Monday, December 29, 2008

How to neutralize a "frothing at the mouth" opponent

One never knows when you will called upon to face a hostile opponent or interviewer. Most of us are not well versed in such encounters and do poorly. Often these ideologues started in the media or have much more media experience/training. This segment provides an interesting example of how to effectively spar in such an encounter.

Some things to remember:

1) Show, don't explain
2) Research opponent - they will frequently "telegraph" their message in advance
3) A microphone will more often catch a clear, uninterrupted, calm and evenly delivered voice over a ranting, interjected tirade.
4) Keep message short, punchy, stay on it and close the circle at the finish. (i.e And so we will always support the safety for our children!)

Here is an example.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Newborn child found in barn - Police and CPS investigate

What a great Xmas article! Good for a laugh, and a cry were it not so plausible.

My thanks really goes out to Walter for this piece and all the other work he does throughout the year - on his blog and keeping up-to-date his massive website on Men's Issues and Rights. It is a most valuable resource and I am very grateful for it (and him).

I wish him and everyone a Merry Xmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Boys Project

I came across this very interesting via Glenn Sacks blog. Dr. Judith KLEINFELD is the director of The Boys Project, whose mission is to help young males develop their capabilities and reach the potential that their families and teachers know they have. It has resources for teachers.
A large, sullen, poorly educated group of men will not keep the nation vital in the twenty-first century. The nation needs the energy, initiative, and ambition of its young men as well as its young women.
Dr KLEINFELD, a psychologist is a author of popular article "The Myth That Schools Shortchange Girls" and an critic of a legislation changing report published in 1992 titled "How Schools Shortchange Girls: A Study of Major Findings on Girls and Education" by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She insists that the idea that girls are shortchanged by schools has become the common wisdom-what people take for granted, without a thought concerning whether or not it is true. As evidence of this fallacy, she quotes a nationally representative longitudinal study of the high school class of 1992, discussed by Dwyer and Johnson. It was found that high-school girls outdistanced boys in making the honor roll, in getting elected to a class office, and in receiving writing awards and other academic honors.

But 1992 was a long time ago, and the holes in this diatribe have been growing wider each year.
So it is perhaps not a surprise that in May 2008, the AAUW revisited the state of gender education and guess what - we have made great strides! The crisis is over! For everyone!

However, this article by Leonard SAX points out that women enrollment in Science Technololgy Engineering and Math (STEM) has actually declined over the past 20 years. He believes that the real gender crisis is not ability but motivation. Women remain more likely than men to major in art history and journalism; men are more likely than women to major in computer science, physics, and engineering. That is the reason for differences in earnings - utility.

The issue is that AAUA wants to force girls (and boys) into stereotypical roles that they do not aspire to. Gender differences do exist and they matter.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Do Judges make justice unaffordable or not?

Family Law is a mess. Only the courts do not recognize it.

On Nov 18, Karen SELICK wrote this op-ed piece critical of a recent Supreme Court refusal to hear an appeal of a Ontario Family Court decision that over-rode a pre-nuptial contract because of inaccurate property values.

On Nov 24, John T. SIRTASH, counsel to Bnai B'rith Canada Family Law responded with "Don't blame the judges" - which I took as an odd instance of flattery except he has been a lawyer for 27 years and so is clearly angling for his appointment to the bench.

I fully support Karen's points. It was irrelevant that the husband-to-be misrepresented in good faith the "true value"1 of his assets/property owned before he agreed to marry his wife-to-be (the gold-digger) as she signed a pre-nup disavowing any claim to such assets/property. Further he made it clear that he would not have made a marriage proposal otherwise.

Mr. LeVan was happy to remain in a committed common-law relationship with this women. However in a common-law relationship - unlike formal matrimony2 - she could not have gained any rights to any of his assets/property owned before they began their relationship.

Comments in both are worth reading, especially Karen SELICK's rejoinder to SIRTASH on these points in following the "Comment" section.

1) Partially due to cost (estimated at $10,000) the husband did not bother to provide an "official" valuation of his personal business interests. Eventually these assets were proven to be worth $5.3 million and so obviously he was a wealthy man. His failure to provide an accurate valuation was
construed as a "material" misrepresentation in the pre-nuptial contract. As the final indignity the husband was charged $500,000+ and the wife $244,753 for appraisals of both parties assets.

2) Common Law relationships are governed by Provincial Statutes that intentionally adopt lower social obligations (which itself is a highly debated subject depending on your gender) for the parties involved. A formal marriage must be registered under Federal Statute and holds to established traditions.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Childhood's End - the Decline of the British Family

This 15 year old girl, Scarlett KEELING - precocious by necessity due to her mother's irresponsible parenting - was found murdered on a beach in Goa INDIA on Feb 18, 2008. She has become a poster child of the recognition in England that childhood is under serious siege from a breakdown of the family - never a strong point for the Brits - because of willful state intervention.

Theodore Dalrymple's writes:
Scarlett's mother, Fiona MacKeown, brought 8 of her 9 children on a six-month vacation to India with her boyfriend in November 2007. (The one left behind—her eldest, at 19—was a drug addict.) Her nine children were fathered by 5 different men. She had received $50,000 in welfare benefits a year, and doubtless decided—quite rationally, under the circumstances—that the money would go further, and that life would thus be more agreeable, in Goa than in her native Devon.

Reaching Goa, MacKeown soon decided to travel with seven of her children to Kerala, leaving behind one of them, 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling, to live with a tour guide ten years her elder, whom the mother had known for only a short time. Scarlett reportedly claimed to have had sex with this man only because she needed a roof over her head. According to a witness, she was constantly on drugs; and one night, she went to a bar where she drank a lot and took several different illicit drugs, including LSD, cocaine, and pot. She was seen leaving the bar late, almost certainly intoxicated.

The next morning, Scarlett's body turned up on a beach. At first, the local police maintained that she had drowned while high, but further examination proved that someone had raped and then forcibly drowned her.

Scarlett’s mother, expressed surprise at the level of public vituperation aimed at her and her lifestyle in the aftermath of the murder. She agreed that she and her children lived on welfare, but “not by conscious choice,” and she couldn't see anything wrong with her actions. Apparently neither could many other parenting experts.

Dalrymple goes on to suggest:

This nonjudgmentalism surely helps explain why British youth are among the Western world’s leaders in such indicators of social pathology as teenage pregnancy, violence, criminality, underage drinking, and consumption of illicit drugs. Britain has the third-highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the industrialized world, according to the UNICEF report (only the United States and New Zealand are higher)—a startling case recently made headlines of 16-, 14-, and 12-year-old sisters, all of whom gave birth within a year of one another. British children have the earliest and highest consumption of cocaine of any young people in Europe, are ten times more likely to sniff solvents than are Greek children, and are six to seven times more likely to smoke pot than are Swedish children. Almost a third of British young people aged 11, 13, and 15 say they have been drunk at least twice.

The main consideration inhibiting elite criticism of MacKeown is that passing judgment would call into question the shibboleths of liberal social policy for the last 50 or 60 years—beliefs that give their proponents a strong sense of moral superiority. It would be to entertain the heretical thought that family structure might matter after all, along with such qualities as self-restraint and self-respect; and that welfare dependency is unjust to those who pay for it and disastrous for those who wind up trapped in it.

One day after Scarlett Keeling’s murder, a nine-year-old girl, Shannon Matthews, went missing from her home in Dewsbury, in northern England. Twenty-four days later, after an extensive police search, she was found alive, locked in a drawer under a bed in her stepfather’s uncle’s house. Shannon’s mother, Karen Matthews, 32, was also arrested, for child cruelty, neglect, and obstructing the police by lying during the search for her daughter. Ms Matthews also was a regular recipient of welfare payments of $40,000 a year, and had borne seven children to five different men. She has now became clear that Ms. Matthews engineered a kidnapping plot in order to win a newspaper award.

Here are some other points to consider:

  • 4/10 British children are born out of wedlock and the unions of which they are the issue are notoriously unstable.
  • Easy divorce means that a quarter of all marriages break up within a decade.
  • Britain does have the highest rate of child poverty in the West (except the U.S) defined as the percentage of children in households with an income of less than 50 percent of the median. So after many years of various redistributive measures and billions spent to reduce child poverty - it is, if anything, more widespread.
  • The British government thus pursues social welfare policies that encourage the creation of households like the Matthews’, and then via yet more welfare spending, to reduce the harm done to children in them.
  • Both women lived free of rent and local taxes and received healthy subsides from the state and boasted three computers and a large plasma-screen television.
A system of perverse incentives in a culture of undiscriminating materialism, where the main freedom is freedom from legal, financial, ethical, or social consequences has led to he state-encouraged breakdown of the family.

[Update: 2009Feb13 Recently, after news of a 13-year-old father there were calls for better sex education.]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Minority Report - *New* Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines

Dr. Ned HOLSTEIN - Executive Director of Massachusetts Fathers and Families (MAFF), was a member of the Massachusetts Child Support Guideline Task Force and put together a dissenting opinion. Background information can be found at

It is his position that Child Support Guidelines should require payments sufficient for both parents to equitably meet the important needs of their children. Above those levels of support, additional, excessive child support orders impair the payor’s parenting and thus have adverse consequences for children that far outweigh the benefits.1

At issue is the negative effects of excessive child support orders. They diminish the standard of living children enjoy in the payor’s2 household. They alienate payors, require them to work excessive hours, and may force them to live far from their children, making parenting time impractical and potentially isolating children from friends and activities during such times. Very excessive child support orders may present payors with the constant threat of incarceration despite the best of intentions.

Here is a summary of key points:

  • Under federal law, Massachusetts must review its Guidelines not less than every four years, and revise them if it seems appropriate. Here are the new ones effective Jan 1, 2009. They must be next reviewed again by January 1, 2013. Existing orders and judgments less than three years old as of date of these guidelines shall not be modified unless the income of one or both parties changes or new circumstance warrants.3
  • Determining the Child Support Guidelines has been given to the Chief Justice for Administration and Management (“CJAM”) Robert A. Mulligan. Over two years ago, Chief Justice Mulligan appointed a Task Force to advise him on the revision. This process has been significantly improved to be more open and transparent as A) The twelve members who advised CJAM are no longer secret and included Dr. Ned HOLSTEIN to represent men and payors views (9 lawyers included 6 women and men until one member retired) and B) 13 public hearings were held across the state, hundreds of non-custodial parents and others testifying. C) In addition to a majority report by the Task Force, a minority report with Dissenting Viewpoints was presented. (
  • Principle 3 which encouraged the courts “To provide the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the family been intact” was dropped from the 2009 Guidelines. Despite being noble it was rarely achieved in practice without impoverishing the Payor, which is not in a child’s best interest. In the 2009 Guidelines it now reads "to meet the child’s survival needs in the first instance, but to the extent either parent enjoys a higher standard of living, to entitle the child to enjoy that higher standard."
  • The $20,000 "head start" for custodial parents that disregarded the first $20,000 of income in child support calculations has been abandoned. This provision no longer exists. All income of the custodial parent now counts.
  • The automatic 10% increase in the child support order for children age 13 or over has been eliminated.
  • In the past it was extremely difficult to get a child support order modified by the court unless one's income varied by at least 20%. Any change in income is now sufficient to qualify one to be heard in court for a modification. [Editor: Obviously the burden of time/cost just to appear in court will disabuse frivolous cases.]
  • As shared parenting is the best arrangement for children, the Guidelines should adjust child support orders when there is shared parenting. This principle will be adopted in the 2009 Guidelines for cases where parenting is equal or approximately equal.
  • In the past, the child care credit was only available to the custodial parent, and the cost of child care could be deducted regardless of the reason for putting the child into care. MAFF won provisions that the deduction for child care expenses may be available to either party, and to qualify, child care must in most cases be for the purpose of gainful employment. [Editor: Quite similar to tax rules in Canada, this means existing child-care and health-care expenses can only be applied against employment income.]
  • Under existing Guidelines, whomever pays for Health Insurance recovers half of that cost through an offsetting decrease in their child support order. Now that offset will only be in the range of about 20% to 25%. This will also be the case with child care expenses. [Editor: I like this alot as this is a rough approximation of the net after tax advantage of deducting such health-care expenses BUT more importantly, it introduces a co-sharing of responsibility for these expenses which may mitigates irresponsible "expense downloading".]
  • A major issue for Payors has been the extreme financial distress that excessive child support orders can create. Under current legislation, if a payor took a second job or made overtime it became counted at the time of a subsequent modification of the child support order and he was no better off. Many payors found themselves unable to work their way out of an arrears situation. This has been relaxed somewhat under the new guidelines to allow a judge to exclude such temporary income if it is unlikely to continue in the future, or consider if the extra work is a requirement of the job, and the evaluate the impact of the overtime on a parenting plan at the time of the initial order. If however a payor or recipient obtains a secondary job or begins to work overtime after a child support order is entered, it shall not be considered in a future support order.
No Change
  • For the very poorest payors there is no letup. For someone earning only $7,800 per year, already in poverty, must pay $1,638 in child support for one child, pushing him/her close to homelessness. [Editor: In his Minority Report Dr. HOLSTEIN goes into greater details about the negative effects on low income payors. The guidelines simply require desperately poor men to make token payments they cannot afford and that make little difference to the recipient when compared to the level of social assistance received.]
  • There is no cap on child support for very wealthy Payors. They may still be paying for “three ponies” for the child by court order.
  • The expenses of second families still cannot be used as a reason to decrease an existing child support order, although such expenses still can be used as a defense to a request to increase the child support order. Thus, the well-being of children of second families is often ignored by the Guidelines. A child of a second family is often raised in a household that is quite less well off than the household of the first child, to which child support is being paid.
  • Massachusetts remains the only state other than Hawaii that allows child support to age 23. Except where there are circumstances like "special needs" it is discriminatory to insist divorced parents provide for the post-secondary education of their children when intact families do not have that legal duty. The Task Force declined to place "de minimus" rules for college expenses that can be ordered or recommend reasonable limitations on the payments.
Steps Backward
  • Overall child support levels remain too high. It is clear that Recipients usually have a substantially better standard of living than a Payor unless she/he has little or no earnings of her own. Here are some comparisons:
Table MR1: Low Income Groups - 2009 Guideline Increases
Low Income - A minimum wage payor earns $16,640 annually. If the recipient has no earnings, the proposed child support order will be $4,004. After paying income and payroll taxes, the payor will have $9,978 to live on for the year. At $832 per month rent, the payor will have no money left. The proposed child support order of $4,004 is 13% higher than the $3,546 currently required. (refer to Table MR1: Low Income Groups - 2009 Guideline Increases). Whereas the current guideline order is unpayable, the newly proposed guideline order is still more unpayable.
  • The Guidelines simply require poor people to make payments they cannot afford and which make little difference to the recipient relative to the level of public support. Federal data bear this out as about 70% of the total child support arrears nationwide are owed
    by people earning less than $10,000 per year, and 96% is owed by those earning less than $40,000 per year. Child support debt is almost entirely a problem of poverty. Child support orders for the poor should be lowered, not raised.
Table MR2: Middle Income Groups - Relative Standards of Living

  • Middle-Class - Even these payors will have difficulty remaining active parents to their children under the 2009 Guidelines. In above Table MR2: Middle Income Groups - Relative Standards of Living “Disposable Income” (DI) is the money left after paying Income and payroll taxes, and after paying (or receiving) child support. In the examples above in which the payor and recipient earn equal amounts, the payor will have only about half the disposable income of the recipient after taxes and child support transfers. Even a payor who earns three times as much as the recipient will have less disposable income than the recipient (85%). In addition, the proposed increases will be large - double and triple for many.
  • Massachusetts is in the paradoxical situation that the 2009 Guidelines have adopted a number of principles and concepts for which MAFF has long fought to achieve, but the actual amounts of child support have made an inequitable situation worse in most cases.

1) To some extent children of divorce who experience "asymmetric support" (child support that provides children proportional financial benefits without proportional responsibility) are denied important lesson in life that intact families still enjoy - those oldtime virtues of thrift, self-denial and placing needs of the collective family first.

2) Payors in Massachusetts are known as "debtors" in Alberta (and there is something not so subtle behind that).

3) Other relevant supporting information for The Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines can be found here, here, and here .

Massachusetts Child Support Task Force - Majority Report
Massachusetts Child Support Task Force - Minority Report
*New* 2009 Guidelines
*New* 2009 Guidelines Worksheet
*New* 2009 Guidelines Reference Tables

Monday, October 27, 2008

Overlapping Parenting Conferences, Toronto

This story in the weekend's National Post was a surprise and juxtaposed two conferences - one entitled "12th ARM (Association for Research on Mothering) Conference: Mothering, Violence, Militarism, War, and Social Justice" against the "2008 (1st) Fatherhood Research Conference" unknown to each other.

The Association for Research on Mothering, at York University, Toronto, is home to ARM, the Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, Demeter1 Press and Mother Outlaws. The Association’s mandate is to promote feminist maternal scholarship by building and sustaining a community of researchers interested in the topic of mothering-motherhood and its Directors is Dr. Andrea O'REILLY who also happens to be a professor of Women's Studies at York. She has recently completed a book entitled "Feminist Mothering" which was widely discussed at the conference.

Among some of the topics at the Fatherhood Conference was Dalhousie University, Halifax NS Dr. Wanda BERNARD's keynote address entitled "Exploring the role of Otherfathers in African Communities" which explored widely held misconceptions of black fatherhood stereotypes. Also of interest was Carleton University ON professor Dr. Andrea DOUCET with "I'm Still Their Mother: Fathers, Mothers and Maternal Gatekeepers" which focused on how past academics often judged men's performance according to their partners terms - often called the "deficit model of parenting".

The article found great humour in the fact each conference overlapped (at a different location) unknown to the organizers. Explanation given: "We are just like any busy couple and we didn't check in with each other."


1) Demeter you will recall was of course the greek goddess of grain and fertility, a nourisher of youth and the green earth, and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. She represented
the health-giving cycle of life and death. With her daughter Persephone she was worshipped long before she was made one of the Olympians and predated the Olympian pantheon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Genetic Evolution

Throughout history, boys have undergone rites of passage into manhood that imbued them with knowledge and skills for the real world. Many of these experiences prepared them for combat or a battle for scarce resources. Often it involved testing themselves against their peers in speed, strength, organizational planning, strategic knowledge, developing purpose, the social skills of teamwork, personal integrity or trustworthiness and courage. The stature acquired in these social tests contributed to winning "street cred" and women's favour so they could gain a mate to propagate and ensure their clans continuation and survival.

It is now clear from DNA mapping that we are genetically descended from twice as many women than men. This single under appreciated fact confirms that while 80% of women mated, they did so with only 40% of the male population. These reproductive odds produced well defined behavioural and personality differences. For women the odds of reproducing were pretty good. Taking chances fighting or exploring strange lands would be stupid, the optimal thing to do is go along with the crowd, be nice, play it safe. The odds are good that men will come along and offer sex. All women had to do was select the most promising hunter and mate.1

But for Men it was radically different. They had to compete to win the evolutionary sweepstakes and 60% of them failed. So it was necessary to take chances, try new things, be creative, explore other possibilities. Sailing off into the unknown may be risky but you might strike it rich and have a better chance at mating. The evolutionary odds of success in staying at home and going along certainly weren't great. Risk taking behaviour mattered even from the aspect of sex drive as a man who said "not tonight dear" may have missed his only chance at evolutionary success.

So basically we’re behaviourally descended from women who played it safe and men who took risks. In subjective terms it means that for women, being lovable was the key to attracting the best mate. For men however, it was more a matter of beating out lots of other men even to have a chance for a mate. Men are hardwired to take risks and compete with each other whereas women are predisposed to play it safe and concentrate on suitable mate selection.

1) The bulk of this Evolutionary Psychology is taken from address of Dr. Roy F. BAUMEISTER "Is There Anything Good About Men?" American Psychological Association Address, June 2007.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Are the courts biased against men?

Women with AIDS guilty of sexual assault gets 1 yr community service?

She had unprotected sex with the man who would become her common-law husband for 5 years before she threw him out with a DV charge. Sometime in the first 6 months of their relationship she disclosed her previously known condition and after that, he took precautions. He has apparently not been infected, although we are expected to "feel sympathetic" for this Quebec women as she must take drugs to treat her AIDS condition. Both identities are protected.

Further west, Trevis Smith (shown), a former-football player has sex with 2 women without disclosing he had AIDS but says he did NOT have unprotected sex with them. One women who was a nurse has tested positive for AIDS and it is not clear if he infected her as she claims. She said she broke off their relationship because Smith was involved with other women. Another women came forward after charges were laid and also testified against Smith. Smiths testimony was ignored by the judge as he was deemed "not-credible" and his appeal was thrown out. His picture and reputation was splattered all over the place, plus he was released from his pro contract once the charges were laid (ok, it was only the Saskatchewan Rough-Riders - but still he is out of a job.)

He gets 6 1/2 years "hard time" (less time served while at trial) - why the difference?

Harsher legal treatment for men than women has long been evident in Canada 1.
  • Woman's conviction rates are lower than men (55% found guilty vs 59% for men) 2.
  • Women are "half as likely as men to receive a prison sentence (19% vs 38%) and more likely to receive probation (56% vs 37%)" when found guilty of crimes against the person (i.e major assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm) in adult court. This "bias" holds regardless of the severity of the crime.
  • Women also receive lower sentences for property crimes such as "robbery (62% versus 76%), break and enter (41% versus 61%) and fraud."
  • When found guilty in youth court - regardless of the crime - a boy is more likely to "do time" (24% of males get prison sentence vs 16% of females) than a girl and she will be out in 2/3 the time (average sentences are 48 days for females vs 71 for males).
The question is why?

1. 2008 January - Female Offenders in Canada, Statscan Juristat - Vol. 28, no 1. Table 5 & 6.
2. Higher conviction rates for men may be related to fact that men face more "multiple-charge" cases than women (52% vs 45%) and as women are more often first-time offenders they receive more lenient treatment.

Volto Di Mae West 1934/35

Friday, July 04, 2008

Male discrimination of Title IX in US Colleges

Recently, Glenn Sacks revisited this issue after being quoted from an article he wrote 7 years ago! [Editorial. Honestly, shouldn't reputable newspapers have a statute of limitations on the use of such attributions to keep lazy journalists honest - quotations of the dead excepted.]

Apart from the "ain't feminism great" tone, Glenn pointed out that Title IX led to wholesale dismantling of many men's sport programs. The Orange County Register article piously points out that "nationally, football has been a major stumbling block to achieving gender equality" without acknowledging that at many US colleges, Football teams are probably the only teams that are profit centers1 and the "social glue" that keep alumni coming back and giving to their Alma Mater! And in many cases, the profits went back into general sports activities - for both genders.

The 7 year old quote was also a "sop", taken out of context. It sounded like Glenn was against women's sports - but he was merely pointing out discrepancies in the California National Organization of Women (Cal-NOW) lawsuit from 1993 and how it has hurt men.

Other points were:

1) Activity bias - more women participate in "personal fitness" activities (jogging, aerobics, dance etc.) than teams sports yet these activities were not included in determining "gender contributions". In addition, more men than women are interested in team activities but the "gender equity" benchmark was based on Total percent Male/Female enrollment and not #athletes or better - "interest". Even at All-Women Colleges, team sports participation would be below the levels that would support Title IX (if it applied). [Studies2 show that female "organized sport" participation is 30-40% versus 50+% for men.]

2) Pink Wash - some very popular women's "activities" like cheer-leading were not counted in the "female sport" ledger. (Hence, we now have both men and women on these university squads.) I find it an eerie coincidence that this discriminatory lawsuit was launched by Cal-NOW in February 1993 - immediately after Superbowl XXVII when the infamous Superbowl DV Hoax was launched and then quickly unmasked.

3) Funding Bias - Similar to Football, Basketball is often a big profit at some US Colleges but the revenue earned is not counted in funding although things like scholarships are. Many women's sports programs athletes have no where to go after leaving the college ghetto - unless they have the orientation to become coaches.

Glenn estimates that Cal-NOW and other feminist organizations have been responsible3 for the elimination of 20,000 male athletic positions since 1993. When Title IX was passed in 1972 it was an important achievement for women's sports but it was never meant to be a sword wielded against men's sports activities.

1. Football operations contributed an average profit of $1.8 million per school for 322 Div I Colleges. p.25 Table 6 - Overall Revenues & Expenses 2003-4. April 2005 NCAA Gender Equity Report.
2. Cohen vs, Brown 1992. 50% of of male students who submitted SAT scores for entrance to Brown College indicated interest in organized sports versus 30% of female applicants. The Gender Refs 1997 Dec/Nov - Hoover Institute.
3. Estimated loss of Men's Athletic positions for 902 NCAA Colleges from 1994-1997. April 1998
NCAA Gender Equity Report.

[The article was penned by a female journalist, Mary Jo FISHER of the Orange County Register in response to the release of California State University's (CSU) Annual Title IX Compliance Review in June 2008.]

Some additional links of interest.

2008MAY13 USA Today - Title IX Issues Continue

2001APR Reason Magazine - Title IX Pyrrhic Victory

The Transparent Simulacrum of the Feigned Image

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"How my mother's fanatical views tore us apart" by Rebecca Walker

Wow, this article about feminist author Alice WALKER by her daughter Rebecca (and thanks to really blew me away. It reads like a black "Mommy Dearest".

This is why, I have almost finished "Spreading Misandry" the first book of a trilogy by Paul NATHANSON & Katherine K. YOUNG (McGill/Queen's University Press). In it they "deconstruct" popular culture in exhaustive detail to dredge up and trace the evolution of the current epidemic of anti-male hatred in pop-culture.

Alice WALKER, famed author of "The Color Purple" figures prominently in it because the movie of her book marked a major misandric turning-point in movie stereotypes. (Of course this is apart from the fact it also launched WALKERS writing career, as it did Opra WINFREY's acting career.) "Purple" was also the first "unvarnished" misandric portrayal of black men in modern film. The wheel had at last turned.

NATHANSON & YOUNG also did a good job in exposing WALKERS feminist credentials but maintain her important role was in shifting the previous white male-only negative stereotypes thereby closed a gaping breech in the gender wall. Until then "racial minorities" had been exempt from feminist misandric derision. They were treated as allies - equally oppressed by the male patriarchy. That characterization changed with the release of "The Color Purple" in 1985 and black/African American men were portrayed as bad or even worse that white men.

In my opinion, once that gap was closed, full "gender-feminism" was possible and the complete de-emancipation of men could begin ultimately leading to VAWA.

Lincoln in Dalivision by Salvador Dali

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nova Scotia mother charged in daughters murder

A shocking and heinous crime to be sure, but we must wait for the verdict and perhaps some of the truth about Karissa BOUDREAU's terrible death - hopefully to be revealed in court.

As such horrific cases of child murder appear these days there seem to be two sure things which happen. First, both parents (or more often than not the boyfriends and/or step-father) are always Prime Suspects #1 and second, law enforcement agencies appear to accept laying these seriously earth-shattering charges as the first step in breaking a case, regardless of the implications or repercussions on the terribly distressed and grieving families.

Yet such charges against a mother seems to have dredged up an enormous store of contempt and vitriol from the community, one of whom was quoted as saying "stuff like this happens in the big city, not in tiny Bridgewater" (a town of 8,000). Who are these people kidding? In my opinion it is more likely to happen in such a smug, insular and smothering small-town environment than in larger urban area's where many more opportunities exist for anonymity and self-deceptive behaviour.

Add this revelation to the other two recent, shocking multiple-family murders (Joshua LALL in Calgary AB on May 28, 2008 and Dwayne SCHOENBORN in Merritt BC on April 6, 2008) has silenced most parents.

In the case of Joshua LALL, he was extolled as a the "perfect" father who "cracked" for some unknown reason and reputedly (although these quotes are vaguely attributed to "unknown") began to "hear voices in his head" which would indicate some untofor unrecognized severe mental illness. The characterization of Dwayne SCHOENBORN was similar but less glowing as his ex-common-law spouse had left him with their children to "start a new life" six months prior to his sudden appearance. After strangling his three young children, he fled and was found a short distance away in a distressed and greatly weakened state - reportedly showing signs he had attempted but failed at suicide.

Then there is the multiple family murder-suicide of Santbir BRAR an Ottawa Transit garage supervisor who murdered his wife Amarjeet and their two university aged daughters, Manmeet and Dildeep before committing suicide in November 2007. Again, close neighbors expressed disbelief that such a "calm, cool and logical" father could commit such a heinous crime. Perhaps because many of this Indo-Canadian/immigrant family's relatives still lived in India or because it kept a less public profile and was less close to neighbors, this murder ceased to nag public opinion soon after it was first reported.

Men figure prominently as perpetrators in all but the first case, except that Karissa's mother - Ms. Penny Boudreau - has been prohibited from communicating with her boyfriend, a Vernon MACUMBER.

Who is more delusional, these broken parents who have (or are claimed to have) wreaked death on their children or those "happy-faced" individuals who ignore, dissemble and deny that "some problems" exist in close family members and loved ones but do nothing to help? sad Transfer to Personal Qwest

Christ of St. John of the Cross ,1951 by Salvador Dali

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Taking 'equality' too far

Karen Selick is beginning to rival Barbara Kay as my favorite columnist in the National Post. This article deconstructs a Liberal plan for a 'Commissioner of Gender Equality' and explains why how such plans reflect the left's unhealthy obsession with sex quotas. Faulty assumptions have been used to justify what used to be known as "affirmative action" programs in the USA - many that are now canceled due to their overall ineffectiveness or overturned by constitutional challenges.

The Birth of a God by Salvador Dali

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How boys/men are valued in the "real world"

The National Post (April 29, 2008) had 2 items that highlight the "real value" of boys/men in society and another that merely indicates how misandry is spreading to the less-developed world.

The first was The Eligible-Bachelor Paradox - How economics and game theory explain the shortage of available, appealing men. This "game" has been true since Eve, yet feminists would have us believe that since the advent of abortion and their "liberation" the playing field was levelled. Sorry, you just became less attractive because you are attempting to bend "the rules".

The second was Indian Prime Minister Denounces Abortion of Females noting the recurrent challenge of prenatal gender selection in poor, rural India. In 2001 there were only 927 girls per 1000 boys [Editor: how long does it take to do a census?]. The article claims laws are not being applied and in remote rural locations, many operators adeptly side-step any prohibitions on ultrasound tech's letting them know the sex of their unborn child by giving out blue or pink coloured candles at the end of session "for good luck".

Feminists have been outraged at their "poorer sisters" for doing this for at least 10 years now, which placed them in an unholy alliance with "neo-Malthusian" population control activists. How long before the feminist movement bullies some compliant weak-willed western government (or better yet the UN!) into sanctions against India over such "female atrocities" similar to Arab Muslim female circumcision (aka genital mutilation) - is anyone's guess.

Finally, according to this Reuters article, girls in Mumbai are not seduced by the school attendance payments as they are not "enough", but the school principal Baig Noorjahan, can not understand why they don't target the boys as well as "Their attendance is even worse", she said. One mother planned to buy her daughter a "dress" with the windfall, but the girl sensibly wanted to use it for her next years school fees. She hopes to be a flight attendant, but her teacher believes this is much too ambitious. Again, Barbie 1 - Feminists 0.

Apparition of the Face of Aphrodite by Salvador Dali

Friday, April 18, 2008

Blog Interruption

Last week I did the unthinkable - I accidentally deleted this blog. Stupid, I know. As I have more than 1 gmail account I have to flip between them and Firefox often gets confused. In that process I thought I had retrained the MALEpositive blog to a new email account and then rather rashly deleted that gmail account!

Anyways, everything I had published and in "edit-mode" was irrevocably lost, but luckily Google/Blogger was able to recover everything upto the end of March.

This is in case you saw something that suddenly "disappeared". Sorry, crj

Disintegration of Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Friday, March 28, 2008

WorkPlace Bullies

Yesterday Brittany McNeil, 18, was sentenced in Dartmouth NS provincial court by Judge Alanna Murphy to 5 1/2 yrs in prison for her leading role in an brutal attack on another teen girl.

This follows another case in Montreal where a family is suing the school board for not protecting their son from a bullying teacher and another on on ABC News for vicious student bullying behaviour. The terrible consequences of neglecting to deal effectively with such behaviours has had tragic consequences many times in the past.

Not surprisingly bullying is now being traced "up the food chain" and into the workplace - as this article in NY Times points out.

Bullying in the workplace is surprisingly common. In a survey released last fall, 37 percent of American workers said they had experienced bullying on the job, according to the research firm Zogby International.

This month, researchers at the University of Manitoba reported that the emotional toll of workplace bullying is more severe than that of sexual harassment. And in today’s corporate culture, supervisors may condone bullying as part of a tough management style.

The New York State Legislature is considering an antibullying bill, and in several other states, including New Jersey and Connecticut, lawmakers have introduced such measures — without success so far.

A large share of the problem involves women victimizing women. The Zogby survey showed that 40 percent of workplace bullies are women.

Researchers at the State University of New York in New Paltz have developed a survey aimed at identifying the full range of behaviors that can constitute bullying.

Here are 10 most common forms of workplace aggression.*

1. Talking about someone behind his/her back.
2. Interrupting others while they are speaking or working.
3. Flaunting status or authority; acting in a condescending manner.
4. Belittling someone's opinion to others.
5. Failing to return phone calls or respond to memos.
6. Giving others the silent treatment.
7. Insults, yelling and shouting.
8. Verbal forms of sexual harassment.
9. Staring, dirty looks or other negative eye contact.
10. Intentionally damning with faint praise.

* Source: Professor Joel Neuman, Center for Applied Management, State University of New York at New Paltz. Data is from samples of more than 600 employees in a variety of work settings.

I question whether "Anti-Bully" programs at schools and elsewhere are merely dealing with the symptoms (i.e "Don't do this!" admonishments) rather than allowing teachers and parents methods of recognizing and dealing with the situations as the arise. These concerns are similar to those I have about SexEd classes and the prevalance of sexual permissive in most of our media.

Tiger by Salvador Dali

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Divorce, Marriage and the Deregulation of the Family

How could I resist this title? Dubner & Levitt continue to blog on applications of economics to modern day problems - as they did in their bestseller Freakonomics, published in 2005. This follows the topic of crisis articles.

This is a favourite topic of mine - misinterpretation of complex statistics by simple reporters looking for a quick story - like the "historically high divorce rate". In this case Sue Shellenbarger of the 2008 March 21 WSJ writes "On average, 43 percent of first marriages end in separation or divorce within 15 years, a federal study shows."

This presumably refers to last US Bureau of Census data for 2004 which shows that 56.9 percent of women married from 1985 to 1989 had reached their 15th anniversary, and from that, inferring that 43.1 percent had divorced or separated within 15 years of marriage.

Clearly there are a few problems: 1) The Survey took place in the summer so even assuming roughly equal monthly distributions of weddings, 1/10 women would be from 1-6 months shy of their 15th year anniversary! 2) Then there is the fact that widows do not choose divorce but have it thrust upon them and still count as "no longer married".

Adjusting for these facts reduces what should more properly be called the "Womens 15 yr Divorce Marathon Rate" to 33%. The trend for men - not surprisingly - is very similar - 31.2%.

This is also born out by looking at the incidence of US Divorces (rate per 1,000 married couples) which shows the rate of divorce peaked at 22.8 divorces per 1,000 married couples in 1979 and has fallen 16.7 in 2005 - its lowest level since 1970. So marriages that do occur are increasingly more stable and the Divorce Crisis is just a myth. I do not have similar data for Canada - but will make a point to find some soon.

But I think the real crisis is Official Marriage. As Wolfers clearly points out - Marriage incidence is declining and has in fact reached historic lows (with stats since 1860!). Many would argue that marriage has only been replaced by common-law cohabitation, but that is a difficult claim to disprove. The data collection of such statistics is still evolving - in particular as same sex unions become legal in US states.

But it does seem that U.S. couples who cohabit before marriage have been historically more likely to divorce than those who do not. Among those couples who were cohabiting in January 1997, slightly more than half were no longer together five years later and only a quarter had married.

Here is Justin Wolfers excellent academic article on the issue.

p.s The other article mentioned at Freakonomics is not worth agitating over - as mentioned in accompanied comments, Spanish parents merely appear to be "faking" divorce so they can gain benefits for their children.

Desintegrating Mother and Child by Salvador Dali

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Men, Blah, Blah, Women, Blah, Blah, Talking, Blah, Blah

Another example of the different ways Men and Women communicate.

That women talk more that men is another example of gender stereotypes that form our view of either sex. However a group of scientists decided to test the theory and they came out with the study showing that men talk just as much as women. But, does counting average number of words spoken really tell the whole story? Deborah Tannen isn't so sure. It's all in the way we use words, and the situations that we use words, she says.

The notion that women talk more was reinforced last year when Louann Brizendine's "The Female Brain" cited the finding that women utter, on average, 20,000 words a day, men 7,000. (Brizendine later disavowed the statistic, as there was no study to back it up.) Mehl and his colleagues outfitted 396 college students with devices that recorded their speech. The female subjects spoke an average of 16,215 words a day, the men 15,669. The difference is insignificant. Case closed.

Another study found that counting words yielded no consistent differences, though number of words per speaking turn did (Men, on average, used more).

The "how was your day?" conversation typifies the kind of talk women tend to do more of: spoken to intimates and focusing on personal experience, your own or others'. I call this "rapport-talk." It contrasts with "report-talk" -- giving or exchanging information about impersonal topics, which men tend to do more.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Struggling to Squelch an Internet Rumor

This article discusses the new internet reality of dealing with false rumours. I think this might be the only remaining reason for "news organizations" to have value - they have fact-checkers and we are trusting this organizations "bona fides" in disseminating fact not fiction.
“I understand quite well the power of the Internet. Information flows instantaneously without respect to somewhat arbitrary borders of geography or nation state. That’s a positive. The flip side of that power — [is] the negative impact of an unfounded rumor that flows across a world seemingly without check."

“You can’t put the genie back in the bottle,” he continued. “It’s Kafkaesque. Just when you think you’ve tamped it down, it shows up on another Listserv.”
Then we have the problem of writer fraud, which blew up again last week under the pseudonym Margaret B. Jones [no relation] repeating the Oprah/James Frey controversy of 2006. The only question I have is how gullible are book publishers to fork out six-figure advances without without verifying the material?

A Canadian contribution to this infamous list was Archibald Belaney (aka Grey Owl) which was released as a feature film in 1999 starring british actor Pierce Brosnan.

Don Dutton: Unknown DV Expert

How come I have never heard of this guy? A Canadian no less?

Because he doesn't spout Feminist VAW ideology. That's why.

One of Dutton's main contentions is that the batterers' treatment programs which are based on the Duluth model are utterly ineffective. By being ineffective, they are, in fact, putting abused women in harm's way. The Duluth model is based on Femininst dogma which asserts that domestic violence is committed almost always by men, as part of their role in the patriarchy.

Here is a summary of his most recent book.

Rethinking Domestic Violence

“Dutton’s analysis of domestic violence research and discourse is comprehensive, refreshing, and enlightened. He has gathered the latest work from multiple disciplines to create a volume that will surely be a cornerstone of a radical, distinctly feminist rethinking of domestic violence practice.”

Linda G. Mills, NYU professor of social work, law and public policy, and author of Insult to Injury: Rethinking Our Responses to Intimate Abuse

Rethinking Domestic Violence is the third in a series of books by Donald Dutton critically reviewing research in the area of intimate partner violence (IPV). The research crosses disciplinary lines, including social and clinical psychology, sociology, psychiatry, affective neuropsychology, criminology, and criminal justice research. Since the area of IPV is so heavily politicized, Dutton tries to steer through conflicting claims by assessing the best research methodology. As a result, he comes to some very new conclusions.

These conclusions include the finding that IPV is better predicted by psychological rather than social-structural factors, particularly in cultures where there is relative gender equality. Dutton argues that personality disorders in either gender account for better data on IPV. His findings also contradict earlier views among researchers and policy, makers that IPV is essentially perpetrated by males in all societies. Numerous studies are reviewed in arriving at these conclusions, many of which employ new and superior methodologies than were available previously.

After twenty years of viewing IPV as generated by gender and focusing on a punitive “law and order” approach, Dutton argues that this approach must be more varied and flexible. Treatment providers1 criminal justice system personnel, lawyers, and researchers have indicated the need for a new View of the problem — one less Invested in gender politics and more open to collaborative views and interdisciplinary insights. Dutton’s rethinking of the fundamentals of IPV is essential reading for psychologists, policy makers, and those dealing with the sociology of social science, the relationship of psychology to law, and explanations of adverse behaviour.

Donald G. Dutton teaches in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. He has written extensively on the subject of domestic violence.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What campus rape crisis?

I saw this gunpowder via tonight and wonder why it hasn't been picked up more widely by the wire services.

Promiscuity and hype have created a phony epidemic at colleges.

By Heather Mac Donald
LA Times - February 24, 2008

No felony, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20% or 25%, even over many years. If the one-in-four statistic is correct, campus rape represents a crime wave of unprecedented proportions. Such a crime wave - in which millions of young women would graduate having suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience - would require nothing less than a state of emergency

Yet it is a central claim of universities across America including Harvard's Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, New York University, Syracuse University, Penn State and the University of Virginia, among many others.

The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in the U.S., was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants - a rate of 2.4%.

Where do the numbers come from? During the 1980s, feminist researchers committed to the rape-culture theory discovered that asking women directly if they had been raped yielded disappointing results - very few women said that they had been.

So Ms. magazine commissioned University of Arizona public health professor Mary Koss to develop a different way to measure the prevalence of rape. Koss asked them if they had ever experienced actions that she then classified as rape. One question, for example, asked, "Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn't want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?" - a question that is ambiguous on several fronts, including the woman's degree of incapacitation, the causal relation between being given a drink and having sexual intercourse, and the man's intentions. Koss' method produced the 25% rate, which Ms. then published.

Yet subsequent campus rape studies keep turning up the pesky divergence between the victims' and the researchers' point of view. A 2006 survey of sorority women at the University of Virginia, for example, found that only 23% of the subjects whom the survey characterized as rape victims felt that they had been raped - a result that the university's director of sexual and domestic violence services calls "discouraging." Equally damning was a 2000 campus rape study conducted under the aegis of the Department of Justice. Sixty-five percent of those whom the researchers called "completed rape" victims and three-quarters of "attempted rape" victims said that they did not think that their experiences were "serious enough to report." Believing in the campus rape epidemic, it turns out, requires ignoring women's own interpretations of their experiences.

Nevertheless, none of the weaknesses in the research has had the slightest drag on the campus "anti-rape" movement, because the movement is political, not empirical. In a rape culture, which "condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as a norm," sexual assault will wind up underreported, argued Carole Goldberg, the director of Yale's Sexual Harassment and Assault Resources and Education Center, in a March 2007 newsletter.

Referring to rape hotlines, risk management consultant Brett Sokolow laments: "The problem is, on so many of our campuses, very few people ever call. Some months there are 10 and others, one or two [calls]. And mostly we've resigned ourselves to the underutilization of these resources."

Federal law requires colleges to publish reported crimes affecting their students. The numbers of reported sexual assaults - the law does not require their confirmation - usually run under half a dozen a year on private campuses, and maybe two to three times that at large public universities.

So what reality does lie behind the rape hype? I believe that it's the booze-fueled hookup culture of one-night, or sometimes just partial-night, stands. This culture has been written about widely. College women - as well as men - reportedly drink heavily before and during parties. It frees the drinker from responsibility and "provides an excuse for engaging in behavior that she ordinarily wouldn't." Nights can include a meaningless sexual encounter with a guy whom the girl may not even know. In all these drunken couplings, there may be some deplorable instances of forced and truly non-consensual sex.

Many students hold on to the view that women usually have the power to determine whether a campus social event ends with intercourse. Quoting a female Rutgers student "When we go out to parties and I see girls and the way they dress and the way they act ... and just the way they are, under the influence and um, then they like accuse them of like, 'Oh yeah, my boyfriend did this to me' or whatever, I honestly always think it's their fault."

But suggest to a rape bureaucrat that female students share responsibility for the outcome of an evening and that greater sexual restraint would prevent campus "rape," and you might as well be saying that women should don the burka. Instead, sexual risk-management consultants travel the country to help colleges craft legal rules for student sexual congress. "If one partner puts a condom on the other, does that signify that they are consenting to intercourse?" asks Alan D. Berkowitz, a campus rape consultant. Berkowitz apparently finds it "inherently ambiguous."

And even as the campus rape industry decries alleged male predation, a parallel campus sex bureaucracy sends the message that students should have recreational sex at every opportunity. New York University offers workshops on orgasms and "Sex Toys for Safer Sex" ("an evening with rubber, silicone and vibrating toys") in residence halls and various student clubs. Brown University's Student Services helps students answer the compelling question: "How can I bring sex toys into my relationship?" Princeton University's "Safer Sex Jeopardy" game for freshmen lists six types of vibrators and eight kinds of penile toys.

Why, exactly, are schools offering workshops on orgasms?

Remarkably, many students emerge from this farrago of mixed messages with common sense intact. A third-year student columnist Katelyn Kiley gave the real scoop on frat parties: They're filled with men hoping to have sex. And rather than calling these men "rapists" she offered this practical wisdom:
"It's probably a good idea to keep your clothes on, and at the end of the night, to go home to your own bed. Interestingly enough, that's how you get [the guys] to keep asking you back."

Of course Blowback was instantaneous and vociferous, but this feminist review presented the traditional rebuttal that seems to revolve around 1) expanding the definition of rape into surreal proportions and 2) regardless of circumstances, anything justifies a very emotional response to such allegations.

I am not convinced the statistical evidence feminists use is credible. However perhaps more disturbing is that they do not consider significant the consequences of such cavalier mis-truths on both women and men. Clearly men are sub-human and do not justify concern.

Similarly, feminists completely rejects there could be confusion by men or women about what constitutes valid consent - and basically leaves it up the the women if she wants to revise her belief about the encounter well after the fact. In fact one Campus Womens Resource Center staff claimed she didn't realize she had been "raped until 3 years later after reading countless feminist blogs". Talk about
repressed memory syndrome!

Is it not possible
such mindsets - apparently well established across American campuses - in some way have contributed the false rape allegations against the Duke University Lacrosse Team? Could it have triggered despair and remorse in young men at University who are seeking relationship, but are receiving confused signals about their gender-role?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Inside the Mind of the Boy Dating Your Daughter

This is a "catch-up" article and it follows my preoccupation with "gender roles" (but it is a bit annoying that I am harvesting the New York Times so heavily).

Contrary to stereotype, a new report suggests that boys are motivated more by love and a desire to form real relationships with the girls they date.

“Let’s give boys more credit,'’ said study author Andrew Smiler, an assistant professor of psychology at SUNY-Oswego. “Although some of them are just looking for sex, most boys are looking for a relationship. Adolescence can often be a lonely time, and for many boys, girls represent needed companionship."

“Many boys are yearning to talk to somebody, but they can’t talk to their boy friends because it’s all teasing and a lot of competitiveness,” he said. “For many boys who have been a little bit lonely in the boy group, finally meeting a girl and talking to her is a huge relief.”

Dr. Smiler said parents should talk to boys and girls and try to teach them about both romantic and platonic relationships, how to develop and maintain them, how to deal with ups and downs and how to forgive and regain trust. [my emphasis added]

Sound advice! Perhaps if I had understood this better I would still be married (albeit to a different person).

A follow-up article provided further discussion, but widespread skepticism by adult readers was worrisome according to psychologists and may have more to do with adult fathers fears, driving boys to ultimately fulfill our low expectations of them.

“The stereotype reduces boys to one-dimensional beings who just want sex and nothing else,” said Andrew Smiler, an assistant professor of psychology at SUNY-Oswego and author of the recent study. “But there are certainly other things boys want. They want to play baseball. They want good grades and to go to good colleges. But if we insist all boys want is sex, in any context, that’s one dimensional, and it really limits boys and how we think of boys.

I believe this is a more accurate representation of young male teen emotional aspirations than "feminists" would prefer us to believe as it destroys their arguement that "men are sexual predators" from birth. It also matches my distant recollection of that time of my life.

Uncovering the science of the sexes

By somewhat unusual coincidence the National Post also featured a story on gender biology in reviewing a new book by Montreal psychologist Dr. Susan Pinker - The Sexual Paradox.
Biology, not patriarchy, is the culprit behind gender inequality in the workplace, a Montreal psychologist argues.
Dr. Pinker looks at the biological science that underpins fundamental gender differences in the way we work with each other, view and demonstrate competition, negotiation, and communications. One example may be attributed to the biology of empathy that drives women to want more connection and more meaning from their working lives. She cites research that shows how girls and women make more eye contact than men when communicating; how even as infants, girls respond to others' distress more quickly; and how female rats and macaque monkeys use grooming of others to reduce stress.

The implications are that feminist hand wringing about the low incidence of women in high achieving positions as a male conspired "glass ceiling" is mostly self-imposed.

Another radical feminist heresy?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Teaching Boys and Girls Separately

A serious gender issue that has become more topical over past 10 years - with proof positive now that Leonard Sax has turned into a consultant - was in the New York Times today. Here is my summary.

After reading Sax's book “Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging Science of Sex Differences." the Foley Intermediate School AL principal, Lee Mansell, thought Sax's insights might help improve the test scores of Foley’s lowest-achieving cohort, minority boys. They began offering separate classes for boys and girls a few years ago. The are now 360 similarly segregated schools in America with "many more in the Pipeline"

The reason for the same-sex segregation is simple - young boys and girls have essential differences in emotional and mental development. Among the differences Sax notes between boys and girls can be quickly described: Baby boys prefer to stare at mobiles; baby girls at faces. Boys solve maze puzzles using the hippocampus; girls use the cerebral cortex. Boys covet risk; girls shy away. Boys perform better under moderate stress; girls perform worse.
The grade 4 boys listen to Gary Paulsen’s young-adult novel “Hatchet” read by a young male teacher. In the story the protagonist survives a plane crash and finds himself alone by an insect-infested lake. The boys are encouraged to discussed how annoying it is, when you’re out hunting, to be swarmed by yellow flies.

Meanwhile down the hall the girls sang a vigorous rendition of “Always Sisters” and then did a tidy science experiment: pouring red water, blue oil and clear syrup into a plastic cup to test which has the greatest density, then confirming their results with the first-hand knowledge that when you’re doing the dishes after your mother makes fried chicken, the oil always settles on top of the water in the sink.

Principal Mansell reports that 87% of parents requested the single-sex classes which produce fewer discipline problems, more parental support and better scores in writing, reading and math.
Sax's movement is an educational counter-strike to the crisis facing girls in the 1990's when the American Association of University Women published “Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America,” which described how girls’ self-esteem plummets during puberty and how girls are subtly discouraged from careers in math and science. The main premise was that boys and girls have different social needs and that girls educational progress was substantially at risk.

The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem (T.Y.W.L.S.), an all-girls school for Grades 7-12. It is widely considered the birthplace of the current single-sex public school movement and was founded by Ann Rubenstein Tisch, wife of Andrew Tisch, the co-chairman of the Loews Corporation and a former correspondent for NBC Network News. On assignment in Milwaukee, she was interviewing a 15-year-old at a public high school that had just opened a nursery so teenage moms could come back and finish their degrees. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Tisch asked the young mother. The young mother started to cry. “I said to myself: ‘She’s stuck, [and] she knows she’s stuck." Her efforts to open the school in July 1996 started a firestorm of legal challenges up to the Supreme Court about whether single-sex public education was illegal, regressive, anti-feminist and a non-answer to the problem of how to educate both boys and girls well in school - and it “divided the feminist community right down the middle.” The school is now thriving and their approach - as explained by teachers like Emily Wylie - “It’s my subversive mission to create all these strong girls who will then go out into the world and be astonished when people try to oppress them."

Sax calls schools like T.Y.W.L.S. “anachronisms” — because, he says, they’re stuck in 1970s-era feminist ideology. He has also been labeled a gender essentialist which he believes is a derogatory term "that arose in the 1970s to define someone who is an idiot, or a Republican, or both, [and] who does not understand that gender is socially constructed”. He believes our human nature "is gendered to the core" and that "all that happens when you take a toy gun away from your son and give him a doll instead is that you tell him, ‘I don’t like the person that you are and I wish you were more like your sister, Emily."

Still others suggest "single-sex" education has become a cottage industry based on selective science. Appearing with Sax in 2005, Michael Younger, of Cambridge University, objected to his simplification that ‘Boys are active, girls are passive" but concedes “that certain aspects of Sax’s work suggest an essentialism about boys and girls which is not borne out by reality as exposed in our own research.” Jay Giedd a senior neurologist at the National Institute of Mental Health has concluded "Differences in brain size between males and females should not be interpreted as implying any sort of functional advantage or disadvantage.”

Benjamin Wright was sent to the failing Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, in Seattle, to help bridge achievement gaps between white and black students in 1999 did notice some disturbing gender trends.
  • Boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to be suspended, and more likely to drop out of high school than girls (65 percent of boys complete high school in four years; 72 percent of girls do).
  • Boys make up two-thirds of special-education students.
  • Boys are 1.5 times more likely to be held back a grade and 2.5 times more likely to be given diagnoses of A.D.H.D.
After Marshall’s first year in a single-sex format, the percentage of boys meeting the state’s academic standards rose from 10 percent to 35 percent in math and 10 percent to 53 percent in reading and writing. Wright attributes this both to the insights of “brain researchers” like Sax and to what he calls “the character piece” — giving children a positive sense of themselves as students.

Education scholarship has contributed surprisingly little to the debate over single-sex public education. The data do not suggest that they’re clearly better or worse for all kids. But there seem to be two prevailing theories to explain this: one is that single-sex schools are indeed better at providing kids with a positive sense of themselves as students, the other is that in order to end up in a single-sex classroom, you need to have a parent who has made what educators call “a pro-academic choice.” That is you need a parent who at least cares enough about their child to read the notices sent home and go through the process of making a choice — any choice.

I have often felt that the only hope men have of turning back the tide of misandry fed by "feminist" dogma is when a full cohort of women with sons begins to understand the extent of their betrayal. Shock and disappointment is growing at the realization that their sons, despite being raised in a "liberated" environment, will not have have a fulfilling family life due mostly to their damaged preconceptions of gender roles and a victim enabling legal system. Obviously, young women will be no less disappointed. The "wages of sin" from the grave consequences of not firmly speaking out against "feminist" misandry in the past.

Sax has also written a second book "Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men."