There is so much stupidity floating around that people have to waste time proving the obvious:
Our research shows that boys’ underperformance in school has more to do with society’s norms about masculinity than with anatomy, hormones or brain structure.
Gender expectations put both men and woman at a disadvantage at certain times. Right now, I’m observing how an activity where female students flourish proves more difficult for male students and not because of any intellectual limitations but simply due to the weight of gender roles.
In my literature seminar, each student gets to play the role of the professor once in the semester. They have to analyze the text assigned for that day and prepare a series of interactive activities aimed at involving everybody in the discussion. Most of the students have already had a chance to present, and I have noticed that, irrespective of the level of language competence and the understanding of the texts, male students consistently do significantly worse than female students.
In order to engage successfully with a group in these kinds of interactive exercises, you need to be able to play the role of a clown. It is crucial to have the capacity to leave aside any pretense at gravitas and become playful. Male students, however, seem terrified of playfulness. It is very sad to see the castrating “all work and no play all the time” philosophy of life set in so early in these adolescent males.
This is the reason why male students do significantly worse in language courses than female students Idiots explain this issue referencing some completely imaginary brain differences but the reality is much simpler. Language courses are all based on group activities, games, role playing, etc. Men find these activities very wounding to the stereotyped image of a male they adopt early in life. According to my observations, gay men – who have a lot less interest in patriarchal gender roles – do extremely well in language courses even though their brains, bodies, and everything else is just as male as those of straight men.
A student came to my office yesterday to discuss his ideas for the final essay.
“This character can’t understand the damage caused by traditional gender roles because he is male,” he said. “He has no experience of this. Not like women do.”
If you are surprised by his statement, note that the current post was not written by a male blogger either.