Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Girls Smarter Than Boys? (II)

I've written exactly a year ago on the matter of girls being smarter than boys. Then, it was noted that from 1995 to 2005, the number of women in public universities is 472,279 (59.2%) compared with men 326,024 (40.8%). But given some recent articles on the same matter recently, I thought it was worth a revisit. The ratio of girls to boys entering university is now so bad, that for every 7 girls, there are only 3 boys. What exactly is happening? Are men going extinct?

How are our politicians and academics reacting to this phenomenon?

MCA secretary-general Datuk Ong Ka Chuan had this piece of advice for the boys:
Study hard to achieve excellent results or you may end up cooking and washing clothes at home for your family.
Ouch. Like that's going to happen though. They are probably more likely to end up in the streets peddling pirated DVDs.

More recently, there was an interview with Professor Dr Mohamed Yusoff Ismail, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) on the same topic. Now, his views certainly deserve some brickbats and rotten tomatoes – but they are absolutely hilarious. Here are some of the funny bits.

On why are there more women in universities?
Women are more obedient by nature. They are more serious and less playful in school. Men, on the other hand, are more rebellious. Men suffer from the Oedipus complex — they rebel against authority... Men are also easily distracted by other activities such as racing, karaoke and smoking.
Err.. hmmm. And why do women perform academically better?
With our current education system, women are destined for academic excellence from the first day they start school. Women are just so much better at rote learning and memorisation.

Boys can’t be bothered. Our system does not encourage critical or analytical thinking, which boys are better at.
I nearly died reading that! What sort of caveman mentality is that? Also, something which many will find equally disagreeable,
Women also think better under pressure. Thus, as they are usually better prepared for exams, they just perform better. Men panic more when it comes to exams.
Huh?! And Professor Dr Mohamed Yusoff Ismail's sociological theory on our education system's bias toward women is equally mind-boggling.
...the demographic factor indicates an Amazonian orientation in society. In schools, this is reflected by the fact that most of the teachers and principals are women. Such an atmosphere is very conducive to younger women. They feel more secure.

Some women also tend to be more prejudiced against males — this is an Amazonian concept. As such, in the case of teachers, they tend to favour the female students. So the females are given more encouragement and tend to excel. Of course, the females are usually easier to handle.
What?! Here's some more juicy stuff:
Some highly-educated women actually find men a nuisance. Furthermore, did you know that in rural society, as men get older, they lose their importance and their control over the families? The women start making fun of them when they reach that age. I can’t say for sure, but I think in the Malay society, this happens to men when they reach the age of 60.
Amazing! Did he do an academic study of 200 Malaysian Malay male specimen aged 40 to 80, and a regressive analysis of the surveys conducted to determine that men lose it when they reach 60? Or is he just feeling a little too hen-pecked himself? Hey, if you read between the lines when he gets queried on whether women who are strong would find it harder to get married, that might just be the case!
If I were born again, I wouldn’t get married. I tell my sons not to get married. There are many problems that come with marriage. It is unfortunate that women who choose not to marry get so much more attention than men who do not marry.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Footnote: In my most recent round of recruitment exercise, I interviewed 14 girls and hired 5 of them. The 3 guys who were shortlisted decided that the interview wasn't worth their time. Not only are there more girls in the universities today, they are performing academically better as well! If I was guilty of hiring disproportionately higher number of girls before with my recruitment methodology, then I think I deserve the death sentence in my most recent recruitment exercise.


YT Kuah said...

Ah, even Lawrence Summers of Harvard did something similar (to the tune of $50 million + numerous apologies :)

No, seriously, I think the problem is that women still have problems in getting better jobs, promotions - due to some form of discrimination - even though there are more of the female in universities.

Anonymous said... me, everyone of us are worth being admired if we have the highest pride in our own lives..

All of us are smart in our own way ..there is no such thing as who is smarter, gals or guys..can debate till the cows come home and there'll never be a closure..

..inspired :)

Anonymous said...

Actually in reality the girls are not smarter than the boys, they are more hardworking.
In Um the girls are smarter by learning ' pak tow' very quickly so that the \stupid' boy can be utilized by the girl to provide free transport, food, entertainment. There are many of these 'slave' boys acting like stupid chauffer for the girls sending them here and there to do errands.
In fact I obsertve Chinese girls are more dominant and aggresive than their Chinese partners. You need not look at Universities, just see at the shopping complex and see how these Chinese girls ' lead' control' and demand their boyfriends around. Along side the Chinese girls, the Chinese boys look so sissy!

Anonymous said...

If men are going extinct it will mean two choices:
1 The women will be extinct too due to no partner to sexually procreate
2 Women turns haemophroditic, whereby they can reproduce without the need for male partners

Human Biology written by UPM lecturers...hehehe

Anonymous said...

If your calculations are right, that for every seven girls we have three boys,
then we are going to have a lot of spinsters or virgins by the time we reach 2020

Anonymous said...

..just interviewed ( thru' h/p) a retired teacher ( taught at a private school in KL before ) and this is gist of her comments:

1 gals have since reduced the gap in Maths ( seems we gals fell behind in maths and science in earlier days )

2 more girls than guys ( in general ) are now taking biology and chemistry at pre-U level

3 We gals generally mature earlier than guys ..and it seems trained teachers do attend child psychology classes and are supposedly to be trained how to bring out the best in guys in schools..

..Boys will be boys..what's the trouble with them?

..inspired :)

Anonymous said...

Tony, this topic had been brought up at various forums by our ministers and these half-past-six MOE d-gs and university "professors". Is this same phenomenon refected in the private universities and colleges? Is this ratio shown in the number of our students overseas? Is there a similar situation in other SEA countries? Asia? Europe? Americas?

At which point in the education process did this happen; in primary, secondary or post secondary education. Did they do a study of the number of students enrolled and exitted at each point of the education system and analysed them by gender, race, family background, reason for leaving (fail exam, migration, etc).

If this phenomenon occurs only in our Malaysian public universities, you may discover that qualified male students (maybe due to certain ethnic bias) got filtered out in the enrolment process and are hence in private universities and colleges; maybe overseas.

Instead of coming up with silly statements and unfounded postulations it would do us a lot of good if they could be transparent and reveal the figures, then we can do the maths.

Anonymous said...

Hey hey, why bother with such issue? Aren't we sexist here? Those who put in effort will succeed, that's the norm of society, regardless of gender. If you really think girls are smarter, go and change your sex


Anonymous said...

While I don't believe there are serious intelligence differences between guys and girls, I do agree that girls are more hardworking, serious and more disciplined (in most co-ed schools) than their male counterparts.

If I'm not mistaken, it's becoming a global phenomenen. Less guys are going into tertiary education, with some opting to work or doing vocational training after their high school education.

In fact, the NY Times featured a letter once from a college officer who's in charge of sifting throught applications. She mentioned that the competition is stricter among girls than guys, and there is slight tendency to allow 'an average achieved guy' rather than another 'quite high- achieved girl', where they already have a number of high-achiever girls.

Btw, I'm in UKM and er, luckily I'm not from the Social Science faculty!

Anonymous said...

daniel. I'm all for your comment. Well said indeed! There's no absolute truth within the public universities' enrolment year in year out as the Higher Education Ministry only showed us a vague figures in terms of races and courses, which amazingly always emphasise a particular race as majority.

Anonymous said...

The subject of women outperforming men in tertiary education is not an aberration occuring just in Malaysia. Instead, it has been a contentious, rising issue afflicting students from other countries, including the United States.

A recent investigative research into the phenomenon, conducted by a U.S. government agency (or the international equivalent) and reported by the New York Times, has concluded that in the U.S., the ratio of women to men in college has been steadily increasing. This has resulted in a disproportionate amount of the sexes, but generally holds constant in most elite universities. However, women were found to populate very different disciplines, mainly education, public service, and so on, while the number of males still reign in the scientific field.

Moreover, the study found that the disparity between the sexes isn't due to innate intelligence- while indeed it has been proven and reported that the education system favors women more than men (because men were found to be more hyperactive and had difficulty maintaining concentration for long periods of time [or something to that effect- pardon me for possible errornous statements]), this disparity evaporates when men from a similar social class and status are compared. In that case, men perform as well as, even arguably better, to their female counterparts. Nevertheless, the study concluded that the 'alarming' discovery was that the men lagging behind mostly hailed from lower class families.

This issue has received a substantial amount of coverage in the U.S. Check out the New York Times, which indeed has devoted a large coverage of it.

Anonymous said...

Tony, just out of curiosity wat is the the percentage of bloggers in yr blog are made up of girls? I seemed to sense most are male bloggers here (except for Tiara )

Anonymous said...

check out the new york times articles these past 2 weeks or so. There were many guest columnists who wrote about Why women are smarter than men and so on. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Girls suffer from discrimination at home and in the job market. They have to be better than the boys in order to be given the opportunities. "Equal Opportunty for both sexes" is nothing more than a tag line on job advertisements. Parents would use their savings to support their son for an overseas education and at the same time, advise their equally bright daughter to study hard for a place in the local universities. In the most recent graduation ceremony of the West Point Military Academy, the top student award was won by a girl of Taiwanese origin. What does this tell us?

Ching said...

Overall, in terms of inteligence, it's the same. we are just gifted in different aspects.

girls tend to be more hardworking.

During my exam time (not too long ago), wah lau.. the girls studied non-stop the entire day. They are study machine.

maybe that's why people said they are better with memorizing.

Whereas the guys (including me) have limited attention span (cause we downloaded computer games into our hostel's computers).

But guys generally are more critical. we tend to really scrutinize other's view especially when it differs from ours.

In terms of job opportunity, there are some jobs where the employer prefer girls and some job better suited for guys. So overall, it's fair.

Anonymous said...

Boys are not not smart, boys are LAZY

Anonymous said...

Boys are smart enuff to avoid our public universities... :)

Anonymous said...

Boys are smart enuff to avoid our public universities... :)

Anonymous said...

Girls are smart enough to apply for our public universities :))
Boys are dumb enuff to avoid applying to public universities where there are more gals....gals galore for the picking!

Anonymous said...

Both sex are comparable-lah.

It was the ATTITUDE that makes the difference.

Anonymous said...

No lahhh...girls are pretty and nice, boys are ugly, lazy and stoopid

Anonymous said...

Even with few boys in the campuses nowadays, the girl students also dont want them cos most of them are so sissy fait, very lembik and pondan looking...

They no longer make boys like before..macho and manly....:((

Anonymous said...

it's not girls are smarter than boys.It's just that we work harder in a way. We realized that boys are getting easier time into getting college or scholarship and so we work hard to compete. Not only we have to compete with the boys but we have to compete with the girls as well. All wanting an edge so we get that scholarship or entrance...

Sometimes I think it's not fair why do we have to work so hard. I remembered being so frustrated at Petronas for not giving me chances to be interviewed.I got straight A's,active in clubs and all that but I heard my guy friend who only got 6A get the chance of being interviewed. It happens to all the other girls. It is definitely not fair at all and sometimes I think why should we care how the boys doing if they don't care about it themselves. Taking for granted all things.

Anonymous said...

boys or gals???

both is stoooopid if juz pointing to each other..

its individually..

its not a big deal..

know to climb,u'll get the mangga..

but i admit that SOMETIMES girls do hardworking than a boys..


i dont mean that boys is sucks.

boys when it comes to critically times,they more smarter than GIRLS..

this is the fact..