Study shows behavior problems have greater long-term impact on boys
- Research out of Brown University finds boys and girls displaying the same behavior problems at four or five years old end up having markedly different long-term outcomes.
- The Telegraph reports boys score lower on exams later in school and they complete fewer years of schooling, overall, in part because of the way teachers respond to bad behavior from girls versus from boys.
- The longitudinal study followed children born to women in their mid-20s in the 1980s and found that boys more often show up to school with behavioral problems, which could indicate teachers dole out harsher punishment to boys because of stereotypes.
There has been a significant focus on gender equity in schools since Title IX reshaped the educational landscape, forcing schools to dismantle inequitable systems that preferenced male students to retain federal funding. Women now earn more than half of all associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and they make up more than half of all college students, overall. While they are still underrepresented in top positions in the corporate world and significantly underrepresented in many science, engineering, technology and math fields, it is worth recognizing that educational attainment between the genders now finds male students at a disadvantage.
Just like teachers must consider their biases when doling out punishment to black and Latino students, who are far more likely to get suspended than their white peers, teachers should consider how their biases bring them to approach discipline against boys.
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