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Can Do Attitude

Academically, girls outperform boys.  Why isn’t this publicized more?

According to research, girls outperform boys academically from elementary school and achieve better scores on standardized tests. Women have constituted over half of the college student population for the past four decades. However, people still talk of a gender gap. The statistics and scores are clear, but the reasons for the gender gap that still remains are not.

Research indicates that young women are taking more honors classes, are achieving higher grades and are getting better grade point averages than their male peers. A recent College Board report discovered that girls were performing much better in high school than boys. It showed that 60 percent of A+ students and 61 percent of A students were girls, and girls outperformed boys in all academic subjects.

Further down the grading scale, 63 percent of boys earned grade D and below. The average GPA in 2016 was 3.45 for girls and 3.30 for boys. Early on, girls excel in math and science, and it is not uncommon to find a boy seeking a girl as a math tutor.

For this reason, activists in academia have put more emphasis on girls over the years. This has the unfortunate effect of making boys feel that they no longer matter. With more Masters and Doctoral degrees being earned by girls, a gender gap is starting to form. Observers have suggested that a gender-biased education system has been structured to favor girls.

Girls do tend to be more organized, attentive, and perform better socially, and as we have read, academically. The shift to earlier learning and assessment has put boys at a disadvantage, because they do not develop at the same  as girls from a physical and psychological aspect.  This deficit continues through school and is evident by grade eight where 50 percent of girls attain more A and B grades compared to only 30 percent of boys.

According to the U.S. Department of Education boys account for 71 percent of all suspensions as they are statistically more likely to be suspended or expelled from school. The problems for girls come later in life when many experience a confidence and self-esteem crisis in early adolescence. A report by the Commonwealth Fund claims that only 40 percent of girls describe themselves as ‘overly confident.’

A further report by the American Association of University Women concluded that our educational system and culture inadvertently discourages girls from developing interests in academic pursuits, specifically in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. It also stated that girls spent less time in school science and tech labs, received less attention from teachers and suffered gender bias on school tests.

Following girls into adulthood, the cultural bias results in women having less experience in handling personal financial matters. This can be one of the causes for gender income disparity. Only 20 percent of women feel prepared to make investment decisions, according to experts at Royal Capital Pro. Parents can help by providing equal access and opportunity to use technology, assigning household chores equally, and swapping general domestic roles between mom and dad. Avoiding stereotypes and encouraging both boys and girls is the key to equalizing the gender imbalance.

The more education a woman has, the wider the gap between men’s and women’s earnings for the same work… Sandra Day O’Connor.

Suzanne Hite is a former publications editor serving the technology services sector.