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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 18, 2005 / 7 Adar II, 5765

For boys and girls, go single-sex

By Rich Lowry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Your 8-year-old son who has trouble reading or little interest in picking up a book could benefit from the Larry Summers controversy.

That's because from out of the ashes of the Harvard conflagration is rising a nugget of something valuable. The Harvard president, as everyone now knows, speculated at a seminar that men might be overrepresented for genetic reasons in the top jobs in science and engineering at universities. While Summers surely would now retract his comments, if nothing else, he struck a blow against the dreary orthodoxy of gender sameness.

In response to the flap, Time magazine ran a cover story featuring the work of Leonard Sax, author of the new book "Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging Science of Sex Differences." Sax might simply have been dismissed as a Neanderthal not too long ago. The Washington Post ran a piece exploring the different ways boys and girls learn to read. (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

As Sax explains, at the heart of the debate about gender is a paradox: To ignore the hard-wired differences between boys and girls is to perpetuate gender stereotypes. That's because ignoring those differences means we will continue to fail to teach many boys how to read and many girls how to do math and science. Reaching a reasonable accommodation requires some give from both sides of America's culture wars.

Liberals are often loath to admit that anything is hard-wired, believing that as long as toy trucks are thrust on girls and dolls on boys they will exist in one happy unisex stew. Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to consider the current high proportion of men in math and science as an ineluctable fact to be accepted by all but the dreamiest gender utopians.

As it happens, the gender-insensitive American education system hurts everyone. Take boys and reading. According to a National Endowment for the Arts survey, between 1992 and 2002 the gap between young women and young men in reading widened considerably. High-school seniors who are girls score on average 16 points higher than boys on a reading test given by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. As an NEA official wrote recently, "What was formerly a modest difference is fast becoming a marker of gender identity."

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Do boys not have an intrinsic aptitude for reading? No. But those parts of the brain involved in language develop more slowly in boys than in girls. According to Sax, the average 5-year-old boy is two to three years behind his female counterpart, and the average 14-year-old is four to five years behind. Eventually it evens out, but the danger is that by pushing a boy to read too soon, or to keep pace with the girls when he can't, you turn him off reading forever. Also, boys have different reading interests than girls (and their largely women teachers): war stories, technical information, and potty humor. There is no better way to turn a generation of boys against reading than to assign them "Are You There, G-d? It's Me, Margaret."

The flip side of this is girls when it comes to math and science — they develop more slowly. They will suffer the same discouragement as boys if they are pushed too soon, or in the wrong way. Sax says that at age 12, for instance, girls are less interested in "pure math" than boys, so problems have to be presented with practical applications.

It is obviously difficult to be mindful of these differences in coed classrooms, let alone coed classrooms devoted to the proposition that gender is a meaningless social construct. The institution of single-sex education, long ago tossed in the ash bin of history, would better serve both genders. Girls who go to all-girl schools are six times more likely than girls in coed schools to major in math or science in college.

The first step to overcoming gender, it turns out, is admitting how much it matters.

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© 2005 King Features Syndicate