Friday, March 18, 2005

Newsflash: men and women may be different

Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review Magazine, recently suggested thatsegregation be the education of girls and boys that is. This, in the shadow of the controversy at Harvard University in which it’s president, Larry Summers, implied that sex differences might explain the disproportionate representation of women in the hard sciences. Should Lowry be fired for such insensitivity?

Lowry asserts that:
As it happens, the gender-insensitive American education system hurts everyone. Take boys and reading. According to a National Endowment for the Arts survey, between 1992 and 2002 the gap between young women and young men in reading widened considerably. High-school seniors who are girls score on average 16 points higher than boys on a reading test given by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. As an NEA official wrote recently, "What was formerly a modest difference is fast becoming a marker of gender identity."

he goes on:
The flip side of this is girls when it comes to math and science -- they develop more slowly. They will suffer the same discouragement as boys if they are pushed too soon, or in the wrong way. Sax says that at age 12, for instance, girls are less interested in "pure math" than boys, so problems have to be presented with practical applications.

As the parent of two boys and one girl, the fact that gender differences exist is old news to me. Perhaps the desire to rectify past sins of inequality has led some to irrationally ignore intrinsic cognitive dissimilarities between men and women. I'm well aware of brilliant females as well as imbecilic males. There ought to be equality under the law, but not a blurring of the distinction of the sexes. Androgyny is NOT the answer…just look at metro-sexuals. I rest my case.