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Aunty Zuska’s Advice For Worried Dads

Zuska dishes out some sound advice to Dads

From her article:

Yes, Dad, there is indeed some sort of game going on here. And you need to know the rules so you can outsmart the other team, which has Gender Stereotyping, Gender Role Expectations, Desire To Fit In With My Peer Group, and Stereotype Threat playing for it.

What you are dealing with here are a set of beliefs that are acting to create a reality for your daughter that overrules any data that comes in to the contrary. You have to find ways to challenge those beliefs. Here are some of the beliefs.

  • No one else in my class is struggling with math. Only me.
  • Because I am struggling with math, the good grades I get are lucky.
  • My luck cannot hold out forever.
  • Sooner or later, when my luck runs out, I will fail.
  • Then everyone will see I am a failure and a fraud, not really a success like they think I am now.

Good stuff there, go check it out.

Auntie Zuska talks about why girls tend to think they aren’t very good at math and science, even when they get excellent grades, and what to do to help them understand that they are capable of anything. She also links to some good girl resources that might help you help your daughter.

A must read for Dads. Do it for your little girl.

Filed under: A Rollcall of Science Chicks, Education, Family, Science

4 Responses

  1. blipey says:

    I’m not sure (though I am far from an authority on any of this) that this list, in and of itself, reflects a great deal of gender typing. Now, I’m not suggesting that gendertyping doesn’t exist; I believe that there are quantifiable studies that show this.

    I suppose societal norms are hard to see from within. Personally, I don’t expect any differences between the sexes and find it strange that others seem to think this way. When I was in engineering school, I expected the same level of quality work from the girls in classes as I did from myself and the other guys. I believe that the girls expected the same thing.

    It was true that there were many fewer girls in the aerospace program, so there may be some problem. Is it that girls aren’t interested in aerospace engineering often as boys are, or are they being discouraged at an early age?

    I like to believe that all people are equal until they prove themselves otherwise. I try to teach the students in my acting classes this approach to life.

  2. blipey says:

    Clarification of above statement of “not expecting differences between the sexes.”

    I certainly expect differences based on physical disciplines: athletics and such. Where I do not, a priori, expect to see differences are areas such as: mental acuity, reasoning and logic skills, curiosity, etc.

    I have not studied enough to know if these assumptions are true, but they are how I operate when I meet strangers.

  3. Robyn says:

    I know this is a problem, but for some reason both of my daughters (16 and 19) are brilliant at math, and one of them is a chemistry major who aces every test and quiz that is put in front of her. They didn’t get it from me, for sure. They just followed their natural bent.

  4. JanieBelle says:

    Well I’ve mentioned before that I only got “A”s in one of my science classes because the old bald boring teacher liked me. I think my science education was severely lacking, though I always got “A”s.

    Slightly different issue, I guess.

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