Existing Gender Biases in the Educational System
With the end of summer break nearing, school is becoming an increasingly prominent thought for most students. However, after almost two years of virtual education and, in turn, social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the learning environment has the potential to be unfamiliar — or perhaps — different. As such, this new start provides an opportunity to change the way young women are treated and take initiative to rid the American school system of gender bias.
Though education for women in the United States has made great improvements since its inception, there are still lingering physical and social reminders of its imbalances. For example, girls often have fewer opportunities to discuss in a classroom setting than their male counterparts (Huang), which is likely a result of the gender stereotype that women should be quiet and demure. Furthermore, studies have shown that girls are often interrupted when talking and are assigned passive tasks, such as taking notes, rather than being able to participate in the action of activities (Huang). Representation of young women also presents an issue, as many educational textbooks contain limited female inclusion and depict women in traditional roles in comparison to men (Huang).
These findings exhibit a significant problem for female students in the education system, magnifying discrepancies of how gender counterparts are truly conceived. Unable to see themselves in non-traditional positions and prevented from expressing their opinions, girls are almost forced into the same stereotypical roles that have always been “acceptable” to various constructs. Without change, they may never be able to grow past social expectations — critical to become leaders in their own way. By allowing young women to flourish in their education in this movement, the dawn of a new decade supplies the perfect opportunity to mend these disparities.
Written by: Rhea Kaw (Youth Ambassador)
Huang, Vivian. “ Gender Bias Faced By Girls and What We Can Do: One Student’s Perspective and Appended Information from the Center of Mental Health in Schools.” Center for Mental Health in Schools & Student/Learning Supports at UCLA,