by Camilla K '18

Gender Gaps In BSGE and Other NYC Public Schools

The number of female students versus male students in high schools varies over New York City. BSGE’s population consists of more female students than male students. Like BSGE, Townsend Harris High School and Forest Hills High School also have a majority of girls attending these schools. On the other hand, Specialized High Schools like Bronx Science and Stuyvesant High School have a majority of boys attending the school.

School Name Female Students (%) Male Students (%)
Baccalaureate School for Global Education 56.49 43.51
Townsend Harris High School 70.57 29.43
Forest Hills High School 52.01 47.99
Bronx Science High School 43.46 56.54
Stuyvesant High School 41.13 58.87 

Why is this? Males score higher on the SHSAT, the test required for attending Specialized High Schools. Along with this, there are more adolescent males in New York City than females. In the US, the ratio of males to females is 105:100. This could obviously contribute to having more boys than girls in high schools.

On the other hand, females tend to do better with interviews, a requirement to be able to get accepted into our school.

Regardless of abilities, i.e. better performance in specialized admission tests or better at interviewing, gender equality is crucial for safeguarding human rights and fundamental freedoms. When told about a possible gender difference, some students didn’t even realize the gender ratio.

Alisa Onoda ‘18 states, “It doesn’t really affect my learning experience at school. The teachers call on both boys and girls. Some girls get really good grades, some boys get really good grades.” A majority of students agreed with this statement. At BSGE, students, no matter what gender, are given the same amount of attention and help from teaches.

Although this is true for most classes, Amelia Chen’ 18 brings up one subject where she has experienced a different treatment for the opposite gender. She states, “Most classes evenly divide the number of boys and girls. Until now, I didn’t really realize the difference in numbers. The only time I really see a difference is in gym class. All the boys get passed the ball. The fact that there are fewer boys in the class makes it more frustrating. The teacher always passes the football to the boys when the girls stand there, with no one guarding them and ready to catch the ball. A lot of the times, the boys drop the ball.”

A couple more people agreed with this. At other high schools, students felt the same way that BSGE students did. Sarah Chan, a student at Bronx Science states, “For me, gender differences, especially in specialized high schools, should not be an indicator of intellectual status. I feel that in my experience, I rarely, if ever, have dealt with gender inequality in school. I feel that a higher percentage of boys than girls should not hinder equality for both, as seen through many feminist actions being taken. Teachers should also not judge or have a preference based on gender.”

Overall, most students did not feel like the gender ratio affects their learning experience. More boys than girls or more girls than boys did not change the amount of information learned in major classes, whether the student attends a large high school or a small high school, a specialized high school or just a regular one.  So, what do you think? Have you noticed  the gender ratio at our school and has it affected you?

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