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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gender Matters in Education

Gender is showing up in articles again and again and again these days. The basic thrust of this in vogue idea--which appears to have been around for a little over 50 years now--is that "gender" is more than just your physiology.

Okay, sure. But this idea is no more enlightening than to say that "orange" can refer to a fruit, a color or a non-rhyme-able word. Far more important is to consider the deeper root of the discussion. Are we talking about food or art or creative writing? Similarly, we must unearth what is driving this latest thrust to let our children "discover"/"decide" their gender for themselves.

To me, Storm's parents are simply confusing the issue. While social pressures do affect how we treat boys and girls--often damagingly so--the solution is not to try to mask biological gender. Rather, as Dr. Sax so masterfully explains: We must learn about the innate differences in biology so we can give our sons and daughters equal opportunities to succeed. In fact, I would argue that trying to ignore biological differences will make it harder for a child to develop because the innate differences are not addressed and applied.

The other issue is similarly mislabeled. The roles and preferences of children are not defined by society any more than they are by biology. Both impact the student, to be sure, but personality, opportunity, and aptitude are equally influential. To put such an emphasis on essentially overthrowing one's biology is a mistake. If anything, we should overthrow society's limitations and work within the various strengths our biology gives us as we pursue the things of which we are gifted and blessed to take part.

I've written about Dr. Sax's Why Gender Matters before, but this issue has come up yet again. Dr. Sax champions the point that understanding biology frees us from the assumptions of society. Gender matters in education because if we do not take the time to understand how it influences our lives, we will be limited by our ignorance.

If you have not read Why Gender Matters, I urge you to do so. I was blown away by what I learned. And considering how hot of a topic this is today, now is the time to get the facts.

Have you noticed a recent glut of gender discussion? What are your thoughts and insights?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester


Erin said...


Being a mom to so many boys, "Why Gender Matters" was such a help for me to get a better understanding of the whys behind so much of their (to me) baffling behavior! It even helped me gain a better perspective of my husband. I agree wholeheartedly with your recommendation!

Luke Holzmann said...

<smile> Glad to hear it, Erin! Thanks.


Kathryn said...

Thank you, Luke. Once again Sonlight has offered a helpful and biblically informed perspective on a complicated and confusing issue. Appreciate it.


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