Monday Teeny Poll » Teeny Manolo

Monday Teeny Poll

By Glinda


Last week’s poll asked which celebrity mom you’d rather hang out with (based on the small amount of knowledge you have about their real personalities) and the big winner was Jennifer Garner with forty percent of the vote. It was a crowded field, and forty percent is pretty impressive. The next highest vote-getter was Reese Witherspoon with nineteen percent.

Poor Katie Holmes and Sarah Jessica Parker! They got no votes at all, which makes me feel sorry for them. Which is ridiculous because they both are fabulously wealthy, have husbands that seem to love them, and beautiful children. If anything, they should be feeling sorry for me. And they probably do.

Today we’re venturing into more serious territory. There have been alarm bells sounded by some researchers regarding what they call “the boy problem.” They claim that because so much focus has been on girls, boys have been neglected in the past twenty years or so, and the cracks in that strategy are beginning to show. Examples of this being high drop-out rates in school, lower school performance, as well as higher arrest and suicide rates.

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9 Responses to “Monday Teeny Poll”

  1. raincoaster Says:

    Men have never formed even half of the teaching corps, and one of the suggestions to correct this “problem” is to hire more male teachers…but they’re not there! Perhaps if teachers’ compensation was more in line with their contribution the field would attract more men.

    But higher drop-out rates, lower school performance, and higher arrest and suicide rates for boys relative to girls are pretty much universal constants. Boys do better at football and getting a good salary, girls do better at school. That two sexes achieve differently in entirely different fields on average isn’t what I’d call necessarily a problem.

  2. galadrium Says:

    I wonder if all the focus on testing, courtesy of No Child Left Beind, is doing a disservice to boys. P.E. and project/hands on type learning activities have been sacrificed at the altar of Test Prep, and these activities are far more engaging for everyone, espcially the boys.

  3. pjs Says:

    I would be curious how many who voted that there is a boy problem are mothers of young boys who are currently going through elementary school? I have to say my view on this has been changed by that very experience.

  4. Glinda Says:

    pjs, I was also thinking about how the results would skew for people who only have girls vs. boys.

  5. Sarah G. Says:

    I have three boys (13, 10 and 7) and one girl (7). For my family there is not much of a problem, the older boys have been tagged gifted and we have been their advocates from the get go.

    I can see that with the wrong teacher my middle son could have been tagged ADH, but we know he is just a very active boy that needs to run around. As a result he does well in school and is thriving. I think the real problem is that in some schools they are too quick to judge and want something done about the child that can’t sit still and is crawling out of his or her skin on rainy days when recess is canceled.

    When I was in school I hated PE, but as a mom of active children I now see what a crime it is to no longer have PE and or recess in Elementary school. And that is where our schools are failing us. A healthy mind in a healthy body.

  6. Pencils Says:

    My daughter is just a baby, and I’m shocked to hear that kids don’t have recess or PE anymore. Recess doesn’t cost anything! Except for basic playground maintenance, and they should be doing that anyway. You shove the kids out into the schoolyard and let them run around. When I was in elementary school we spent every recess playing a charming game called “Kill the Guy With the Ball.” All you needed for this game was the aforementioned ball. A giant knot of kids would surge back and forth across the schoolyard until the bell rang. Was a lot of fun, we got a lot of exercise, and we blew off a lot of steam. They should bring that back!

  7. Glinda Says:

    My son’s school has recess still, which I am thankful for. I think the parents would revolt if they took it away.

  8. dgm Says:

    I don’t think we have a “boy problem” so much as a problem recognizing that the traditional ways of running schools are not well-suited to many a boy. This is certainly made worse by the fact that there are so few male teachers. If a boy doesn”t succeed in school, an endeavor that takes up a large part of a kid’s life, he will be hard pressed to succeed in life.

  9. raincoaster Says:

    That brings up an interesting point. Success in school is not a terrific indicator of success later in life for boys. There’s the famous study of Harvard grads several years on that found a greater correlation between their height and their success (as measured in dollars) than their grades and their success. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are both dropouts. Smart, gifted dropouts who didn’t really do terribly well in school.

    I agree that a solid understanding of writing, literature, math, science, and history is a great asset to a child, but I’m not sure I agree that it’s a prerequisite to what you’d call “Success.” Certainly there’s not a great correlation between school grades and income later, nor between grades and subsequent social status. Nor, it must be said, between grades and rewarding interpersonal relationships.

    I guess the long-winded point I’m trying to make is that boys have always done less-well in school than girls, and they still make $1.25 for every dollar a girl makes, and they still form more than 80% of most boards (including charitable). That they may lag behind in one area on statistical average does not doom them to a lifetime of second-class standing.

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