Re: Parts II & III - Deborah Brake's opening statement

H Furbrow (
Mon, 20 Apr 1998 14:26:35 PDT

>The ongoing problems include: discrimination against
>pregnant and parenting young women, combined with wholly
>inadequate educational opportunities, which exacerbate
>high dropout rates and foster economic dependence with
>all of its attendant problems;

Drop out rates, according to the government, are higher for boys in all
age and racial categories.

>the rampant problem of sexual harassment; substantial
>underrepresentation of females in math, science and other high
>technology programs;

How do you define "substantial"? Female representation has been
increasing in all categories. On the 1996 National Assessment of
Educational Progress math tests, eighth and twelfth grade girls did as
well as boys. Reversing earlier patterns, girls are more likely than
boys to take geometry, algebra, and chemestry in high school, and
equally likely to take trigonometry and calculus.

How does this square with the need for an "educational equity" program
aimed exclusively at girls?

>significantly lower scores on a wide variety of
>standardized tests; biases against girls' participation
>in the classroom and biased curricula;

Girls outperform boys (and I believe, always have) by a substantial
margin in reading, and especially writing. In 1995, Science magazine
warned that this trend could seriously damage young men's job
opportunities in the information age.

>highly sex-segregated vocational education programs
>with females overwhelmingly in training programs
>for traditionally female -- and traditionally
>low wage -- jobs;

Unless you can cite figures for the above claim, I'll choose to believe
that the problem is not as bad as you make out. Some girls *choose* to
be secretaries or hairdressers because they plan on being mothers and
homemakers rather than engineers, scientists, or lawyers. We will
always need secretaries and hairdressers, female or male. And some
women will choose full time mothering despite our best efforts to lead
them to the corporate world. Removing these "traditionally female" jobs
as options for young women, and continuing to discourage and ridicule
boys who might want to pursue them sends a message that you look down on
their choices and see them as inadequate.

>exclusion of female students from many athletics
>opportunities, including athletic scholarships
>worth hundreds of millions of dollars;

What exclusion from what athletic opportunities? The Title IX lawsuits
which swept across tha nation in the 1980's have closed down many
moneymaking male sports activities, the reduced funding resulting in the
loss of programs for both sexes.

>and the availability to men but not women of entire
>classes of other scholarships, many for study in
>fields in which men already have a participation

Do you have an example of such scholarships, and a source for this
information? The discussion will be meaningless if we keep using broad
generalizations like "entire classes" and "many" without any concrete

H. Furbrow

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