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Up Topic Communities / Women / Gendered academic awards?
- - By stickywicket Date 2017-06-17 4:01 PM
:wtf: My niece just graduated from middle school/junior high and apparently won an award for highest grade of all the girls. There's a separate award for highest grades of all boys. Is this common? what is it supposed to achieve?
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-06-17 5:23 PM
We had that when I was a youngster.  I think it just spreads the recognition around.  They are 12 years old, don't over think it.
Parent - - By stickywicket Date 2017-06-17 8:03 PM
Really? But the second place boy or girl ends up losing out cause of their gender. Why do boys and girls compete on a different level academically? :wtf:
Parent - - By spccer6 [us] Date 2017-06-17 8:09 PM
How so?  If they give one award for highest grades, only one kid gets recognized.  If they give one to each gender, two kids get recognized.
Parent - - By stickywicket Date 2017-06-17 8:13 PM
But they're being recognized not for being the best. Or even second best.
Parent - By spccer6 [us] Date 2017-06-17 8:55 PM
Potentially, sure.  My kids go to a school where the classes are gender separated, so I'm used to seeing gender separated awards.  That clearly skews my perspective to things like this.
Parent - - By swandive Date 2017-06-17 8:20 PM
Because we've always done it that way. :roll:  I don't happen to remember gender-specific awards in school (maybe we had them, but I don't remember), but I do remember a lot of them in extra-curricular activities.  Certainly you could look at whether sprint times or essay-writing is chromosome-related and you could likely find some statistically-significant differences, but dividing awards based on gender are unlikely to be rooted in scientific research.  Celebrate your niece's achievement because she's achieved something in a system that she doesn't control, but also be aware that the sexism of "boys and girls can't be expected to compete against one another" is a mindset that is still alive and flourishing.  If you have a close relationship with DN and if you have the data, it could be interesting to look at how things would've stacked up if the awards weren't divided by gender.
Parent - - By stickywicket Date 2017-06-17 10:01 PM
Just seems to solidify attitudes like "best in science, for a girl". Or what if the top three grades are girls so the top one gets an award and the next two get zip, but then the fourth who happens to be a boy gets the other award? That means a boy can achieve lower grades but that's ok, you'll still get recognition ahead of the three girls that were better than you. The female candidates for a job might be better, but hey, let's give it to the man anyway.

From what my niece said, the girls tend to have the higher grades.
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-06-18 8:49 AM
Then maybe it will encourage the boy to stay in school and aspire to college?
Parent - - By stickywicket Date 2017-06-18 9:03 PM
I'm still stuck on the fact that he's getting an award for the wrong reason. He or she are still not actually the best and getting rewarded for that.: pbbt:
Parent - - By Mickey [us] Date 2017-06-19 5:55 AM

>>He or she are still not actually the best and getting rewarded for that.


Should prepare those kids well for the business world  : pbbt:
Parent - By BoredTemp [us] Date 2017-06-19 6:48 AM
yep. : pbbt:
Parent - - By stickywicket Date 2017-06-19 3:53 PM
True...but personally, in school at least, shouldn't we reward actual achievement without adding gender into the equation? Believe me, I remember well the first time I came across sexism in the work place. It was a blow to realize merit and hard work does not equal achievement in that world. To have to deal with that at age 12 - I have no idea how that would have shaped my view of my abilities.
Actually, I also remember in 12th grade having a teacher ask me and the one other girl in the class to bake brownies for the others. :meh:
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2017-06-19 4:29 PM
:meh: on the brownie incident.
Parent - - By SRoo Date 2017-06-19 8:42 PM
Well, as someone that won that award as an 8th grader, it had no impact on my view on equality, feminism, or academic achievement, or my ability whatsoever.  :grin:  I was pretty stoked, if I recall correctly.  I did not bear any ill will toward my male counterpart who, incidentally, was probably overall number one (no one mentioned it).  I do not remember if I would have been number two overall or if another male would have been in 2nd, nor do I think I cared.  I was just pleased and proud of my achievement.  Leave me to enjoy my little plaque!  :mutmad:

Funny story:  4 years later we graduated high school and he was 1st and I was 2nd overall (no gender consideration).  My school did not explicitly name valedictorian/salutatorian, instead the top 4 students talked at graduation.  At our 20th year reunion, Ben casually mentioned being 2nd in class rank.  Oh, no, says I.  Ben, you were first and I was second.  Everyone knows this.   Except, evidently not everyone did and we had an argument about this, each insisting that the other was valedictorian.  Ben is a great guy, just wrong.  I think I would have remembered this.  Moreover I am sure my mom would mention it frequently.  :laugh:
Parent - By stickywicket Date 2017-06-19 9:28 PM
:grin: Congrats. I got the best in science award in 9th grade.:cool: Prize was a copy of "The Origin of Species" and nerd rights.: pbbt:
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-06-17 8:12 PM
I have never heard of it in California. In middle school I don't think we had a valedictorian, let alone recognizing one of each gender.
Parent - By PoopedColt Date 2017-06-18 7:57 AM
In elementary school, at the end of year party, the kids would get certificates for the highest average in each grade.  I can't remember if they had separate ones for boys/girls.  I want to say yes, at least in some years, but I can't remember for sure.  It clearly didn't affect me that much.  To me, this seems like a case of you are never going to make everyone happy no matter what you do.  I believe it was done with good intentions, as a way to give more kids awards that say first place.  It's up to the recipients/audience to take it however they want.  A girl who was 4th in science but got a first place award could just as easily think or be told "Hey.  Maybe I AM good at science.  Maybe I should think about pursuing it further."  And for any 2nd or 3rd place kids in between who didn't get an award?  Well, life has never been, nor will ever be, fair.
Parent - By BoredTemp [us] Date 2017-06-18 9:51 AM
Wow, our school doesnt do that and I wouldn't like it if they did.  Sports, yes.  Maybe drama too, but math or science?  Gender neutral.
Parent - - By reebs (chicken whisperer) Date 2017-06-18 1:45 PM
to me the test is always would this work for another category? what I it was best gpa for Asians and best gpa for whites?
Parent - By BoredTemp [us] Date 2017-06-18 8:53 PM
I'm not clear what you are saying.  Are you not comfortable with sex segregated sports awards?

I would be ok with 2 categories for sports because there are clear gender differences.  Race in sports would be a different matter.

Neither is ok to me in academic matters.
Parent - By kelly_v Date 2017-06-19 6:15 AM
I've never heard of this for academics and it seems odd to me too. They're taking the same classes at the same time so it should be top student, period.
Parent - - By tritri Date 2017-06-19 9:34 AM
:shocker!:  I've never heard of this.  I wouldn't have liked it.  It was knowing, in the 5th grade, that I was one of the best in science and math that led me into taking more of it.  It was this and being the second fastest in the class, that made me believe that stereotypes suck and don't apply to me (and possibly anyone).  Getting an award for top girl would maybe have messed up this belief.  Good for a girl seems like a put down.
Parent - By Mickey [us] Date 2017-06-19 9:40 AM

>> Good for a girl seems like a put down.


That sums up my thoughts entirely.   Life is not fair and equitable, and whether we like it or not, "second place is the first loser". 

If the whole school is divided into gender-based classes (which I don't like, either), then gender-based awards are more like class-based awards (best in 5th grade, best in 2nd grade, etc).  But I hesitate to support that, given we had a Supreme Court ruling declaring separate education is inherently not equivalent.  Slippery slope.
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2017-06-19 2:54 PM
No, I've never heard of gendered academic recognition. My school only had gendered recognition for sport because the teams were separated by gender (football for boys, football for girls; lacrosse for boys, lacrosse for girls, etc.)

ETA: the only academic gendered thing my parents or I remember from either of our schooling times was the designation of prefects, with
each gender having the person that the headmaster/headmistress named to that post as representation on academic panels and councils, and to serve as a link between the students and faculty for administrative as well as day-to-day matters of student life. There was one of each gender for each of the higher forms, and the prefects reported to the senior prefect (one of each gender for the whole school).
Up Topic Communities / Women / Gendered academic awards?

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