Chapter 4 discussed gender differences, as well as the damage the phrase, “boys will be boys” has had, in the American school system. From the truth about why girls seem to thrive more in a structured classroom setting than boys, to the effects of bullying and how, until the 90's, either a blind eye was turned to it or, in the case of many coaches, it was practically encouraged for the (supposed) betterment and cohesion of the team or group.
I found it very interesting that girls tend to be more successful in school than boys because, unlike boys who often assert a bit of overconfidence and bravado, girls are less confident in their abilities and are more 'self-selecting' for the harder classes. I also found the 'gender' of the different disciplines, such as math and science being masculine while softer sciences with no one right answer, such as english, are considered feminine, to be interesting. I hadn't really thought of the different subjects in those terms before, but there seems to be a lot of truth in it; boys who write poetry are deemed effeminate while girls who are good at and interested in physics are often thought of as 'different' or 'butch' by their peers.
The most disturbing part of this chapter that affected me the most was that section about the effects of bullying and how the adults who should have been monitoring and preventing these behaviors sometimes become accomplices to it through inaction. I'm very glad that this problem of bullying and hazing is being talked about in schools, giving the victims a stronger voice so that they don't come back to school with guns, or go home and end their life as their only escape, as they often have in the past when less press was given to the harassment that occurs in schools, on sports teams, in locker rooms, and even online on sites like Facebook. It broke my heart to read the stories about athletes who were kicked off of their team for reporting the horrible things that were done to them, and...
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