A study by Leeds Metropolitan University tested 1,500 students on their academic abilities and how they performed during their first year of university. What they found was that female students were more resilient than their male counterparts, and that students who were more resilient in their freshman year would go on to do better overall. For years now, women have outperformed men in university settings, this study helps to cement that. Furthermore females still outperformed males who were equally as resilient as them. In some cases less resilient men outperformed men who were more resilient, a pattern they didn’t find amongst women.
According to the study, “Although at the end of the inductees’ first academic year the outcomes suggested similar academic performance by gender, higher resilience was progressively and incrementally associated with higher grade profiles for females,” added Professor McKenna.
It’s fairly obvious that the lower the expectations you have the more resilient you have to be. Women ambitious enough to push themselves into higher education are probably just the type to keep pushing, whereas it’s generally expected of men to be successful so they can rest on those laurels a bit before having reality sink in. Leeds is now offering extra support to males to help address their underperformance.
I mentioned in my piece on gender bias in the SAT how when women underperform no changes are made but when men underperform the issue is addressed immediately. Now, I don’t think it’s wrong for Leeds to address the issue at all. I believe every group deserves support because I believe everyone deserves the same opportunities.
I just can’t help but remind myself or even sulk about the fact that for hundreds of years women have been underperforming (due to inequality) and such efforts were hardly ever made to help us. Now some were of course, else we wouldn’t even have the chance to compete now, but the world clutches its pearls when ever men falter relative to women, yet we hardly flinch when the genders are reversed. Adversity has made us stronger, and that’s a good thing, but you know, there’s just some adversity I wish we could have bypassed.