The Self Fulfilling Prophecy Of The Gender Education Gap
For at least two decades now, boys have been exposed to an education system that is incompatible and arguably hostile to their identity. I have already written extensively about the gender education gap over 7 other Hubs (which can be found in my Hub profile). What I wanted to do in this article, was to put some of the pieces together into a simple model, so people can easily visualise what is going on. I think it is terrific that women are excelling in education, I really do. We all stand to benefit as a society by having highly educated women that can contribute to our economies. However our education system is failing boys and in many ways has been engineered over several decades to work against them. People are entitled to disagree with me, but it is my belief that feminism has directly and indirectly engaged in a systematic attack on male education since the mid 1980s.
I have made mention in my other Hubs, that feminism at its highest levels is run by radicals. It is not run by everyday women. Modern feminism envisages that we live in a world where men exercise power over women in the form of a patriarchal social order. It is my contention that their strategy has been to remove the male power they perceive in society, by reducing the capacity of men to succeed in the workforce. By attacking boy’s education, they effectively undercut their ability to get the best jobs, a good salary and a successful career later on in life. Education underpins much of the future success people will have in society. Therefore it makes sense to attack boy’s education to remove the imaginary male oppression these radical women perceive.
I realise for some that this would seem to be a rather bold contention, but frankly it is not that big a leap. I have experienced discrimination against me because I am male, in primary school, secondary school and even university. It is not just me. I have come across many other men that have felt the same way. In fact the “war on boys”, is indeed something that has been identified and discussed at length by academics and reporters. The antagonism between our education system and boys is a well known fact.
Feminist groups have been very crafty at covertly manipulating the education system against boys and suppressing programs to address boy’s education over the last few decades. It often escapes media scrutiny and is seldom discussed. Like I said in my on Hub on the Business of Feminism, modern feminism is a law unto itself. There is no oversight or scrutiny of its activities by the media, government or the public. Indeed feminist groups actually exert a lot of influence over media, government and public organisations.
The War On Boys
Young Men Feel Unwelcome At Our Universities
Merely One Example Of How Schools Are Anti-Male
I will present a few adjacent videos here that help support my claims about modern feminism, but I think it is safe for me to say that what I have directly experienced in my own life, is not in my imagination. Indeed Prof. Christina Hoff Sommers (author of the book, “The War On Boys”) critically examined the meddling influence of feminism on education in the Atlantic. Modern feminism frames the relationship between men and women as a competition and desires one thing-power. The radical feminists which control Western feminism want a complete role reversal of what they erroneously perceive. They want gender supremacy and a matriarchy. Only then will they be satisfied that evil men can no longer hurt them and oppress them.
Meanwhile the rest of the men and women in society will have to suffer at their expense. I am mean think about it. What do people seriously think is going to happen in the next 10-20 years when half the population does not even have the literacy and numeracy skills to participate in the workforce? We can’t go back to having half the population working. Our economies now depend on both men and women contributing. The multi-generational neglect of boy’s education is going to precipitate the collapse of our economies. Men will be too undereducated in an information economy to be employable.
If you want a vision of the future of men, then picture the London riots happening every year in multiple cities across the world. Mass shootings will become more and more common. Male suicide will skyrocket and there is a good chance that the supply of skilled labour will be that scarce many businesses will move overseas. This is not an exaggeration, this is cause and effect.
Before I go on to the next section of this article, I would like people to read this account by one boy of his experience at school. We have a problem, a big problem and we need to stop ignoring it and address it, or society will face severe future social and economic consequences that will be long lasting.
So what is happening in our schools? The Psychological Nexus Of Failure
Basically what is occurring is a vicious psychological feedback loop on a societal scale, in which people’s views about gender are being distorted and this is in turn perpetuating a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are 4 steps. 1. Altered beliefs about the target group (in this case boys), 2. Behavioural change toward the target group, 3. Change in motivations of the target group, 4. Behavioural change of the target group.
1. Altered beliefs about the target group
Our societal, cultural and media system is filled with false information about how men and boys are stupid and not as smart as women and girls. An example of this, was the media’s coverage and distortion of Prof. Flynn’s work on intelligence, which I covered in my Hub on Misandry And The Media. Adults read such material, which in turn alters their beliefs about gender and they then imprint such views on to their children. In addition children may be exposed to such material directly. Think about the portrayal of men in ads and TV shows. Children watch those things. Then of course we have people like Hanna Rosin writing books about, "The End Of Men" and making absurd claims in the mainstream media that men are redundant, finished and obsolete in our 21st century society. This type of man bashing garbage is pervasive in the mainstream media and has been for at least two decades. Adults and children alike watch, hear or read such material and their beliefs become skewed. To say people are not influenced by these messages is naïve.
2. Behavioural change toward the target group
These changes in people’s beliefs, influence how people treat men and boys. Female teachers and female students are no exception. Walk into any primary school in Western society and the overwhelming majority of teachers are women. In my state in Australia, the figure is 80%. The situation is similar at the secondary level, although not as extreme. Teaching is a female profession. So if you are a boy, you are basically under the authority of women at school for virtually the entirety of your primary years and a substantial part of your secondary schooling. There are no male educational role models to speak of. No wonder boys perceive schoolwork as a feminine pursuit.
Studies have found a significant bias against boys in how they are assessed. Research conducted by Prof. Cornwell from the University of Georgia, has found a bias against boys in teacher assigned grades (These same observations have also been found in quite a few other research studies conducted across the West. See the lecture at the very bottom of this article for more information on those studies.). Boys were not being graded in concordance with what objective tests and their actual academic performance would predict in any subject. For instance, boys had higher test scores than girls in science and general knowledge and yet received lower grades from their teachers relative to their actual performance. The same was seen in maths, where boys did at least as well as girls on math tests and actually did slightly better in a number of cohorts (see the actual corresponding research paper linked here) and yet received lower teacher assigned math grades. The study found that the gap between teacher assessment and objective test scores grows over the course of boy’s education.
Why? Teachers subjectively evaluated students on non-cognitive socio-emotional factors and this subjective evaluation was always found to favour girls. In the actual corresponding scientific paper by Professor Cornwell, these factors were identified as the teachers perception of the students willingness to learn, good behaviour in class and the students overall engagement in the classroom. These factors described collectively as "approaches to learning", were measured in the study. Could it be that the behaviour of girls and their eagerness to please their mostly female teachers was looked at in biased favour over the boys when grading assessment? The research certainly suggests that may indeed be the case.
The study showed that this gynocentric bias resulted in boys receiving lower grades when they had the same academic performance as girls or even performed at a higher level. In other words, boys were penalised in their grades for not behaving like the girls. Prof. Cornwell observed that after controlling for non-cognitive factors, the gender gap in teacher assigned grades favouring girls was eliminated across all areas of academic study under investigation, with the exception of reading which almost entirely vanished anyway. So when boys behaved like the girls, they were not penalised in their grades. When boys behaved as themselves, suddenly they were penalised. Prof. Christina Hoff Sommers has discussed this phenomenon of pathologising the behaviour of healthy young boys in our education systems at length, in her lectures and writings on the "War On Boys".
It is in these subtle ways that we marginalise boys in education, wrongly medicate healthy young male children into docile robots and make the learning environment of our schools unaccommodating and frankly hostile to masculinity. Moving assessment away from objective performance measures and instead relying upon the teacher’s subjective grade assessment of the child’s performance, puts boys at a disadvantage. In other words, there is a teacher and assessment method bias against boys in the classroom. Boys are actually doing better than girls in science and general knowledge, at least as well in maths (better in some cohorts) and virtually the same in reading and yet this is not being observed in their grades.
Where does this bias come from? It comes from the influence of mainstream media material like that referred to in step 1 earlier. It is in this way that masculinity is incorrectly associated with inferiority or sub-optimal behaviour and performance. This is how the masses are indoctrinated to develop a pathological attitude that men and boys are inferior and to treat them accordingly. For example, in response to the misleading sensationalist newspaper reports that women are smarter than men, we had statements from adults and parents like:
“Supporting the notion that women are more than capable of taking on the stereotypically-male hunter-gatherer role, is Helena Jamieson, 33, a consultant who studied English literature at Cambridge.
On her marriage to stay-at home father Luke, 37, she said: “We have done the role reversal. I’m definitely the more intellectual person in the relationship and I’m at work full time while he is raising our daughter.
“I think women probably always knew deep down that they were the more intelligent ones – but as the gentler sex we were quiet about it and let men continue to believe they ruled the world.” (The Telegraph)
Clearly such media influence has a significant effect on how adults and worryingly parents (as seen above) think about the genders and how they consequently behave toward men and boys. Teachers are not immune to the impact neurosexism in the media has on their thinking and their treatment of young boys in the classroom. Indeed as discussed earlier, we now have proof that it is highly likely they have been affected by this misandric cultural conditioning.
The Humiliation Of Boys
It is not just teachers or adults though that are having their thinking skewed. Girls and boys are having their thinking affected as well. Disturbing research has shown that young boys and girls now think girls are smarter than boys. When they questioned the children, the children believed adults supported this belief. Well now we know where they are learning it from don’t we? Indeed the researchers made strong recommendations that teachers should stop making remarks like “silly boy” or “be good and sit like the girls”. The excessive humiliation of misbehaving boys by teachers is also not uncommon in schools.
3. Change in motivations of the target group
If you keep telling someone that they are no good, guess what, they start to believe it. If our society is giving boys the impression they are dumb and stupid and we have teachers clearly showing bias in grading their assessment, then boys will start to lose interest in applying themselves at school. They will become unmotivated and play up in class instead. If you’re a boy, you now go through your childhood hearing about how immature and stupid you are, you then walk into a classroom that reinforces that perception in you. After a while you give up and switch off. By the time you reach senior secondary school, you are that far behind in your education that simply passing your subjects becomes a challenge. University might as well be a pipe dream.
4. Behavioural change of the target group
Research has shown that this drop in motivation among boys causes a corresponding drop in their performance. When girls and boys were assessed on reading, writing and maths tests and one group was told girls do better on the tests and the other group was told girls and boys do equally well, guess what happens? Surprise, surprise, boys do substantially worse in the group where they are told girls do better. This is stereotype threat in action and it is a real phenomenon for boys in today’s schools.
Now here is the really disturbing part. Step 4, feeds back into step 1. It becomes a vicious cycle. We are told girls/women are smarter than boys/men, boys and men perform accordingly and this in turn reinforces the falsehood of female intellectual superiority (neither gender is smarter). It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and becomes worse and worse. Indeed the trend is becoming worse. In some areas of the Western world, men make up only 37% of university students.
This cycle must be broken. Major media outlets have an ethical obligation to report the news correctly and there needs to be scrutiny and accountability shown in the media toward biased and misleading reporting attacking men and boys (particularly when an agenda is likely to be at play). This is particularly true when covering scientific or social research about gender. There needs to be a crackdown on advertisements, TV shows (particularly those that target children) and news programs that portray men as lazy idiots or convey some false message of male inferiority. Secondly adults have an obligation to ensure they don’t pass on sexist stereotypes onto children. Thirdly we need more male teachers in the education system, particularly at the primary level. There should also be a greater emphasis on objective measures of assessment and less reliance on subjective evaluation of performance and teacher assigned grades. Culturally, both teachers and parents should be holding up the same level of academic expectations for boys as they do for girls. Perhaps most of all, the influence of ideological feminism needs to be removed from the education system and from the media and social balance and impartiality needs to be restored to those institutions. We need to stop viewing masculinity and the behaviour of young boys as a pathology in the classroom.
If we want to safeguard ourselves from economic ruin, then we need to be doing something about boy’s education now! The scale of the problem is such that I cannot believe it is not headline news every second week. You can find my other seven hubs extensively covering the gender education gap in my Hub Profile.
I will leave people to ponder one major finding. When we home-school the sexes, the gender achievement gap vanishes. Our school system puts boys at a distinct disadvantage relative to girls.
A Rebuttal To The Feminist Counterargument On The Grading Bias Against Boys
The retort from some feminists when confronted with the research from the Cornwell study cited above showing a clear bias in grade assessment favouring girls, is that it is the traits of approaches to learning (ATL traits) that causes the difference in grades and not the sex of the student. They cite their observation that when boys are rated the same as girls on ATL traits and have equal objective test scores, they are not penalised with the sex difference in grade assessment favouring girls that is seen with other boy’s grades. This is a classic example of feminists attempting to reframe the argument away from the core premise with sophistry. Feminists don’t want you to focus on the forest readers, just focus on those trees over there.
Firstly their observation was not seen conclusively across all cohorts in the Cornwell study. It is also worth noting that the Cornwell research study is merely just one of a number of studies showing a marking bias against boys and favouring girls in the education system (see the lecture at the bottom of this article that goes through just some of the other research). In addition to being reported in research and studies multiple times, this marking bias against boys has been observed in different countries in the West, at different levels of education and using different methodologies and results have been replicated. The feminist claim about the ATL traits mentioned earlier, is only partially relevant to the Cornwell research at best and mostly likely hardly relevant at all to the Cornwell study, which I will demonstrate later in this rebuttal. The feminist claim does not pertain to at all, or explain all of the other research which found the same marking bias against boys using different methodologies (the feminist claim is just based on the methodology of the Cornwell study). The fact the observed marking bias against boys is so consistent despite varying samples by location, education level and other factors and despite varying methodologies, strongly supports the conclusion that it is prejudice against the student simply because they are male rather than other factors, which is the causal reason for boys being marked lower than girls. You would not see such a consistent finding otherwise.
Even if I assume the feminist position regarding the Cornwell study, that there is literally no bias due to sex and that women are simply graded higher entirely because they are rated higher in ATL traits, the basic fact remains that students are being graded lower than their objective test scores and this is based on factors other than actual competency in the learning material. It is a clear fact from Prof. Cornwell’s study mentioned above in this article, that the student’s grades are not measuring their true academic performance. Furthermore, it is a fact that this clearly flawed method of grade assessment as opposed to objective test scores, has a disproportionately negative impact on boys academic performance relative to girls. These are factual observations from the study and they are consistent and across the board. They are not findings, conclusions or interpretations of the research or cherry picking of observations (unlike the feminist assertion that this rebuttal addresses).
The traits that the researchers looked at as approaches to learning, were reported by the teachers who took part in the study in behavioural questionnaires. The measurement of ATL traits was not based on any objective metrics of engagement in the classroom, behaviour in class or willingness to learn etc. ATL traits were measured based on the teacher’s subjective evaluation of the male and female student’s behaviour, as reported on a questionnaire. In psychology, the subjective evaluation of a person, entity or object is called an attitude. Furthermore, the subjective rating of ATL traits was consistently found in the study to favour girls.
So based on the observations found in this study, we are talking about the teacher’s attitude toward the students influencing the student’s grades. We are talking about this bias impacting boys disproportionately to girls. These are facts and those facts are enough to make the conclusion that boys are at an unfair disadvantage in the classroom.
Feminists will continue to argue though. Again they will repeat that this unfair disadvantage is not due to sex, but instead because boys are not rated as highly in ATL traits as girls. Therefore everything is fine! The obtuseness and wilful ignorance is strong! An analogous argument would be like me saying women do not get on corporate boards when they are just as competent as men and this has nothing to do with a sex bias favouring men. Women miss out instead because employers subjectively rate them as more emotional than men. If only women were less emotional, then they would be on boards in equal number to men. That is no different from feminists saying if only men showed higher ATL traits in front of their teachers, they would get better grades. Boys who have the same actual academic performance as girls, are marked down because they might not show irrelevant ATL traits as much as their female counterparts and this effect is based on the subjective evaluation of the students behaviour of their mostly female teachers.
The subjective measure of ATL traits does not represent actual academic competency. They measure non-cognitive social factors that relate to classroom behaviour. Competency in the learning material is what the grades should be reflecting in their entirety. The grades should not be based on how well someone sits still in a classroom, or how attentive or well behaved they are, or how frequently they put their hand up to answer a question by a teacher. Not when the grades are represented as being solely indicative of actual academic performance.
But let’s pick apart the semantics of the feminist argument further. Again feminists contend that it is not a bias in favour of women that is the culprit, but a bias in favour of those with higher ATL traits. As discussed a teacher’s evaluation of a student’s behaviour on a questionnaire asking general questions about what they think of the student’s behaviour in the classroom, their engagement and willingness to learn etc, is subjective reporting. It is not the same as objectively measuring the frequency of late assignments, the frequency of times a student asks questions, the frequency of detentions etc. Subjective reporting is subject to bias.
We know that in the school system as a whole and especially at the junior level, that the majority of teachers are female. Furthermore, there is research that shows women have a strong in-group bias (that is women show a bias toward women over men in social interaction). Despite the unfounded claims feminists say about men, the research did not show men have a comparative equivalent in-group bias. For more evidence of the existence of this female in-group bias one only has to examine the research from social scientists on the "women are wonderful effect" (which is what researchers are calling the phenomenon they are observing), which Prof. Christina Hoff Sommers discusses in this video. In addition to this female in-group bias, we know from research on personality differences between the sexes, that females score significantly higher in agreeableness than males (they are more eager to please others to achieve harmony as opposed to being assertive). We also have research that shows that males in society are often judged more harshly by people when they misbehave than females for doing the same misdeed. Even after controlling for a plethora of variables, research shows men are sentenced more harshly and given longer prison time than women who commit the exact the same crimes and with the exact same severity as their male counterparts. Furthermore, this research shows the observed sentencing bias against men is substantial and is quite large.
As evaluation of ATL traits is based on subjective reporting by teachers and because subjective reporting is subject to bias, it is quite plausible based on all of this research that I have just cited, that a substantial reason for the higher evaluation of ATL traits in female students is because of their sex and not entirely because they actually have higher ATL traits. Women have an in-group bias favouring women over men and that includes female teachers. The majority of teachers are women. Girls are more agreeable than boys. They are more eager to please their teachers by behaving in a way they approve of and this goes especially toward their female teachers due to the female in-group bias. Furthermore, as discussed there is evidence from wider society that men are punished more severely than women for doing the same negative behaviour. Therefore it is not a stretch of the imagination that the same could be true in the school system. Preferential treatment favouring females can clearly happen and it is not some far fetched possibility. When boys misbehave in class the teachers whom are primarily female with their female in-group bias, evaluate the boy’s bad behaviour more harshly than when girls behave the same way. This effect is compounded further by the higher agreeableness of girls and the greater social connection female teachers have with girls due to their female in-group bias. So boys are bad and girls are good, becomes a natural unconscious bias in the female teacher’s mind. Remind you of any rhymes? Girls are like sugar, spice and everything nice….These biases favouring girls over boys are real.
Indeed the researchers themselves suggested that the grading bias was likely related to the fact the majority of teachers are female and that they may develop assumptions about what is male and female behaviour of their students. The subjective evaluation of ATL traits on questionnaires is likely to be influenced by female ingroup bias, the fact girls are more agreeable than boys especially to female teachers and the fact the majority of teachers are female. Feminists would rather deny that likelihood of course, like they downplay everything else that impacts men and boys.
The last point worth making is that perhaps the evaluation of ATL traits are lower for boys not just because of a possible sex bias favouring girls, but also because of the school system itself not catering to their needs as well as it does for girls. ATL traits like behaviour in the classroom, willingness to learn, engagement in the classroom etc, are influenced by the level of interest students have in their school work and their happiness in the learning environment. There has been a concerted effort by feminists and others, to make the school system more catered to girls needs for decades now and often at the expense of boys.
The school system has become less catered to boy’s activity levels, with longs periods of time taken up with sedentary activity. There has been a reduction in lunch and recess time and school sports and a crackdown on physical activity by overzealous safety protocols in the playground. Rather than realise and acknowledge the need boys have to be active, many of them are misdiagnosed as having ADHD and put on medication. It seems medicating a developing brain with unknown potential long term side effects, is preferable to changing the school environment to cater to the male student’s needs. The course materials, assessment content, activities and subjects taught are also less catered to boy’s natural interests and abilities than ever before. The teaching style of predominantly female teachers is less catered to boy’s needs. Boys are also increasingly associating education as a feminine pursuit, as they see a lack of male teachers and role models in school. Then there is the vicious cycle of the self-fulfilling prophecy, that I outlined above in this article. It is not surprising then that boys might be less engaged, less willing to learn and perhaps not behave as well as the girls in class for these reasons. This then impacts their female teachers attitude toward them. The teachers then mark boys down with their grades, even though they are doing as well as the girls in terms of actual academic performance.
The tragedy here is that this biased process of grading boys lower than girls starts early according to the Cornwell study (it is worth noting female teachers are particularly present in the junior schooling years, but females make up the majority of teachers overall as well). The lower grades in turn motivate the boys to become less engaged in class and the lower engagement can then further lower their grades. This vicious cycle of bias can over time have a snowball effect year by year and undermine male educational attainment as they become less engaged in school and apply themselves less.
A Response To The Feminist Claim There Is No Boy Crisis In Education And This Is Nothing New
A newer argument by feminists is the gender achievement gap according to them is not a recent observation and therefore there is no problem to solve and no crisis to address. They cite a study that was done which claimed to show that girls have been achieving higher grades in every subject and at every education level, not only now, but also over the last hundred years. There is a plethora of research and records that disputes this claim and the study in question. But before I discuss that, there are a number of other flaws with this argument.
Firstly even if boys have lagged behind girls in grades since before the 1970s, it does not suddenly then mean there is not a problem that needs to be addressed. That would seem to be self-evident but not for feminists. If I apply feminist logic to women’s issues in the same way they look at boys education, then any women’s issues that have been around since before the 1970s and persist to the present day, should be ignored. The ridiculous nature of this position should be obvious. Whilst an education may not have been as relevant before the 1970s as what it is in present times, it has become very relevant to employment in the modern day. Prof. Christina Hoff Sommers discusses this fact and the boy crisis in education further in this video. Boys underperformance in education is an issue that is now more important than ever and has serious social and economic ramifications for not just men, but also the rest of society if it remains unaddressed.
Another major flaw in the feminist argument, is that feminists take the study they cite as evidence that there has been no change in the academic performance of boys over the last 100 years. In fact there are research studies and institutional and government records, which show that boys academic performance has actually dropped substantially relative to earlier generations of male students over the last several decades. That is to say that boys in earlier generations outperformed boys today by a considerable margin, when assessed on a number of the same cognitive and academic metrics and learning areas. We know from research studies and records that boys academic performance has declined by a substantial degree over the last 50 years and has not remained constant. The influence of feminism on the education system has a played a significant role in this.
As I alluded to earlier, there is also conflicting research and records that dispute the findings of the study the feminists cite. There is evidence from research studies and institutional and government records, to show that girls have not always had higher academic performance than boys over the last hundred years. Boys used to outperform girls at the secondary (high school) and university level, particularly in STEM and on tests and exams where students are marked by objective measurements, rather than given a grade based on the subjective evaluation of the teacher.
Also as discussed earlier in this article, there is evidence to show boys are penalised relative to girls where academic performance is assessed by grading. Boys are not given grades in accordance with their actual academic performance. The study the feminists cite only looked at grades. Even if girls have always been given higher grades than boys, this does not automatically mean they have always done better academically. We can see from records of other methods of assessment over the last 100 years, that we don’t always find the same results as the study cited by feminists. A classic example would be to simply google the US math SAT results since they have been kept and the consistent finding over the decades that males have scored higher (which is still the case today). Grades are subject to subjective bias by teachers, standardised tests and exams are not and are a far more objective form of measurement of true academic performance. We also know from the research on gender and intelligence, that boys and girls do not show a difference in general intelligence that can explain the gender education gap (see this article). So cognitive factors can’t explain the grade gap. As mentioned earlier in this article and in my earlier rebuttal, the Cornwell research suggests it is actually non-cognitive factors that explain the grade gap favouring girls. Teachers whom looked upon their students classroom behaviour favourably gave them a higher grade for the same academic performance and this bias was consistently found to favour girls. The presence of a female teaching majority is likely to be associated with this and that is indeed what researchers have suggested.
The presence of female teachers in the education system is not a recent development. There has always been a female presence in teaching. Even before the 1970s and before feminism this was true. This is especially the case for early and primary/elementary/junior education, where there have been particularly high levels of female teachers for decades, even before the 1970s. I went over the female in-group bias of female teachers and their pupils in my earlier rebuttal and I went over the higher agreeableness of female students. I cited the research supporting these claims and I explained how those factors could contribute to a marking bias in grading which favoured girls. I also pointed out that the same study reporting the female in-group bias, did not find males had a comparative equivalent in-group bias of their own. If female teachers have a female in-group bias and the high agreeableness of girls means they are more eager to please their female teachers than the boys, then it is quite plausible this will influence the attitude of female teachers to favour girls over boys in the classroom and in grading their work. This phenomenon I have described is not recent, it has likely been around since before the 1970s. The difference now is that there has been a huge increase of female teachers over the decades since the 1970s and a huge decrease of male teachers. This change combined with the demonisation of men by feminism in the same time period, has made the impact of the female in-group bias of the female teachers much worse. The bias was certainly around though before the 1970s, it just was not as pronounced.
There is also a cultural aspect that cannot be ignored which may also explain the supposed higher grades of girls over the last 100 years. Society is generally more protective of girls and women and places a greater emphasis on their needs as a result. Women and children first is a classic example of this and that has been around for much longer than the 1970s or feminism. The phenomenon I am describing is called gynocentrism and arises from our evolution. Populations that passed on their genes throughout human history, did so by making sure that women whom are substantially more physically vulnerable than men, were protected and provided for. This ensured that enough women survived to produce enough children to guarantee the continued existence of communities. That is not to say the survival of men and boys was not just as important. Men and boys were just as valuable to society as women and girls. Rather it was that society did not have to concern itself as much with the survival of men and boys, because they were substantially more physically equipped to handle the numerous environmental hazards and the physical demands of survival over our evolutionary history. Consequently our species evolved a tendency to prioritise the needs of women and girls, over those of men and boys. There is a reason why women have evolved a more neotanous appearance to encourage greater sympathy from others and why we have a greater difficulty seeing boys and men as being in need of help (as opposed to the source of help).
The forces driving gynocentrism were adaptive in our evolutionary past, but have become maladaptive over the last one hundred or so years and will have major negative social and economic consequences for society, if it is not corrected. It is gynocentrism which is behind the gender empathy gap. We are also more likely to frame men as bad and women as good, because of the gynocentric dynamic. This partly explains the sentencing gap that I cited in the earlier rebuttal, where female criminals are treated more leniently than male criminals for committing the same crimes.
Both male and female teachers from today and since well before the 1970s, have exhibited this gynocentric bias. Girls are more likely to be seen as innocent and likeable than boys, because of this natural tendency to protect women and girls. When you consider this gynocentric tendency in relation to the research showing a grading bias in favour of girls and the association of this grading bias with a higher subjective teacher evaluation of the behaviour of female students, it is not really surprising. Especially when you combine gynocentrism with the higher agreeableness of girls to please their teachers. Overcoming these gynocentric forces will require major social change. I have discussed gynocentrism and the two solutions to overcome it, in two articles linked here and here. Gynocentrism is by no means a tendency that cannot be overcome. There are other neurobiological factors at play and gynocentrism does not exist in isolation to those factors.
There is a myth perpetuated by feminists that men and boys have had things in their favour for centuries. Therefore feminists argue the higher grades of girls before the 1970s must be evidence of some natural female advantage as opposed to some underlying problem. Feminists have gone to great lengths to tell us only one side of history and ignore the more complicated and nuanced nature of gender roles. Men were not privileged over women before the 1970s or for centuries. Neither gender had it better than the other. Whenever feminists talk about the privileges men have had, they never talk about the obligations that men have had, which women were exempt from. One classic example was the right to vote, which women got not long after most of the men did in many places. In the US eventually all men got the right to vote, but men were also subject to conscription/the draft and signing up to military selective service. Women got the vote as well, but were also free of this obligation. It is worth noting as well, that for much of human history neither men or women had the right to vote. I would encourage people to watch this video by Prof. Janice Fiamengo debunking the feminist myths about the vote. Feminists don’t talk about the privileges women had that men lacked either. Such as the right to be rescued or receive help or aid first (i.e the women and children first doctrine). Feminists also generalise the status of the top 1% of men as if that was representative of the status of all men throughout history (try telling that to the men working just above the poverty line 6 days a week in shipyards, or a mile underneath the ground in mines in the 1910s, 20s and 30s). Feminists will never talk about the status of the female upper class and the privileges they enjoyed over the vast majority of men in classes beneath them. I have debunked feminist patriarchy theory and the feminist take on history at length in the article linked here. Most men were as worse off as most women. Most men had very little power or property, if any at all. Most of the power and property was concentrated in the hands of the male and female upper class. Whilst men may have had more ownership of property than women on average, only men had the legal obligation to financially provide for their spouse and children. This even went as far as men being responsible for any debts their wife incurred and being sent to jail if they did not pay their wife’s debts.
Of course facts like that won’t be discussed by feminists. The millions of men that died in wars for their country and for their wives and families, the millions of men that did hazardous work in mines, on ships and on construction sites, working from dawn until dusk until their backs gave way or they suffered a serious injury, all of these men are ignored by feminists. The dirty, dangerous and difficult work was always put on men’s shoulders throughout history. So when feminists talk about male privilege and society being run by men and for men, it might be worth having a closer look at your history books (the ones that have not been revised yet by the radical left wing influence in education).
Men have provided and protected for women for centuries, often at the expense of their own life and with great sacrifice. Women have not had it easy either, but men certainly have not been privileged over women. We have a biological drive to protect women and girls over men and boys. That is not male privilege, it is female privilege. This has shaped our culture for centuries and was around long before the 1970s. If the feminist patriarchy theory were correct, feminism would have been crushed in it’s infancy. Instead we have seen the opposite. Why? Because men and boys were never oppressing women or enjoying male privilege. They were obligated by the law, by the culture and by society to provide and protect for women and girls. So naturally there was no resistance to feminism when it surfaced.
Initially the education system was only available for men and boys, because only men and boys were expected to provide for a family. It was not because women were discriminated against because they were women, it was because only young boys were obligated by society to grow into men to provide for women and society. Young girls did not have that obligation to financially provide for their spouse and family thrust on them. It is worth noting though that only boys from wealthy families received solid and well-rounded quality education. The rest of the boys ended up farming, working in factories or doing other blue collar work etc. This wealth based barrier to boys education continued for much of the early 20th century in many places. It even remained true to some degree for certain levels of education, right up until the 1960s. So education certainly was not fully available to all men and boys of society. Regardless at the start of the 20th century, women were in higher education and had access to schooling (there were even women earning university degrees well before then). Again this was not a recent development, this happened long before 1970s feminism and women had a lot more freedom back then than what feminism would have us believe. Even as early as the 1920s and 1930s, women in many places had a sizable representation at universities (including the US). Feminists though would have you believe otherwise. Women were in many areas of education prior to World War 2. Furthermore due to our protective gynocentric bias toward women, women and girls may have indeed received a marking bias in their favour prior to the 1970s as well as after the 1970s. So this notion that the girls higher grades must be indicative of some natural strength girls have over boys, because it was present in a supposed period where men had all of this “privilege”, is seriously flawed. The argument is based on a half-baked feminist distortion of history that men and boys were privileged and this claim of male privilege is easily debunked. That leads me onto my final points.
In the next article (which can be accessed from the link at the bottom of this article) I will discuss the multi-option woman versus the one-option man and its role in the gender education gap and the boy crisis in education. Men have been expected to provide and protect for women and children for centuries and they still are to this day. This is despite women being able to get an education, get a job and provide for themselves. Boys are taught from a very young age to associate their worth in society with how well they can provide and protect. They are taught to set aside their own interests and take on the responsibilities that society expects of them to protect and provide. Consequently for many boys they look upon education as an obligation and a means to an end (i.e a high paying job). Boys have not looked at schooling from the early 20th century to the present day as personally fulfilling, but rather part of other people’s expectations of them.
Girls don’t have that mindset, because over our history they have not been taught that mindset by society. Over the same time period from 1914-2011 (which is what the study the feminists cite looks at), society has not placed these same obligations to provide and protect on girls. Girls and women have been free to get an education and get a job, but they have not been obligated to protect and provide for society like boys and men. Girls have been able to choose to pursue education in a manner more suited to their interests and in a way that boys have not been permitted by society to do. Society has been perfectly happy for decades for girls to grow into women that stay at home and look after families. There has been no enforced pressure by society for women and girls to go into select areas of education and employment over their own natural interests, to financially provide for their spouse and family in the way that has been expected for men and boys.
For example a girl that was interested in english literature could pursue that interest free of any concern about meeting future obligations to financially provide for a spouse and family. That was expected of their future husband. A boy on the other hand would have to drop such an interest and focus his attention on areas he was less interested in such as banking, just so he could meet societal expectations and earn him money in the future to provide for others. In some cases the boy would have to drop out of school altogether to earn a living or gain work experience, as opposed to pursuing an interest in the arts or english literature and higher education. Women and girls have not been told their worth is based on how much they can provide and protect for society over this roughly 100 year period from 1914-2011, that the study the feminists cite covers. Boys have been though.
So you have a situation where boys are going to school and seeing it as an obligation thrust upon them by society and merely just a means to an end. Girls are going to school and are more freely able to mix it with their own interests and plan their education to their own aspirations. School and education becomes an end in and of itself for girls. As a consequence girls are more motivated than boys to apply themselves in school. I am certainly not saying that women and girls did not face their own obstacles or societal expectations, but this single option man, multi-option woman social paradigm does indeed have some validity prior to the 1970s and it is a factor in explaining why girls may have received higher grades than boys from the early 20th century to the present. If girls are more motivated to apply themselves than boys, this could contribute to higher grades. Indeed the multi-option woman and the one-option man, has been identified by Dr. Warren Farrell as a contributor to boys underperformance. This is not something which just emerged after the 1970s, this difference in social expectations was present before then. However it has substantially worsened since the 1970s. Men and boys are still chained to their traditional role today and it is still expected of them, whilst women and girls have become even more free to choose what they want to do in life because of feminism. Consequently the gender achievement gap has grown.
Boys are raised to not just adhere to these societal expectations, but also to be stoic. Girls are often raised with the expectations that when they ask for help, they will get and they do get it. Boys don’t get the same encouragement to ask for help and society including teachers, are more reluctant to give help because of gynocentrism. Again this dynamic is nothing new, it was around before the 1970s. Again the difference is it has worsened now, because of the false feminist narrative pushed into our society of girls always being disadvantaged and boys always being advantaged. If boys have been raised this way and treated this way over the last 100 years and girls vice versa, it would not be surprising then that this may contribute to boys getting lower grades. Boys who are struggling are overlooked and there is an overemphasis on girl’s needs.
I could go on further debunking feminist arguments. Many of the reasons I have cited in my articles for the gender education gap were around before the 1970s, but since the 1970s they have dramatically worsened and consequently the education gap has widened. Feminism has contributed to the worsening of this problem. Feminists would rather argue why we should ignore the boy crisis in education, as opposed to addressing it.
Feminists would prefer we don’t look too deeply at the underlying reasons why boys are underperforming. They prefer that we focus on what is on the surface and ignore the problem. They would prefer that we take their sophistry at face value. Of course none of their excuses would hold any water if we reversed the sexes. If I used their logic and it was girls struggling in education, they would be screaming at me and accuse me of mansplaining.
I would strongly encourage people to now watch the video below with Dr. Brown.