Thursday, March 04, 2004

Something non-election, non-war, non-gay-marriage related

Didn't think I had it in me, did you?

Here's a piece from the San Francisco Chronicle on new Fed regulations designed to make possible the establishment of same-sex classes or schools.

I've heard the arguments on both sides - seen the studies. Girls flourish when free of the harsh, competitive vibe of boys. Teachers, male and female, favor boys in math and science classes - and subtly don't promote the sciences for girls. My godmother even runs a well-known, all girls prep school in Los Angeles. She's a big fan of all-girls ed. I went to college across from a girls school - NO - a Women's College (see Catherine, don't get mad).

In the article, one educator says:
"Both girls and boys, especially at middle school, get caught up in social behavior related to impressing the other gender," he said. "Having a single-sex environment can allow them to focus on their own development ... without worrying so much about impressing the girls or impressing the boys."

To which I say, that's great, but boys still run themselves stupid trying to impress girls - and chicks still become stupid in reply.

It's interesting to see how this concept plays in San Francisco - bastion of liberal "equal everything for all"-ism.

Here's my thought, though: There is a lot to be said for taking away the negative impact of boys on girls in education. They are favored in math and science. They do get a lot of classroom attention. They are the next student body president, they are the quarterback, they are, well, It.

But boys exist. That's the cold, hard truth. Boys are out there. Girls have to work with them in business, in government, in arts and sciences. There are few single-sex industries available. There's no way to wall off gender issues forever. So better learn to negotiate the interplay in school. Better learn to be competitive and take nothing from no one early.

Not all girls have the "screw you" vibe that runs strong in my blood. But I think few will acquire it if they are too cozy in school.

Plan to let schools divide sexes / Bush proposal to pay for all-girl or all-boy classes

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