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Author Topic: Where have all the men gone in Judaism?  (Read 3319 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 22, 2008, 11:51:27 PM »

From the Boston Globe, article discussing the increase in women participating in Judaism.

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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 02:06:55 PM »

From the Boston Globe, article discussing the increase in women participating in Judaism.

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The California public school system has the same problem. Women have taken over the administrative roles and now some
districts are run and taught entirely by women. Distinctly male characteristics are frowned upon (competitiveness, challenging authority in a healthy way, aggressiveness on the field, etc.).
Cooperation and getting in touch with one's feelings are used as touch points for student seminars. Literature is chosen that appeals to the girls. Auditory methods of teaching are favored over hands-on forms of teaching (females have always been better listeners, males learn more by doing.) The result of these and many other changes is the percentage of boys heading off to college has dropped and women have taken the lead.
We, as a society, need to realize what is lost when young boys and men are shut out. Women need to stop trying to feminize men and develop an appreciation for what men bring to the table. Healthy male characteristics are needed in order to balance out certain female characteristics and keep our society on an even keel.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 02:08:27 PM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 04:29:07 PM »

Interesting article, Sol! I think this is more of an American problem than an exclusively  Jewish thing. Tamara, very good thoughts. I totally agree.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with this article by FMG, but I think it provides a good balance from the Orthodox perspective.

http://www.antiochian.org/node/17069
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2008, 04:38:43 PM »

The men converted to Orthodoxy because our women are better  laugh

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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 04:40:35 PM »

I agree completely with Tamara, especially when it comes to school.  I'm in one of the last strongholds of male domination in academia: Computers.  When I have to take courses to fulfill distributions (courses outside of mathematics, computers, engineering, and specific sciences), the vast majority of classes are about two-thirds women.  The gap only seems to be growing with each year.  You see all these programmes and scholarships to get women into engineering and computers, what about getting more men into humanities and social sciences.  Teaching assistantships especially have become more and more female dominated, even though there are usually many more men than women in graduate studies.

Like Rosehip said, it seems to be more of a North American thing, rather than something specifically affecting Judaism.
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2008, 04:48:20 PM »

The California public school system has the same problem. Women have taken over the administrative roles and now some
districts are run and taught entirely by women.
And that's a problem because....

Quote
Cooperation and getting in touch with one's feelings are used as touch points for student seminars.
And you favour teaching them opposition and suppressing feelings?

Quote
Literature is chosen that appeals to the girls. Auditory methods of teaching are favored over hands-on forms of teaching (females have always been better listeners, males learn more by doing.)
Actually research says that there is essentially no difference. Last year van Kesteren and Wiersinga-Post did a study on this very issue, and found that both men and women responded to auditory stimuli in a similar manner:

Quote from: Marlieke van Kesteren and Esther Wiersinga-Post, "Auditory temporal-order thresholds show no gender differences." Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience 25.2 (2007), 119-122.
Several studies on auditory temporal-order processing showed gender differences. Women needed longer inter-stimulus intervals than men when indicating the temporal order of two clicks presented to the left and right ear. In this study, we examined whether we could reproduce these results in order to further investigate the differences in auditory processing between men and women. Methods: Neurologically healthy subjects (13 males and 13 females, age range: 19 to 37 years) had to identify the temporal order of two clicks, presented monaurally to the left and right ear. Thresholds for the inter-stimulus intervals between the clicks were determined using a three step transformed up-down procedure. Results: The results show no influence of gender in the auditory temporal-order task. Inter-individual differences were, however, large, ranging from a threshold of around 15 ms to around 90 ms. Conclusion: Contrary to what was found in previous studies, no significant gender difference was measured in temporal-processing abilities using a task with monaurally presented clicks.

In addition, a couple of years ago Allan Jeong made a study of online learning styles, and published his findings in the American Journal of Distance Education:
Quote from: Allan Jeong, "Gender Interaction Patterns and Gender Participation in Computer-Supported Collaborative Argumentation." American Journal of Distance Education 20.4 (2006), 195-210.
This case study examined interaction patterns between men and women and the effects of the patterns on gender participation in online debates. Students labeled messages to identify each message as an argument, challenge, evidence, or explanation when posting messages to the debates. The results revealed no differences in the number of male and female challenges elicited by male versus female messages, number of male and female rebuttals (e.g., explanations and counterchallenges) elicited by male versus female challenges, and the frequency of challenges and explanations posted by men versus women. These findings suggest that gender differences in communication styles do not necessarily produce gender differences in response patterns and participation. Other factors such as male–female ratio and task structures can affect gender interaction patterns and gender participation. Nevertheless, this study demonstrated how interaction patterns can provide causal explanations for observed differences and similarities in male and female performance in computer-mediated environments.

Lastly, David Jay Helm observed 430 students, both men and women, of all three learning modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). He found that women did earn better grades than men did, especially in English classes. However, he found that while visually-oriented and kinesthetically-oriented women did better than their male counterparts, the trend was just the opposite with auditory learners!
Quote from: David Jay Helm, "Neuro-Linguistic Programming--gender and the learning modalities create inequalities in learning." Journal of Instructional Psychology 18.3 (1991), 167-169.
The test group of 430 (298 men, 132 women) individuals was evaluated as to the various learning modalities through the use of the eye movement chart illustrated in Bandler and Grinder's (1979) text Frogs into Princes with appropriate questions to elicit remembering and creating responses. The grades that the individual student received from his/her English communications classes were then recorded on a 4-point scale and averaged according to the appropriate reaming modality. The age span of the test group was 18-45 years with an educational background ranging from a G.E.D. to a bachelor's degree. The duration of the study was two years.

Table 2 illustrates that the grade average of the women in the study was higher in all but one of the modalities (the exception being in the auditory). The difference was negligible in the visual modality with only a .04 margin. The largest grade span was a .7 in the kinesthetic-auditory as to the women and the same span of .7 in the auditory as to the men.

Through the findings of this study, it may be suggested that auditory learners (throughout their schooling) are disoriented and placed at a disadvantage in a visually oriented society; and due to their abstract thinking processes, women do much better in English communications classes. Kinesthetic individuals do extremely well in abstract learning environments, and the visual learners tend to do well due to constant societal reinforcement. Though there is a slight gain in grade average by combining modalities, it does not tend to be significant and may seem to indicate confusion and a lack of instructional expertise in the teaching through the varied use of the modalities.
Hmm. Interesting findings.

The result of these and many other changes is the percentage of boys heading off to college has dropped and women have taken the lead.
We, as a society, need to realize what is lost when young boys and men are shut out. Women need to stop trying to feminize men and develop an appreciation for what men bring to the table. Healthy male characteristics are needed in order to balance out certain female characteristics and keep our society on an even keel.
Interesting how this conclusion fades in light of the evidence. Women are going to college, and good for them. They are taking leadership roles, and good for them. They are challenging stereotypes like the ones you mentioned above, and good for them. The world is a friendlier place for women in 21st century America. It's good to know we've actually made some progress, and gained insight into how we function at the same time.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 04:49:20 PM by ytterbiumanalyst » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 09:19:39 PM »

And that's a problem because....
Because there is strength in diversity of thought. Men and women think differently.

Quote
And you favour teaching them opposition and suppressing feelings?
Promoting healthy opposition is good because it teaches children how to question and to think critically so they can make decisions based on facts using their own judgement. So yes, there is a place for debate and confrontation in our children's academic life.(Next year I will be paying a tuition for it because I place such a high value on critical thinking for my son. And he isn't getting it in the public school system.)

From what I have seen, the weepy sessions on how to react bullying have done nothing to stop the bullies from doing their damage. But calling the police does because it forces the parents of the bully to take responsibility for their misfit. Oh, and there is then more time to spend teaching academics (what a concept!). I spent the last two months listening to the teachers tell me how much they hate the "advisory" class. They told me it was a waste of time because the kids thought the whole program was stupid. As one teacher let me know, teaching the student bystanders to go to the staff if someone is being picked on doesn't work because none of the kids wants to be known as a snitch. Big surprise there  Roll Eyes.

Quote
Actually research says that there is essentially no difference. Last year van Kesteren and Wiersinga-Post did a study on this very issue, and found that both men and women responded to auditory stimuli in a similar manner:

In addition, a couple of years ago Allan Jeong made a study of online learning styles, and published his findings in the American Journal of Distance Education:
Lastly, David Jay Helm observed 430 students, both men and women, of all three learning modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). He found that women did earn better grades than men did, especially in English classes. However, he found that while visually-oriented and kinesthetically-oriented women did better than their male counterparts, the trend was just the opposite with auditory learners!Hmm. Interesting findings.


Interesting how this conclusion fades in light of the evidence.
Have there been studies done with children? Wondering if these findings would hold up with younger, larger diverse groups of students.

Quote
Women are going to college, and good for them. They are taking leadership roles, and good for them. They are challenging stereotypes like the ones you mentioned above, and good for them. The world is a friendlier place for women in 21st century America. It's good to know we've actually made some progress, and gained insight into how we function at the same time.
I don't think anyone is upset women are going to college in larger numbers but we should be upset that half of our population is falling behind. You would think educators would ask themselves why that might be the case.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 09:23:24 PM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2008, 08:01:33 PM »

Through the findings of this study, it may be suggested that auditory learners (throughout their schooling) are disoriented and placed at a disadvantage in a visually oriented society; and due to their abstract thinking processes, women do much better in English communications classes. Kinesthetic individuals do extremely well in abstract learning environments, and the visual learners tend to do well due to constant societal reinforcement. Though there is a slight gain in grade average by combining modalities, it does not tend to be significant and may seem to indicate confusion and a lack of instructional expertise in the teaching through the varied use of the modalities.

Yes, and then the auditory learners are considered to have a "disorder" when it's just that they learn differently, but society is visually oriented.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2008, 08:25:27 PM »

Because there is strength in diversity of thought. Men and women think differently.
No argument there, but that's not what you said. You said that aggression, competition, and challenging authority are male characteristics. I think Joan D'Arc, Serena Williams and Rosa Parks would beg to differ.

Quote
Promoting healthy opposition is good because it teaches children how to question and to think critically so they can make decisions based on facts using their own judgement. So yes, there is a place for debate and confrontation in our children's academic life.(Next year I will be paying a tuition for it because I place such a high value on critical thinking for my son. And he isn't getting it in the public school system.)
Critical thinking is not, as you suggest, diametrically opposed to cooperation. Both are absolutely vital skills for our children's success. But I notice how you have qualified healty opposition. Do I hear the sound of feet a-shuffling?

Quote
From what I have seen, the weepy sessions on how to react bullying have done nothing to stop the bullies from doing their damage. But calling the police does because it forces the parents of the bully to take responsibility for their misfit.
And calling the police does nothing when the parents of the bully believe their child can do no wrong. All it will do is to scare the **** out of the kids, and when the police do nothing about it, the bully's idea that they will not be punished is reinforced--which actually increases the frequency of the bullying.

Quote
Oh, and there is then more time to spend teaching academics (what a concept!).
I'd like to see you try to teach academics to a child who is afraid of being in school.

Quote
Have there been studies done with children? Wondering if these findings would hold up with younger, larger diverse groups of students.
I don't think anyone is upset women are going to college in larger numbers but we should be upset that half of our population is falling behind. You would think educators would ask themselves why that might be the case.
I wasn't looking specifically for studies of children, as you made a universal claim about male and female characteristics. Studies with adults are certainly easier to come by, as adults can sign their own permission forms. But I could look and see what I can find.
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2008, 09:51:17 PM »

No argument there, but that's not what you said. You said that aggression, competition, and challenging authority are male characteristics. I think Joan D'Arc, Serena Williams and Rosa Parks would beg to differ.
Testosterone is what gives males their aggressive, competitive and challenging characteristics. Sure there have been a few females who are higher on the scale with this hormone but by in large, males have much higher levels of it. Therefore, my argument holds unless you are going to argue there is no biological differences between the genders.

Quote
Critical thinking is not, as you suggest, diametrically opposed to cooperation. Both are absolutely vital skills for our children's success. But I notice how you have qualified healty opposition. Do I hear the sound of feet a-shuffling?
No feet shuffling. If you re-read my original message I qualified the characteristics as healthy. Below are my original words:

Quote
Distinctly male characteristics are frowned upon (competitiveness, challenging authority in a healthy way, aggressiveness on the field, etc.).

I also said we need both males and females to provide a balance. My complaint is we no longer have that...we have a female dominated education system (elementary and middle school level).

Quote
And calling the police does nothing when the parents of the bully believe their child can do no wrong. All it will do is to scare the **** out of the kids, and when the police do nothing about it, the bully's idea that they will not be punished is reinforced--which actually increases the frequency of the bullying.
I beg to differ. Last year calling the police and then expelling the bully was the only way to end the bullying. Also, the bully then has record. So whether the parents deal or not their child will have a record and will have a hard time being placed in  a regular public school. It is important to place the responsibility back on the family and not on the school. It also discourages other would-be bullies when they see there will actually be real life consequences for their actions.
 
Quote
I'd like to see you try to teach academics to a child who is afraid of being in school.
Not a problem when the bully is gone is it? The child who was bullied flourished this year in band because his tormentor was gone.

Quote
I wasn't looking specifically for studies of children, as you made a universal claim about male and female characteristics. Studies with adults are certainly easier to come by, as adults can sign their own permission forms. But I could look and see what I can find.
I would appreciate it but only if you have time. I know you have a little one at home and another on the way.  Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2008, 11:40:01 PM »

Testosterone is what gives males their aggressive, competitive and challenging characteristics. Sure there have been a few females who are higher on the scale with this hormone but by in large, males have much higher levels of it. Therefore, my argument holds unless you are going to argue there is no biological differences between the genders.
Again you skirt the issue. I pointed out that at first you said men are aggressive, competitive, and challenging, and then changed your tune when you said that men and women think differently. Are we talking about cognitive or biological differences? Pick one and stick with it.

Quote
No feet shuffling. If you re-read my original message I qualified the characteristics as healthy. Below are my original words:
You never qualified competition or aggression as being healthy. You also made several disparaging remarks about cooperation. The dominant white culture of many places values competition, but this is not so in all places or with all ethnicities. Many cultures value cooperation and dislike competition, especially the Latino culture. Furthermore, I fail to see how aggression could ever be a positive characteristic.

Quote
I also said we need both males and females to provide a balance. My complaint is we no longer have that...we have a female dominated education system (elementary and middle school level).
When have we had it? Go back to the one-room schoolhouse days and you'd be hard-pressed to find even a handful of male teachers. Frequently throughout the twentieth century, the only men in the building were the principals. I would like to see more men willing to teach at the elementary and middle school level (the only ones we have in elementary are the specials teachers, but our middle school has a good balance). And need I remind you that you claimed that women's taking over the administrative roles was "a problem."

Quote
I beg to differ. Last year calling the police and then expelling the bully was the only way to end the bullying. Also, the bully then has record. So whether the parents deal or not their child will have a record and will have a hard time being placed in  a regular public school. It is important to place the responsibility back on the family and not on the school. It also discourages other would-be bullies when they see there will actually be real life consequences for their actions.
Yes, having consequences does deter future bullying, but lack of consequences actually increases it. Furthermore, we must also think of the bully in this case. Not being able to be placed in a regular school could be detrimental to his education, and having a criminal record could limit his employment opportunities--and what fourth grader do you know who would really weigh these consequences before bullying? We educators are not here to separate the "good kids" from the "bad kids." We're here to educate everyone--including those who choose to bully.

Quote
Not a problem when the bully is gone is it? The child who was bullied flourished this year in band because his tormentor was gone.
Good for that child. I'm glad to see they're succeeding.

My point stands, that it is indeed the school's responsibility to ensure the safety of its students. We cannot teach academics if the child is not in a condition to learn. You may decry this practice of character education, but it is far more important to children's education than you believe.

Quote
I would appreciate it but only if you have time. I know you have a little one at home and another on the way.  Smiley
I'll try.
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2008, 07:22:44 PM »

Again you skirt the issue. I pointed out that at first you said men are aggressive, competitive, and challenging, and then changed your tune when you said that men and women think differently. Are we talking about cognitive or biological differences? Pick one and stick with it.
Why do I have to pick one? My original message didn't separate the two. The biological and cognitive are intertwined.
Testosterone effects how males think and behave.

Quote
You never qualified competition or aggression as being healthy. You also made several disparaging remarks about cooperation.
I don't think there is anything wrong with competition. No need to qualify it. Competition spurs a student on to work hard and learn. And if you reread my original message I did not disparage cooperation. All I did was state it was being taught. Cooperation is indeed important but it is only one side of the scale. Nothing is wrong with promoting competitiveness along with cooperation. Balance is what I am looking for in education.

Quote
The dominant white culture of many places values competition, but this is not so in all places or with all ethnicity's. Many cultures value cooperation and dislike competition, especially the Latino culture. Furthermore, I fail to see how aggression could ever be a positive characteristic.

Aggression is just a natural part of how boys behave. I don't view it as evil. My two sons will fight like bear cubs just for fun. Is it wrong? I don't think so. But for some reason, if a group of boys wants to play football in the school field during recess it is now not allowed because someone could get hurt. Please! Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? Boys having been playing rough and tumble together since the beginning of time. Are we now going to penalize them for this behavior because of misplaced political correctness? Sheesh, let them play to work off that testosterone so when they come inside to learn they will be able focus. Your remark about Latino culture may be true but I think if you put a group of Latino boys out on a soccer field I doubt you won't see aggressive behavior used cooperatively. Wink
 
Quote
When have we had it? Go back to the one-room schoolhouse days and you'd be depressed to find even a handful of male teachers. Frequently throughout the twentieth century, the only men in the building were the principals. I would like to see more men willing to teach at the elementary and middle school level (the only ones we have in elementary are the specials teachers, but our middle school has a good balance). And need I remind you that you claimed that women's taking over the administrative roles was "a problem."
We are in agreement here. I would love to see more men teaching and taking on administrative roles throughout. It is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Quote
Yes, having consequences does deter future bullying, but lack of consequences actually increases it.
Agreed.

Quote
Furthermore, we must also think of the bully in this case. Not being able to be placed in a regular school could be detrimental to his education, and having a criminal record could limit his employment opportunities--and what fourth grader do you know who would really weigh these consequences before bullying? We educators are not here to separate the "good kids" from the "bad kids." We're here to educate everyone--including those who choose to bully.
It is honorable that you want to serve all of the children but it isn't fair to place the burden of a problem child on a teacher who may 32 students times three class periods.
Helping as a one-on-one aide in the class I was able to observe first hand what a teacher has to deal with and focusing attention on one problem child is impossible given all the curriculum that must be covered by state law. Teachers simply do not have time to try and correct parenting errors. We have to be realistic. Unfortunately, the problem children  get left behind.

Quote
Good for that child. I'm glad to see they're succeeding.
The snitch advisory program isn't what worked. It was the desperate act of finally calling the police and expelling the student which solved the problem.

Quote
My point stands, that it is indeed the school's responsibility to ensure the safety of its students.
True. Consequences of behavior should land a problem student in the Principal's office.

Quote
We cannot teach academics if the child is not in a condition to learn.
This is true but schools do not have enough staff to solve these problems. One hyperactive 12 year old stays up till midnight each night then eats chocolate chip pancakes, chocolate milk and apple juice for breakfast each morning. She has trouble focusing in class, is constantly moving around and talking to friends. The school can certainly teach children about proper nutrition and adequate rest but the teaching staff doesn't live in the home to make sure the child is doing what he/she needs to do to come to school ready to learn. Responsibility for lifestyle choices lies with the parents.

Quote
You may decry this practice of character education, but it is far more important to children's education than you believe.
It only works if what is being taught in the classroom is also being taught at home. The same thing goes for teaching children about our faith. If the child only is being taught about Orthodoxy at church/Sunday school but the message is not being reinforced at home the priest will be fighting a losing battle.

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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2008, 08:34:17 PM »

Because there is strength in diversity of thought. Men and women think differently.

People, individuals think differently, it seems to me.  What do you mean by 'think differently'? mathematics?  logic?  What then of women like Admiral Grace Hopper or Marie Curie?  Verbal ability and human understanding?  What then of male poets or novelists such as Seamus Heaney or Solzhenitzen or John Steinbeck? 

What is the inate difference and how is it shown, please?

Ebor
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2008, 12:41:38 AM »

People, individuals think differently, it seems to me.  What do you mean by 'think differently'? mathematics?  logic?  What then of women like Admiral Grace Hopper or Marie Curie?  Verbal ability and human understanding?  What then of male poets or novelists such as Seamus Heaney or Solzhenitzen or John Steinbeck? 

What is the inate difference and how is it shown, please?

Ebor

Hi Ebor,

What you write about individuals thinking differently is true. And yet there is a certain kinship and understanding that we have with members who share our gender. What are the effects of estrogen on the female brain? How does it influence the way we perceive? Why are the majority of women in the world nurturing? How does testosterone make men more aggressive in the way they react to certain stimuli? Some may say these differences are culturally induced. Before I became the mother of two sons I might have been swayed by this idea. Now I no longer do. Men and women do think differently and perhaps it is the level of hormones that produce these differences. Only God truly knows. Below is one little anecdote from my own life that changed my opinion on the matter.

When I was pregnant with my second child, my mother-in-law advised me to purchase a baby doll for my two and half year old son. She said it would help him understand what a baby is and how to take care of it. Being a young mother I thought what she said made perfect sense. When I returned home with the doll and a small bottle to go with it I gave it to my young son and explained to him he would soon have a little baby brother. I also let him know I would need his help in caring for his brother. I showed him how to feed the baby doll and hold it. I explained how we would hug the baby and change him.
So I left him with the doll and went to the kitchen to make dinner. When I returned a short while later to see how his nurturing instincts were coming along I was shocked to see him holding the baby in a longitudinal position as he pointed the head of the baby at make believe enemies. From his sweet little toddler mouth came the sounds of a machine gun. I was taken aback because I was a very conscientious mother who never allowed him to watch anything remotely violent. Thomas the Tank Engine, Barney, and Richard Scarry's Busy People were his only media fare. I watched him in horror as I tried to figure out where he had been exposed to the sounds of a machine gun and how he knew to imagine a baby doll as a machine gun. Little did I know that it was only the beginning of things to come.
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