Bulletin Board v209

In His Own Words: Victimized by victim support advocates — It’s day 24 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for Men and Boys, the invisible victims of domestic violence. Today’s In His Own Words is an example of the systemic abuse to which men and boys are frequently subjected. It is an egregious example of sexism and misandry. It is also an example of how many women use victimhood (real or imagined) as a form of “street cred” and/or social status.

‘Man up’ to being a victim — The push to empower women could be prompting violence against men. “You have women who have found their voice and were encouraged to do so, which is a good thing. But are the women in the next generation taking it too far?” questioned Charlane Cluett, Muskoka Parry Sound Community Mental Health Service operations manager. “Although women still tend to be the most likely victims, we may be seeing a shift in females acting out more.”

The Rape ‘Epidemic’ Doesn’t Actually Exist — A group of 100 protesters – including many topless women – recently marched the streets of Athens, Ohio chanting, “Blame the system, not the victim” and “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape.” Organized by an Ohio University student organization called “f*ckrapeculture,” the protest was designed to bring attention to what the founders believe is a toxic culture of sexism and sexual violence infecting their campus. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v186

4-year-old Tucson boy in abuse case dies — Jaedyn Minley loved bounce houses, but was terrified of Chuck E Cheese. Jaedyn had a significant collection of little toy cars and the diction of an adult. And on Saturday, after the 4-year-old was declared brain dead, Jaedyn was removed from life support, and his organs were harvested to save the lives of two other children and an adult. “He was the best kid,” Jaedyn’s paternal aunt, Janai Minley, said Monday.

Anti-rape bill is anti-male: Jaya Bachchan — Actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan on Thursday said the anti-rape bill is anti-male and that its provisions make men vulnerable to misuse of the law. Participating in a debate in Rajya Sabha on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, Samajwadi Party MP Bachchan said she was not too happy with various aspects of the bill, including punishment for those found stalking women, which can lead to the misuse of the bill. It’s not just men who stalk women.

Barbara Kay: Our male-victimizing myths live on — Twenty years ago Earl Silverman of Calgary, fleeing his home to escape violence from his abusive wife, had no refuge to take shelter in. There were plenty of shelters for women victims of domestic abuse, but for men the only publicly funded services were for anger management. The message was clear to Silverman: “As a victim, I was re-victimized by having these services telling me I wasn’t a victim, but I was a perpetrator.”

Criminal justice system’s ‘dark secret’: Teenagers in solitary confinement — James Stewart, a 17-year-old from Denver who committed suicide while in solitary confinement, had never been to jail before August of 2008. That was when, under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, Stewart had gotten into a head-on car collision, killing a 32-year-old man. Because of the severity of his crime, Stewart was charged with vehicular homicide – and charged as an adult. Continue reading

Girls, boys, and gender bias in school part 2

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how the gender bias in primary and high school favors girls. According to recent research, teachers evaluate boys based on their social and “non-cognitive” skills, not their actual academic ability. Teachers regularly graded boys below what their test results suggested they should receive. The articles I linked to mentioned this in general, but a another article adds some depth to the discussion.

Hilary White offered an analysis of the University of Georgia and Columbia University research and of the research from the Departments of Education and Justice in Northern Ireland:

A five-year research project, funded by the Departments of Education and Justice in Northern Ireland, has just been released that found “systemic flaws” in the way students are evaluated that leave boys disadvantaged. Boys from poor neighbourhoods in Belfast and other cities are especially vulnerable to learning underachievement and health problems.

Dr. Ken Harland and Sam McCready from the University of Ulster said that the problem has been clear for “several decades,” but that “it was extremely difficult for the research team to find specific strategies addressing boys’ underachievement.”

“Although teachers who were interviewed as part of this study recognised the predominance of boys with lower academic achievement, they generally did not take this into account in terms of learning styles or teaching approaches,” he said.

The Belfast Telegraph quoted a pupil who told the researchers, “Teachers should understand better the way boys think and why they do some things. They’re out of touch.”

Continue reading

Girls, boys, and gender bias in school

New research from the University of Georgia and Columbia University finds that girls outperform boys because of their behavior:

“The skill that matters the most in regards to how teachers graded their students is what we refer to as ‘approaches toward learning,'” said Christopher Cornwell, head of economics in the UGA Terry College of Business and one of the study’s authors. “You can think of ‘approaches to learning’ as a rough measure of what a child’s attitude toward school is: It includes six items that rate the child’s attentiveness, task persistence, eagerness to learn, learning independence, flexibility and organization. I think that anybody who’s a parent of boys and girls can tell you that girls are more of all of that.”

The study, co-authored by Cornwell and David Mustard at UGA and Jessica Van Parys at Columbia, analyzed data on more than 5,800 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. It examined students’ performance on standardized tests in three categories¬¬-reading, math and science-linking test scores to teachers’ assessments of their students’ progress, both academically and more broadly.

The data show, for the first time, that gender disparities in teacher grades start early and uniformly favor girls. In every subject area, boys are represented in grade distributions below where their test scores would predict.

In plain English, teachers give boys lower grades than they deserve. Continue reading

“Good job for beating the girls”

Originally posted on November 26, 2011

Imagine this: You are a boy on a girl’s swim team. You trained for months to improve your skills. You have sacrificed time with your friends and family so that you can devote everything to this sport. You go to a meet, swim your best and win. And then you are met with a “Good job for beating the girls” from the father of a girl on another team.

That is the bias and sexism that some boys face for competing on a girl’s team. They face it because they have no other choice. Their schools do not have boys swimming programs, so if they want to compete they must join the girls swim team. This leads to an obvious problem, as Karen Crouse mentions in her article:

During his first-period broadcast Monday, the Norwood High athletic director Brian McDonough congratulated Will Higgins for breaking the meet record in the 50-yard freestyle the previous day at the Massachusetts South Division fall swimming and diving championships.

McDonough chose not to mention that it was a girls swimming championship.

“I didn’t want to get into that,” he said.

Anthony Rodriguez, another boy on the Norwood girls team, heard a grace note in McDonough’s omission.

“If people hear that you set a record, they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s awesome,’ ” Rodriguez said. “But if they knew you were competing against girls, they wouldn’t have as much respect for you.”

Plenty of people feel justified in treating boys like that, Crouse demonstrates: Continue reading

The End of Boys?

Originally posted on February 20, 2012

In his article The End of Boys, Mark Sherman ponders culture’s shifting impact on boys. While plenty of people talk about the end of men, it is really boys who will pay the price. As Sherman notes, girls outperform boys on most levels, and the situation does not appear to be getting better for boys:

You may have already seen data comparing how young American males and females are doing today, but one of the best comparisons comes from Tom Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, in his oft-cited “For every 100 girls…” Here is a sampling of his statistics: “For every 100:

• tenth grade girls who play videogames for an hour or more a day, there are 322 tenth grade boys who do.
• girls who are suspended from high school, there are 215 boys who are suspended.
• young women who earn a bachelor’s degree, there are 75 men who do.
• women ages 25-29 who have at least a bachelor’s degree, there are 83 men who do.
• women ages 25-29 who have a doctoral degree, there are 80 men who do.
• females ages 15-24 who kill themselves, 586 males do.
• women ages 18-24 who are in correctional facilities, there are 1439 men who are behind bars.”

Those numbers should be a wake up call for anyone with boys in their families. Continue reading