NO. You cannot judge somebody by the contents of their pants. Ok?

That is the big fucking elephant in the room that gets missed every time here. We want gender equality, right? We want career women, right? What about house-husbands? Oops, can't have that, sounds too much like homosexuality and weakness.

Women are never going to be equal until we get rid of gender stereotypes. And I mean really equal, as in being required to sign up for selective service, as in protecting boys' genitals from mutilation as well as girls' genitals. And that will never happen as long as we continue to judge, categorize, and discriminate against our children by their body parts.

Socialization starts in the cradle. Are boys and girls different? Yes. I couldn't be transgendered if male and female brains were biologically the same. What that doesn't mean is that we can take women who have been told from day one that their biggest achievement in life will be having children and compare them to men who have been told from day one that if they don't get a real job it's the gutter for them.

The way forward in my view is to find some middle ground. Of course, I'd be happy just extending that same threat of "in the gutter" to girls and taking away benefits for getting pregnant (welfare, subsidized housing, medicaid etc). Of course put in the exemptions for rape, etc.

Either that or let's just give up on this whole idea of gender equality if we can't move past the men are expendable meme vs. protect women so they can get pregnant, fuck all who pays for the pregnancy and child care.

Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#42476947)

I don't know if I would use the term 'rule followers', but definitely women seem to have more flexible postures. Although the pendulum made a swing to the other side with the whole 'feminism' movement. You have a lot more bull headed manly posture women running over people to get what they want and a lot more spineless, submissive males, geeks anyone?

Really smart/intelligent people usually end up as lackeys for other people, but hey, lots of men now a days like to have clueless bosses ruling their lives. So if that's your sort of thing...

Differing learning styles (4, Interesting)

cslibby (626565) | about a year ago | (#42476463)

When it comes to girls learning, their styles of learning tend to be more aligned with the school structure we have in our current education system. Boys have a tendency to "Like Learning" later in life, once they have a better understanding of their physical world. This does not mean Girls are smarter than Boys, or the other way around, but they are just Different from each other, just as a Apple is Different than an Orange, and we should not try to do a one to one comparison.

Re:Differing learning styles (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476515)

Are You a German?

Re:Differing learning styles (2)

roachmotel3 (543872) | about a year ago | (#42476531)

Perhaps you're right, but unfortunately this has some pretty vast social implications. If 60% of the degrees are going to women, and women and men are in a roughly 50/50 ratio, this means that there are going to be a lot of well paid, socially and economically powerful women who can't find equals as mates.

As the father of a young, smart daughter, this makes me sad. It means most likely, if my daughter wants to have a family she's going to have to accept some low-life college dropout because he didn't find the energy to figure out learning and education were worthwhile before it was too late.

Re:Differing learning styles (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#42476565)

Considering that through much of history men have married women with lower levels of educational attainment and income, and been able to be happy in those relationships without considering their wives "low-lives", I'm not sure why the reverse would be impossible.

Re:Differing learning styles (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476671)

It's because feminism has completely failed to address this part of the gender double-standard. They wanted equality, but on their own terms without any risk of role reversal. In the end, it's an Orwellian thing where all genders are equal but some genders and more equal than other genders.

Re:Differing learning styles (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42476851)

Considering that through much of history men have married women with lower levels of educational attainment and income, and been able to be happy in those relationships without considering their wives "low-lives", I'm not sure why the reverse would be impossible.

Parents are still teaching their daughters about being a damsel in distress and that a dashing prince will save them. They'll sit them down in front of a Disney movie and let it teach them those kinds of lessons. Little girls are being constantly reinforced with the idea that they need a strong man in their life to be complete.

Society also functions in that way. In divorce, the courts are heavily biased towards women. The starting point for negotiations isn't 50/50, the starting point is 50 + alimony for her + child support for her / whatever is left. A man not paying can get a warrant on him and his paychecks garnished. Consider: there aren't too many government-backed collection vehicles aside from liens and the IRS, so this is pretty unique. The state enforces the woman to be the "weaker sex". The court can order child support paid, for example, even when none of the parents want it, as is the case recently in KY where a sperm donor is now on the hook because he didn't go through an state-recognized institution like a fertility clinic.

Re:Differing learning styles (5, Insightful)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year ago | (#42476669)

You don't need a degree to avoid being a "low-life." I don't have a degree (yet) and I make much more as a software engineer than most of my degree-holding friends.

Re:Differing learning styles (1)

ranton (36917) | about a year ago | (#42476673)

The problem they are pointing out has more to do with how students are graded, not how well they are learning. Since boys still have higher test scores (according to the article), it looks like they are still learning better in a school environment. The problem is how schools grade their students. If grades are too decoupled from the actual learning taking place, there is a problem.

I saw a documentary (1, Funny)

knuthin (2255242) | about a year ago | (#42476483)

I saw a documentary on this awesome (yet rarely mentioned) site called 'Naughty America' that covered how girls get good grades in detail. Must watch.

Re:I saw a documentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476567)

Unfortunately it only covers the part of academia called 'male teacher fantasy land', which has no engineering schools.

School targets girls (2, Insightful)

avandesande (143899) | about a year ago | (#42476499)

Last year my son (diagnosed with mild autism) was required to spend 1/3 of his time doing group work in math class and consistently was graded poorly for these activities. In my mind doing group work in pre-algebra is of questionable value and useless for boys.

Re:School targets girls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476581)

Why is group work useless for boys?

Or are you following the "male == lone hunter" style of male upbringing here?

Re:School targets girls (1)

avandesande (143899) | about a year ago | (#42476715)

I guess you have drank the coolaid too? There wasn't any group work when I was growing up and more physical activities. Back then boys did quite a bit better.

Re:School targets girls (5, Insightful)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year ago | (#42476809)

I can't imagine anything less useful for high-performing students than group work in math class. It does nothing more than create a pool of free tutors to help the teacher.

As a math / science teacher (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476523)

I teach highschool math and physics, and by far, a disproportinate amount of my "better students" are female. I will not go as far to say that they are more or less smart (choose whichever difinition of smart that you like) than the male students, but the results among myself and teacher friends from across the region do not lie. The majority of female students I have can solve the assigned problems more accurately, and quickly than the their male counterparts. Is it attention span? Hormones? I can't say. It's merely an observation.

Simple (3, Insightful)

bongey (974911) | about a year ago | (#42476527)

They don't have penius that is thinking "boobs,sex,boobs,sex" , very hard to study when you have something like that in your life.

Re:Simple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476961)

Unless you have the motivation of solving a problem with said thoughts being rewarded... that is how men design get folks to the moon.

is better at school better at life? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476529)

The first sentence says that doing better at school does not correlate with standardized test scores. What does it correlate with? What is the benefit of being good at school if it does not promote intelligence? Since these grades are being given out subjectively by a teacher, I'd say it correlates with not being a pain in the ass.

This should be less about boys vs girls and more about the fact that neither subjective teachers or standardized tests are very good at measuring intelligence.

Ummm (5, Insightful)

Velex (120469) | about a year ago | (#42476533)

I should probably read TFA, but this is Slashdot. So, uhh, if girls do worse on standardized tests, how do we conclude they do better at school?

Let me guess. This is all going to come down to some kind of thing where when the girls underperform, we change the school, and when the boys underperform, we change the boys.

To try to keep a rant short, let's see why boys do so poorly. Could it have anything to do with rampant gender discrimination at the primary level and being forcefed feminist nonsense and guilt-tripping at the secondary level?

Jeebus. I remember many times when we did projects in class in elementary that the girls were given more options for what they could do than boys. Why? Well, everyone knows girls are more responsible than boys. One year even it was a school-wide policy that during indoor recess, the girls had the option to go to the gym to play basketball or volleyball, but the boys had to stay in their classroom.

Hell, I even remember one teacher I had who once decided to punish all the boys because of a few in the back who were acting up. Why? Well, we had it coming. I challenged the teacher about how it was fair to punish me when I hadn't done anything wrong, and I'll never forget the response. "You're just as well-behaved as a girl, but it wouldn't be fair to the rest of the boys if I let you off." Holy shit.

How about if we just get rid of gender stereotyping and discrimination? How about if we stop imprinting girls with math phobia? How about if we stop treating boys like they're already rapists and thugs?

Or is that just asking too damned much?

Re:Ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476603)

You should have told your teacher that the United Nations Human Rights Council has judged that collective punishment is a human rights violation, putting her in the same company as people like Pol Pot and Mao.

Re:Ummm (4, Interesting)

codewarren (927270) | about a year ago | (#42476723)

if girls do worse on standardized tests, how do we conclude they do better at school?

The answer is in the summary. Teachers give girls better grades. Standardized tests give boys better grades.

Re:Ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476855)

forcefed feminist nonsense

What, exactly, in the flying FUCK, are you talking about?

Why Girls Do Better At School (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476541)

There actually have been a number of studies done that state the way that the male and female mind learn effectively are quite different. The female mind tends to learn extremely well in a more social interaction of sitting around listening and exchanging information. They will actually bond better in relaxed social situations, and learn effectively in that sort of environment which in a lot of ways is very similar to a classroom environment.
Males, on the other hand, are more apt to retain information and forge bonds if activity is involved. This activity may be related or unrelated to the subject being learned. I know myself as a male, I learn more effectively if I am actually doing something related to the subject. Lab was great in school... Sitting there listening to Ben Stein was more difficult...

...and yet (1)

itamblyn (867415) | about a year ago | (#42476547)

they get paid 81 cents on the dollar.

Re:...and yet (5, Interesting)

Eldragon (163969) | about a year ago | (#42476675)

The economist in me says: "If the market could truly bear women being paid 20% less than men, then employers would only hire women." All businesses are looking for any means to cut costs.

No, I'm not saying women should be paid less or do an inferior job; I'm saying that old statistic is grossly over-used and over-applied.

STEM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476559)

Maybe that's why boys do better in STEM courses. Where there is a right answer and it doesn't matter if your teacher likes you or not.
Anytime the grade is subjective, the kids that have build up a 'nice' rep with the graders are going to do better

most teachers are female (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476573)

Most teachers are female.

Re:most teachers are female (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#42476871)

"Most teachers are female."

Boys have no time to learn, they have to produce 20 times the testosterone that the girls need.

Additionally that causes pompous, aggressive and dangerous behavior so that 5% of them die from it.
It also makes people more selfish, so that they are not as likely to become teachers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testosterone#Behaviour_and_personality [wikipedia.org]

That's why usually Nature produces 105 males for 100 females, unless you're in India or China where they fuck with the numbers. That will bite their asses in a very short time.

Feminization of US schools (5, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | about a year ago | (#42476589)

Before even clicking on the link, I knew this was an American study. Schools in the US, especially elementary schools, are massively dominated by women. Boys do generally have more difficulty sitting still for long periods, and need to use up their physical energy. This used to be handled by recess periods and sports. They could run around, play games, be competitive, get a bit tired - and be ready the next period of sitting still.

This is no longer allowed. Competitive sports are out, even pretty tame things like tag or dodgeball. Playgrounds have to be ultra-safe, which means utterly boring. Because virtually all teachers and administrators in elementary schools are women, there is very little understanding of boys' needs. They are expected to behave like perfect little...girls.

Is it any wonder they do poorly in school?

Re:Feminization of US schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476749)

They do poorly because there is a Way against them.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2000/05/the-war-against-boys/304659/

Re:Feminization of US schools (2)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year ago | (#42476909)

I think it needs to be remembered that education != success.

Business schools have spent some time on this. The best entrepreneurs are incapable of sitting through business classes. Education rewards good students, not successful people. If the goal of a society is to be highly conformist, then the current education system does well. However, America's competitive edge in the world is based on new non-conforming ideas.

When non-PC explainations can be said ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476599)

Interesting how we can look for actual causes in a situation like this. Usually it's a protected class (women, minorities, etc) on the ass end of some kind of disparity, and in those cases DISCRIMINATION is the only possible answer.

Survey says.... (2, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#42476609)

There was a survey a while back that I heard some NPR commentators bantering about a while back (few years ago, tried to find a link but nothing is popping up)

We all know the standard stereotype is that men are threatend by smart/hard working women, look down at them, don't consider them good mates etc....

What they were finding was that these attridues were becoming less common in younger boys, and younger boys have been,more and more, indicating that they find intelligence and hard work attractive in women and don't really see just a "housewife" as a woman's place.

Leading me to remember an old quote about scientific theories and thinking it may apply to social ones:

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. -- Max Plank

Grading/Tests are flawed (4, Interesting)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about a year ago | (#42476613)

I can tell you that many of the best GPA students at my school were some of the dumbest in the class. They were good at regurgitating data, but their comprehension was horrible. That's why they scored low on tests that required logical analysis. They just couldn't take the leap from one thought to another.

It's like an old co-worker of mine that a week after passing his Network+ certification, he truthfully asked me what a router was. He had no clue. He was just good at memorizing questions, and he spent a few weeks memorizing a ton of practice tests. He gamed the system. I pity any one who hires him thinking that he has any of the skills he's certified for.

Many Reasons (2)

DesertJazz (656328) | about a year ago | (#42476621)

There are many reasons I see girls do better in school on the whole. I think one of the main reasons though is that the majority of teachers tend to be women. These are women who took getting an education seriously, and often times know what worked for them to learn the subject. I think those teachers are often able to reach those that are similar to them. The interesting thing to me though is that I think competitiveness rises for the top spots in classes frequently from the boys still. They'll do anything to be number 1, and sometimes that hard work pays off. Often times though you see a couple boys clustered in the top ten still, with a significant portion of girls following that before more boys. I think the last 6 years of valedictorians in my school district have all been girls.

With only two other male teachers at the junior high campus I teach at, a science teacher and a PE teacher, I really do think that a lot of boys get left behind in learning styles.

Re:Many Reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476885)

Yes, it's not that strange that a female is better at explaining things so that a female will understand.

Let's see them put a woman on the moon... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476623)

... before we start breaking out the champagne.

What a joke. Imagine an all female NASA. Can you?

What about an all BLACK NASA?

LOL.

What about an all FEMALE BLACK NASA?

Even bigger LOL.

Sexist? (4, Insightful)

Das Auge (597142) | about a year ago | (#42476693)

If the genders were reversed on this topic, it would have been labeled as sexist. But since it's the guys on the short end of the study, it's okay.

Maybe I should start support groups, activist organizations, and demand equality?

Confusion (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | about a year ago | (#42476727)

Willingness to learn or willingness to jump through meaningless hoops?

I disagree with earlier posts about boys being smarter though. Girls are smart too, but their motivations are often a little bit different. The AC at the top seems like someone who tries to measure everyone else in terms of his own self-image and can't recognize other types of intelligence.

Girls and boys learn differently (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476735)

Girls and boys learn differently. Research has shown that schools offer an environment more conducive for girls learning styles rather than boys. This is one driver for home education (though a minor one).

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/how-boys-and-girls-learn-differently
http://www.rd.com/advice/parenting/how-boys-and-girls-learn-differently/
http://www.cblpi.org/resources/article.cfm?ID=52
http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/why-girls-do-better-in-school-010212/

Better? Are you Sure? (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about a year ago | (#42476751)

If women were really doing better then more of them would be in CS. It's improving, but their is still a huge gap. If they represent 60% of all Degrees but only represent 12% of CS Degrees then what Degrees are they being over represented in? They could easily be going into more fluff degrees which would make their quantity meaningless. Figure out why they avoid Math and Science before you go off saying they are doing better compared to Men. Until they do the same things that the Men are doing it's like comparing apples and oranges.

Boy and girls are equally good at learning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476767)

"...attentiveness, task persistence, eagerness to learn, learning independence, flexibility and organization. I think that anybody who's a parent of boys and girls can tell you that girls are more of all of that.'"

That may be true in school, with all its flaws, but as a parent of home-schooled children, I'd say that girls and boys are equally attentive, eager to learn, etc. The crux of the matter is that boys learn in a different manner than girls. Boys are less willing to sit still for long periods of time, and their interests are in different areas *at different times* than girls. It is very important that the teaching methods take this into account. If it is, good results are possible. In a traditional school system this is generally not a consideration. It's much easier to label a child as ADHD, which is hardly ever the case.

Everyone is a natural learner and equally naturally curious. The school system by its institutional nature cannot adequately accommodate the variances in learning style. So of course by any "one size fits all" measure, some will be less...malleable; and deemed to be slower. By and large, the flaw is with the teaching methodology, not the student.

Private school (1)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#42476807)

The answer is private school. I don't even have to read the article. None of this shit was ever an issue until the feminists got their hands on public schools. Private schools dont see these issues.

I'll work 4 jobs before my kid goes to a public school.

Boys are interested in GIRLS, not in learning. DUH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476819)

Boys hit their sexual peak in their teens and simply don't give a crap about learning and school. They're too busy staring at the hottie with the tight pants on and thinking about how they're going to approach her, get to know her, and hopefully get laid.

Girls aren't so hormone-driven at that age and therefore are undistracted and perfectly capable of focusing on the lesson at hand.

Split the schools up into boys and girls classes and I'm sure there will be a spike in male-grade-performance.

Interesting ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476833)

If boys are scoring higher then how are we assuming girls are doing better? Maybe their marks in classes are better, but the standardized tests are where they score lower?

I find it fairly easy to believe girls are, in general, seen as doing better. Many of the girls I went to school with were bright (no question) and they often also had a stronger will to do well, or to be seen doing well, to measure up. Many of the girls I went to school with studied their asses off, worked hard, stayed late. They did very well and deserved to. A lot of the guys I went to school with, myself included (I think), were bright, learned quickly and could apply our knowledge, but didn't have the same urge to please, to be seen doing well. In short, I think we (the guys) were less motivated. We knew the material, but didn't go the extra mile to make sure all our work was polished when it was handed in.

There was, as someone else pointed out above, a preference toward girls in our school. If a guy did something wrong, the whole male population was taken down. If a girl stepped out of line, just she was punished, if at all. There was more leeway for young women.

Male vs female teachers can make the difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476843)

They say they can't say anything about whether the gender of the teachers make a difference "because there just isn't enough male teachers".

There's a data point from Norway: A small group of schools have better results for boys than girls, and their commonality is more male teachers [www.nrk.no] (translation [google.com]).

Other research does not support this as a general trend; see e.g. http://www.ungdomsforskning.no/Download/2-2009/Bakkentrykk.pdf [ungdomsforskning.no] (there's further references in there). A translated summary of this is here [google.com]. The original article is Anders Bakken 2009 Are male teachers important for boys' school achievement? Norwegian Journal of Youth Research 2009 (2) :25-44

multitasking vs single minded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476863)

"attentiveness, task persistence, eagerness to learn, learning independence, flexibility and organization" .
I think girls are simply better at all of this on average, where boys are more single minded.

So I think boys will score high on one of these, but low on others.
For example I was always eager to learn, and able to learn independently, but lacked attentiveness.

I think girls will be better at doing all these by average, which is more successful in the long run.

But if you would ask them to do a specific task on focus only on that, I think boys will do better ( on average ).

However, this is only school we are talking about, not real life.
What makes you successful in high school makes you a loser in the workplace, and vice versa.

Cause and Effect (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42476933)

And they wonder why young men end up shooting up the school after 10 years of emasculation and Ritalin...

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