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From our perceived epidemic of cooties to our inevita women has long been founded upon our differences. These di between the genders. Indeed, our distinctions may be less of ship between males and females, men and women, boys and g variations between the genders in everything from neurology

The “gender gap” in the United States has been slowly but steadily narrowing since the early 1900s. In the twenties, most working females were employed in menial, low-paying factory jobs or secretarial positions, with only about 8% of the female population enrolled in the few coeducational Aragon’s Freshmen Enrollm colleges. Although females now compose a majority of 57% of all college students in the United States, a clear gap remains in the STEM--science, technology, engineering, and mathematics--fields of study. Do you agree that women face more Only 15% of female first-year college students intend to major in STEM fields, and even obstacles in the workforce than fewer pursue STEM careers. In the United States, females represent only 33% of all chemists and men? material scientists and a mere 13% of chemical engineers; most STEM professionals are male. However, citing innate differences as the source of this gap remains controversial. For instance, when the president of Harvard University in 2005, Lawrence Summers, suggested that innate differences could lead to this gap, he was faced with such criticism that eventually led to his resignation. The source of this gap remains unsure. In societies with little gender equality in income, education, health, and politics, this gender gap is even more exaggerated. A study of two tribes in Northeast India--the patrilineal society of the Kabri and the far more equal society of the Khasi--supports the theory of an overpowering cultural influence. When given the same test, the oppressed Kabri women performed far worse than Kabri men. However, both men and women of the Khasi society performed almost identically, indicating that gender disparity is not due to inherently inequal ability, but the belief that males are unproportionately superior that pervades so many socities. When this belief is removed from society, females are shown to have just as much potential as men. Yet in places like Norway and Sweden, where both genders are practically identical in tested math skills and freedom of career choice is encouraged, inequality in the STEM professions persists. Perhaps the cause of this disparity cannot be explained by natural factors or social influence alone, but a combination of both reflected in individual choice. This can be clearly seen in a decision that many males and females alike encounter; in the United States, thousands of students apply to college each year. As the source of higher education, gender equality in STEM careers can be traced back to these universities, especially those with a large STEM focus, like the California Institute of Technology. In 2009, 687 students were admitted to In general, do you prefer English/ CalTech; 276 were female, and 411 were male. However, the acceptance rate of females was a full History, or Math/ Science? 15% higher than that of males, indicating that not only was there less interest from females, but also a genuine attempt by the STEM industry towards achieving equality. If freedom of choice and reasonable fairness are to be respected, neither the female student nor the society can be blamed. Although natural ability may take its course in individuals, sweeping generalizations cannot English / History be made solely on this justification. The gender gap in math and sciences is extreme, but it is more Math / Science likely a combination of cultural, societal, and natural factors that influences a female proclivity towards non-STEM careers rather than biological differences alone.

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How big of a problem do you perceive gender favoritism is in the classroom? (Out of a poll of 260 Aragon students).

Not

A report commissioned by the American Association of University of Women Educational Foundation entitled “How Schools Shortchange Girls” argued that “[t]he educational system is not meeting girls’ needs. Girls and boys enter school roughly equal in measured ability. Twelve years later, girls have fallen behind their male classmates in key areas such as higher-level mathematics and measures of self esteem.” The same report additionally stated that “[r]esearch reveals a tendency, beginning at the preschool level, for educators to choose classroom activities that appeal to boys’ interests and to select presentation formats in which boys excel,” adding that “[t]eaching methods that foster competition are still standard, although a considerable body of research has demonstrated that girls—and many boys as well—learn better when they undertake projects and activities cooperatively rather than competitively.” Such a perspective regarding the preponderance of male presence in the classroom was further corroborated by Karen Zittleman, PhD, of the Myra Sadker Foundation, and David Sadker, PhD, of the American University, in their joint publication “Gender Bias is Alive and Well and Affecting Our Children.” They write, “Studies show that female students receive less active classroom instruction, both in the quantity and quality. Girls’ grades may be less a sign of academic gifts than a reward for following the rules, being quiet, and conforming to school norms.” Curiously, however, a reversal of such a phenomena was raised in an article published by the Association of Texas Professional Educators, which read that, following a series of reports published in the 1990’s highlighting the gender discrimination found in the classroom against females, drastic action was undertaken to address the issue. As a consequence, a 1999 report indicated that “boys suffer the most in schools, are more likely to commit suicide than girls, and are disproportionately represented in special education. Whatever the case, it’s clear that gender issues are prevalent in our schools.”

Males

While the major televised sports of today most often feature male athlet Since the enactment of Title IX in 1972, the number of girls involved in high sch that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from tion program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...” All federally fund equal dollar-for-dollar funding. Despite this large increase in female sports participation, disparities still ing, and salaries. In the USC report Gender in Televised Sports: News and Highlight Sho shows is barely 1.6% of all sports coverage, a decrease in recent years. In golf, tot LPGA tour. In general, male athlete salaries and team caps are much higher than enue that the particular sporting event generates. The pay inequity between gende ing audience for male sports. As female participation in sports becomes an accept male collegiate and professional sports.

- The average 20-month old girl has twice the vocabulary of the average 20-month old boy - A higher percentage of boys than girls (9 percent vs. 4 percent) had parents who planned to delay their entry into kindergarten.

- The other sex becomes “toxic.” In other words, boys and girls have “COOTIES.”

- A young woman’s frontal lobe is fully developed.


able vows of eternal love, the relationship between men and ifferences have sparked perennial conflict yet forged perennial ties a battle of the sexes and more of a complex yet unifying relationgirls. Join the Aragon Outlook as we dissect the supposed and real y to sports. As it turns out, we may not be that different after all.

Women typically have a thicker parietal region of the brain – a part of the brain involved in sensation and perception – which hinders the ability to mentally rotate objects, an aspect of spatial ability. Thus, men typically have stronger spatial abilities (3-D imagination) than do women.

ment By Gender (1993 - 2010)

Men have a much larger inferior-parietal lobule (IPL), especially in the left hemisphere than women. The IPL is known to control mathematical abilities, which may explain the overwhelming male majority in math and science-related careers.

Typically, men’s brains are 11-12% larger than women’s. This difference does not correlate with intelligence but is largely accounted for by the fact that men need more neurons to control their greater muscle mass and larger body size.

Males Females

Men tend to process better in the left hemisphere, while women tend to process equally in both hemispheres. Because the left hemisphere is known to control “logical” thinking and the right hemisphere is known to control “creative” thinking, men tend to perform better in problem-solving and task-oriented situations, while women tend to be better creative thinkers and have better communication skills.

Do you believe personality differences between males and females is mostly due to nature or nurture?

Nurture

7.8%

Nature

None

Women generally have a larger limbic system than men, which controls human emotion, behavior, and long-term memory. Consequently, women are more in touch with their feelings and better able to express them, but they are also more prone to depression and anxiety.

Many stereotypes hold that males and females are different: among other differences, women are believed to be social creatures capable of more emotional and relationship-oriented thinking, whereas men are held to be more aggressive, sexoriented and rational thinkers. While some of these stereotypes hold true, men and women have little to no difference in the vast majority of traits. Ranging from mathematical ability (Hyde, Fennema, & Lamon,1990), to beliefs about what causes success and failure (Whitley et al. 1986), to overall leadership ability (Eagly et al. 2003), to what they look for in a job (Konrad et al. 2000), and women and men were shown to be nearly equal in test results. Unsurprisingly, men were found to be more physically aggressive than women, while women were found to me more aggressive through speech and manipulating relationships (Knight et al 2002, Hyde 1984 and 1986, Archer 2004). Also unsurprisingly, men tend to have more positive views of sex in uncommitted relationships and tend to masturbate more often (Oliver and Hyde 1993). Stereotypically, females are perceived as more empathetic than men, a quality that applies to moral tendencies. In a study conducted in 2009 by the University of Valencia in Spain, researchers concluded that there is a difference in the development of empathy among adolescent males and females. Based on questionnaires presented to approximately 500 students, the researchers believe that female adolescents develop greater empathy than males of the same age. Moreover, in the basis of morality, gender variances in care orientation (attributed more to women) and justice orientation (attributed more to men) were noted in a meta-analysis of over a hundred students (Jaffe and Hyde, 2000).

tes, women are closing the gap in participation from the high school to professional level. hool athletics has increased tenfold, from 294,015 to 3,057,266 (around 940%). Title IX states participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educaded schools are required to provide equal opportunities for both genders, but not necessarily

remain in participation, athletic scholarship dollars, recruitment spending, operational spendows, 1989-2009, it was shown that coverage of female professional sports on evening night tal prize money for the PGA tour, $256 million, is over five times the $50 million total of the those of females. However, prize money and the like are determined by the amount of revers is not necessarily reflective of discrimination against women, but rather of the larger viewted norm, society simultaneously appears to be developing opposing conventions by endorsing

- A young man- does not reach full maturity, in terms of brain development.

The two sections of the brain involved in language, the Broca’s area and the Wernicke’s area, are found to be larger in women than in men, which can possibly account for women’s enhanced ability to excel in language-based thinking. In addition, men typically only process language in their dominant hemisphere, whereas women process language in both hemispheres.

In many societies around the world, property and titles are passed from father to son. In some societies, however, this is not the case. For example, the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra pass land down through the female line. In the Mosuo tribe in China, women do not marry and are allowed to take as many lovers as they want. Moreover, the language of the Mosuo people, there is no word for “husband” or “father.” In Saudi Arabia, women have strict gender roles. The dress code for women in very limited and they aren’t allowed to show much skin in public. Moreover, women aren’t allowed to drive. In the Iroquois Confederation, women were viewed equal to men. This surprised the early American colonists. Moreover, the Iroquois people were a martrilineal society. This meant that children would take the tribal name of their mother, not their father.

- Females begin to talk sooner, but males will likely catch up with later support. - Males are more likely to be diagnosed with language difficulties, including stuttering, handwriting, and reading problems.

Centerspread by Emily Yip and content by emily yip and editors


February 2012 Centerspread