[EDEQUITY Equity Now] High school boys lagging behind girls

From: Rochelle Riling (seamouse@televar.com)
Date: Wed May 22 2002 - 15:43:38 EDT

The concern that growing attention to "how boys are doing" could negatively
impact attention and resources focused on girls is a valid one. It can
also be
an opportunity to educate and learn about gender? which I really don't
has happened. Until the reality of differing gender experiences is viewed
credibility, certain roadblocks will remain in place for girls and women.
Raising the issue of boys as a group could be an open door to shaping
conversations about gender. Participating in the conversation right now is

Assisting schools and male students to change their own "gender influenced"
behaviors (where appropriate) can certainly influence girls in positive
both in terms of what they experience interacting with males AND for that
"subset" of girls whose experiences at school is comparable to the "what's
going wrong with boys" indicators. Assisting schools and boys to SEE
and recognized gender-based inequities could be a good thing. Linking how
and how girls are doing is probably the key, i.e. boys make up a
disproportionate segment of the special ed population AND girls are
underidentified for special ed. Boys may be better engaged by providing
different types of reading/writing materials AND boys need to better learn
find the value in the so-called "relational" attributes of Language Arts.
Schools may not do the kind of job making room for boys' "physicality" as
could AND boys need to better learn the interpersonal skills to deal more
appropriately with that "physicality." Etc. Is this a perspective worth
advancing? How?
-Rochelle Riling

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