Gender and Education

Here in the United States we live in a country where families do not have to worry about the sex of their child. Except for some societal norms our children are created equal in most areas of our country. Everyone can vote, work, and even run for office. However, not all countries are lucky like us. There are some countries that hold different sexes to a higher degree than others. What does this do the psychological state of a child? Even though we do not enforce any rule against the different genders pursuing their dream, do we have societal occurrences that pin one gender against the other? This article takes a brief look into how our education system differs for the different sexes. Is there a difference? If there is, why is there one?

It is often debated whether or not our educational system offers the same opportunities to both genders in our country. Currently, we are seeing that more women pursue a higher education and are continuing to earn higher degrees. What is the reason for this occurrence? If this is a true development, why are men still earning more than women on average? Women earn more secondary degrees including; associates, bachelors, and masters. Yet men earn more doctoral degrees than women.

It is shown that women in the United States dominate men in writing abilities, but then fall short in math and science. Why are these trends continuing to happen this way? The notion of the hidden curriculum suggests that women are discriminated against in the education system. It believes that teachers provide special privileges to boys and as a result they become more social and learn more. However, if this notion is true, then why are more than 50% of higher education degrees going to females? If we do pay more to males in the formative years, where does the disconnect begin and when do women start surpassing males?

Some argue that this gender gap would be solved if we went to same gender class room styles. They say that this would get rid of the hidden curriculum notion because all of the students within the classroom would then have the same equal chance to get help or participate. However, would this add further to societal gender notions?

We know that this phenomenon is a problem in teaching the children, but how does this translate to those who try learning online. Typically they do not have face time with their professors, so how can you truly guess one's gender? In a day where there are examples of unisex names, how can you assume that you are teaching a girl or a boy? Therefore, wouldn't there be less bias if someone were to attend an online school to further their education. The students are forced to excel at their work without having the face to face communication and feedback with their teachers. If this thought it would then become more about those who have the initiative to ask for help and participate, rather than if a particular gender is doing it. Will we ever see a decrease in the gender gap?

Cassandra Picard,
Online Education