Parents of girls; be afraid, very afraid. Be worried, because your daughters are “in trouble”. So much that we need a “call to arms” and “a movement to end the trashing of girlhood”.

Yes, but how will this help us both become well-adjusted adults with great self esteem, good career prospects and a healthy amount of self doubt? Photo: Herald Sun

Certainly that seems to be the message in the PR for Raising Girls, the latest from parenting guru Steve Biddulph.

A decade back, when Biddulph released Raising Boys, it was our little sons under siege by an education system - and a society - that didn’t get them or their gender-specific needs.

“Today, things have changed. It’s girls that are in trouble. . .There has been a sudden and universal deterioration in girls’ mental health, starting in primary school and devastating the teen years,” says Biddulph.

This is certainly alarming. And I don’t doubt that the pressure on kids’ self-esteem and mental health has increased during the lifetime of my eldest, a son, 14.

But are girls really the new boys - that is, are they now more difficult to raise into healthy adults? And is there really much merit in suggesting that it is harder than ever before to raise a balanced daughter, and by implication that such a task requires different skills or more concentration than raising happy sons?

I have children of both genders, and while Raising Boys was a key plank in my (and my partner’s) understanding of how to be the best parents we could to our boys, I don’t like this new idea that girls are suddenly more difficult to bring to a safe maturity, and nor do I believe it.

Biddulph, a psychologist, is right to highlight the contemporary threats posed to our daughter by sexualisation, bullying, dangerous body-image messages and social media.

But any girl-mum or dad not already well aware of these evils would have to have been living under a family-sized rock. And other than social media, I do not think they are new,  nor do I believe any of those factors mean I will need to focus more on my daughter’s wellbeing than my sons’.

And I don’t think yet another cry of “fire!” in the marketing material for yet another parenting book is terribly constructive.

Scary tactics aside, as a boy-mum, I can’t see how I need to be any less vigilant about the threat to my sons’ developing identity of being made to feel not good-looking enough, not thin enough, or not popular enough by messages in pop culture, advertising and social media.

Take weight anxiety: girls still dominate eating disorder admissions, but increasingly the fat-fail message is hitting both genders.

My sons are just as aware of how uncool it is to be fat, thanks to the saturation anti-obesity message. All the talk of terrible obesity leads them to the following conclusion; “if you’re fat, you’re a loser”.

And the buff body and emotion-free toughness ideal for young men is only reinforced by the prevailing physique and demeanour of all the Hollywood hunks and sports stars, shoved at boys as heroes.

Girls are bombarded with be-dumb-but-sexy-and-submissive pressure, which I hate and work very hard to insulate my sparky nine year-old girl from, but boys must be hot AND sporty (still) to reach the top of the school-yard pecking order and not risk being left on the social bench.

Boy-parents must work just as hard to ensure their young sons realise things other than abs and pecs define success, as girl-parents must to enforce the idea that enhancing your brains, not your boobs will give you the best chance of life success.

And both genders feel the pressure to be precociously sexual. Why should I take the approach that this puts more pressure on my girl than my sons?

Every time I hear about yet another teen boy dying in a car crash or a party fight, or at Schoolies, my blood runs cold. It happens too frequently. I am certainly not convinced there’s any less of a need to work diligently to manage risk-taking or potentially self-harmful activities, or mental health in our boys than there is with our girls.

I don’t buy the “it’s girls who are in (more) trouble” schtick, even if it helps sell books. And I don’t like the idea of a competition to see which gender is in more peril.

I can clearly remember my alarm when, with boys aged five and three, I read the just-released Raising Boys.

The thing that hit me hardest was the picture painted of the serious handicap boys face in the education system. The take-out message for me was that the way conventional education is structured in Australia puts boys at a serious disadvantage because they process information differently and have distinct learning styles that are most often not catered for.

This gives girls a strong advantage, which is demonstrated in VCE results.

Anyone who reads my Herald Sun blog, The Perch, will know I am a huge girl-power advocate and am thrilled that so many girls are flying academically and finding their place across the professions.

I am deeply frustrated by the gender pay gap and the woeful work-life balance options - and child care options - currently available to many working women.

But I also seriously doubt that in the last decade the factors that Biddulph outlined so eloquently in Raising Boys have turned around to the point where it’s an equal playing field for my boys and daughter in education.

On this ground alone, I do not want to be told that it is more difficult to help my daughter become a well-adjusted and successful adult, or that we should focus on her needs over those of boys. And nor do I think it’s useful to be told so.

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST

Raising Girls by Steve Biddulph, Finch Publishing, is listed for release January 17

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56 comments

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    • Jim Moriarty says:

      09:13am | 21/01/13

      My Da wasn’t the greatest man or role model. When I told him I was gay, he said he’d failed as a father and this was Mam’s fault.

    • Borderer says:

      09:14am | 21/01/13

      My little girl will get all her “girly” training from her mum, aunty and cousin, but she’ll be spending time in the gym working a bag with her daddy. I can’t “make” her do a damn thing but then neither will anybody else….

    • Fiddler says:

      09:14am | 21/01/13

      I can only agree that the school system is a lot harder on boys than girls. I recall when my youngest (son) was in Kindergarten having the school ring me up because he was “uncontrollable” in that he didn’t do what the teacher asked and then became more and more agitated.

      After speaking to his teacher for five minutes I utterly sympathised with my son. She would give the kids “suggestions” about “what they might like to do” then badgered the shit out of him for not wanting to do it, yet would never cross the line and tell him what to do. It took me less than a minute to calm him down and he would never refuse to do what he was told, but in the touchy feely atmosphere the Principal told me that studies showed her manner of speaking to kids is far superior to telling a group of five year old kids what to do.

      My sons “crime” was having made the mistake of when being offered a choice, made the one he wanted to do and not what the teacher wanted. Oh, and they pretty much banned all physical activites in the playground.

    • wakeuppls says:

      09:47am | 21/01/13

      It’s a shame that there are no equivalent articles about the crisis that has faced boys and men for the last 40 years. As soon as there’s a dip in girls, though, there’s no stopping that bandwagon.

    • egg says:

      09:56am | 21/01/13

      I don’t see what any of what you’ve written has to do with your son being a boy. A girl may not react well to “suggestions” about what they “might” like to do, either.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      10:37am | 21/01/13

      “I don’t see what any of what you’ve written has to do with your son being a boy. “

      Boys need to be told what to do.  It’s why we love hierarchies.  It’s efficient (generally) and it makes us happy knowing exactly what we’re doing.  Giving us options like that is bad.  Unless we’re in charge (and a kindergarten boy knows he is not), we don’t want to make decisions like that.

      Note:  This does not apply to all men, but there’s a reason hierarchies are just about everywhere in societies, particularly in traditionally male dominated areas.

    • Rose says:

      11:09am | 21/01/13

      Fiddler, if you don’t like the way the school operates, change schools. I had to do that when my son’s primary school failed him, and we never looked back He has just got an ATAR in the 90s and has been accepted into his preferred uni course.
      It is your responsibility to ensure that your children go to schools that best suit their needs. I placed my kids in single sex high schools as I believed that would give them the best opportunity…so far so good!!!

    • egg says:

      11:31am | 21/01/13

      Well, again, what you’re stating is a sweeping generalisation, and is just as likely to apply to a girl as to a boy.

      I’m not arguing the school system isn’t harder for boys - I haven’t been in school for years and I don’t have kids, so I’ve got no idea about that - but your example doesn’t strike me as a problem specific to boys.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      11:50am | 21/01/13

      “I placed my kids in single sex high schools as I believed that would give them the best opportunity…so far so good!!! “

      I’m starting to think this is the best idea as well.  It really seems to work.

    • Fiddler says:

      11:52am | 21/01/13

      @ Rose, all the public schools in my area use the same sheet of music, this was a few years ago. When I suggested that they simply tell him what they want him to do instead of using the latest fad I received shocked looks. I am in a moderate sized country town with no single sex schools.

      @Egg, yes this might not work as well for girls either, but boys tend to be at that age more about pushing and learning boundaries.

    • Robert Smissen of Rural SA says:

      12:52pm | 21/01/13

      @ Rose how will changing schools help? ? They all sing from the same demented hymnbook.

    • Robert Smissen of Rural SA says:

      12:56pm | 21/01/13

      20 years ago the then Education Dept CEO told me the most disadvantaged person in the school system was a “white heterosexual teen-age boy”, NOTHING has changed since then.

    • Rose says:

      05:48pm | 21/01/13

      I sucked up the expense and sent them to private single sex schools. It’s been financially incredibly difficult, but worth every single cent. If it’s financially possible, it’s an avenue that should be explored if you want to change the ‘songbook’.

    • Rose says:

      05:51pm | 21/01/13

      Robert S…. if the Education Dept CEO told you that, then or now, he would be lying out of his arse!!
      The most disadvantaged people within the education system are those from lower socio economic backgrounds…of either sex!!

    • bec says:

      09:35am | 21/01/13

      I teach boys. I like my job and I like my students. And aside from unqualified hacks who tour schools scaring parents about boys being swept aside (because how else are they going to fund their kitchen renovation?) the truth is if your son is from a middle-income family that supports his progress, he’s probably going to do as girls from the same demographic.  If parents read (and read with their kids), have a baseline of wealth to allow them to choose a school or co-curricular activity and expect a high standard, boys will do well. There are boys who are suffering educationally for sure: gender compounds with social disadvantage to make things even tougher for poor and marginalised boys than it does for girls. These are ideas that would actually help with raising boys that are confident, competent and happy.

      1. Don’t make fun or your son for reading. I’ve dealt with plenty of low/no income families who tell their boys that reading is for poofs and sissies because their idea of masculinity is extreme that it doesn’t allow for anything that’s passive or intellectual. A result? Kids who have a reading age 3 or more years behind their biological age.

      2. Don’t make your son do an academic senior pathway if he doesn’t want to. The real benefits to his self-esteem from getting an apprenticeship, starting his own business, training for what he really wants to do or even just getting a leg-up in his working life will outweigh the destroyed confidence he’ll get from getting a lousy ATAR.
      2b. Likewise, he doesn’t have to go to uni straightaway. Maybe he’s immature, like plenty of young people are. Maybe he doesn’t know what he wants to do. Maybe he wants to make fat bank as a labourer and spend the next three years of his life with a BAC of at least 0.40. Men in my grandfather’s generation didn’t go to university straight away either. Plenty got jobs, houses and families and went to nightschool. It might be a model that’s more sustainable for people of both genders.

      3. If your son wants to do art or drama, why are you standing in his way? You know who studies those subjects? Girls - who he will learn to work productively with and make friends with. (He might even get to have sex with one, if any of the gossip that follows a musical is true!) If you’re dead keen hoping that your son is straight, he could do worse than a subject where he gets to surround himself with friendly girls.

      4. Stop making lame excuses for your son. We haven’t suspended him because we have an anti-male agenda and we’re just stopping “boys from being boys”: we suspended him because he broke another kid’s teeth out of his jaw. We can deal with everyday rambunctious behaviour, like drawing dicks on things or making delightful frescoes with 500mL of Oak iced coffee and a freshly hosed path. Racial vilification, serious assault, drugs and theft aren’t “boys being boys”.

      5. Stop trying to convince your kid that he’s going to play for Australia and therefore should dedicate all of his time and effort to sport - especially if the height of his achievement is to play for the seconds in a low-tier competition. I’m pretty sick of otherwise intelligent kids telling me that they’d rather get into a premiership cricket or rugby team than pass a senior subject. Nobody’s going to care five years out that you made a ‘fully sick’ try; they are going to care if the building invoice you give them is barely understandable.

      6. If you want boys to have more male role models in schools… er, why not train as a teacher? In my graduating year, a quarter of secondary school teaching degree holders were dudes. Not perfect but an improvement on the past. If that doesn’t appeal, come to Saturday sport and cook the barbie or coach a team. It’s fun and won’t eat into your work week. (Also, I want to sleep in on a Saturday.)

      7. Your kid only functions as poorly as you expect him to. I have twelve year old students who can’t pack a school bag on their own, buy a sandwich at a tuckshop or tie their own shoelaces because their parents do everything for them. That’s not normal, yo. And trust me, this sticks out when he has to go on school camp and notices that all the other boys know how to fold a sleeping bag or eat a piece of fruit that hasn’t been cut up for him. Seriously. He won’t die of heat exhaustion from hiking 3km, or of sleep deprivation because he doesn’t have his favourite pillow on year 9 camp. Also, do not be that parent who picks their son up on the first day of camp.  That’s just weak.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      09:58am | 21/01/13

      “6. If you want boys to have more male role models in schools… er, why not train as a teacher?”

      Why would someone train for years only to have all that training and the career ruined because some princess is having a bad day and decides to get back at the teacher for telling her to sit down and pay attention?  There’s a reason men aren’t going into teaching, and it’s not the pay or whatever else excuse comes up.  I’ve heard enough stories from my wife’s sister who has just finished High School to never want to go anywhere near teaching.  The amount of allegations made that were unfounded (and admitted as such to the other girls) is not a welcome prospect.

    • Bec says:

      11:09am | 21/01/13

      All teachers get false accusations. Colleagues of both genders have had to take legal action to stop the destruction of their reputations. Likewise, teachers of both genders are deregistered for dangerous, unprofessional conduct.

      Talking to kids about choosing a career in teaching hasn’t introduced me to a single boy who is afraid of false allegations. Too many to count are very straightforward: they can earn more money in other career paths.

    • ByStealth says:

      02:41pm | 21/01/13

      Kids aren’t fully aware of society’s view of the sexes as children. Ask a 15yo boy what he thinks about teaching. Then ask a 25yo man.

      I think you’ll find the answers are very different.

      Besides that, you’ve given some good advice here Bec. All boys need a balance of brain and brawn to be fully respected as men. I would never recommended neglecting either side.

    • Anubis says:

      03:13pm | 21/01/13

      @ Bec - But the problem with the types of accusations being discussed (false or not) are that in societies eyes men are guilty until proven innocent (but forever doubted) and women are innocent until proven guilty,

    • Swampy says:

      09:35am | 21/01/13

      Weight anxiety is just one type of body dysmorphia, I’d say the number of young males abusing steroids and other performance/image enhancing drugs is at least equal to, possibly greater than, the number of females with eating disorders. A growing problem for both sexes.

    • bec says:

      09:49am | 21/01/13

      It can also include boys who spend hours upon hours in the gym, or who exercise to excess. Lots of those out there.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      10:40am | 21/01/13

      Weight is tricky for men.  We don’t want to be fat, but then, it’s expected we bulk up as well.  Bulking up and keeping fat down is a fairly delicate balancing act of nutrition and the right exercise!

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      09:39am | 21/01/13

      Aside from the cultural impacts of modern society, there is also the environmental ones to consider (these screw women up as well, but in different ways, no less severe, but in this case it’s a post about men).  In men, xenoestrogens can cause a congenital defect called hypospadias — a misplacement of the urethra — (which) is now twice as common among newborn boys as it used to be.  Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/opinion/kristof-how-chemicals-change-us.html?_r=1&

      Scary stuff.  It’s also a possible reason why men have lower testosterone that their forefathers.  They’re less manly at least in part, probably, because of the chemicals we’re exposed to.

    • Tork says:

      10:01am | 21/01/13

      Why focus on raising a boy, or raising a girl.  Why not raise a child and educate them on the world the best you can, no matter what gender they are.  The only difference in the things between their legs..

      - tork
      dad blog

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      10:32am | 21/01/13

      “The only difference in the things between their legs..”

      Biologically, those things between their legs kind of affect everything else…

    • Rossco says:

      11:27am | 21/01/13

      Ah no, I’d say there was much more difference between the sexes other than their genitals.

    • Modern Primitive says:

      10:27am | 21/01/13

      Great article, I was with you right up until the point about the gender paygap. We’ve done that to death, can we stop perpetuating this lie?

    • lostinperth says:

      11:09am | 21/01/13

      +1

      Strange how it comes up everytime you raise anything to do with any disadvantage men / boys may be facing.

      That and the work - life balance as though women are entitled to be paid to spend time at home just because they are women. No. You work, you get paid: you want to work less - you get paid less. And if your job cannot cope with the absences you want then maybe you need to find a different work environment.

    • Modern Primitive says:

      12:46pm | 21/01/13

      The one I love is when they cost up x amount of hours doing domestic duties, as if doing household chores entitles you to income in some way.

    • Borderer says:

      02:36pm | 21/01/13

      @Modern Primitive
      Yeah, like when I was single and living in my own unit by myself, working two jobs and going to uni part time, all those domestic duties must mean I had three jobs… such bull crap, you either do it or live in your own filth and starve, I’d love to have 40 hours a week to do housework…

    • Modern Primitive says:

      10:27am | 21/01/13

      Great article, I was with you right up until the point about the gender paygap. We’ve done that to death, can we stop perpetuating this lie?

    • Testfest says:

      01:04pm | 21/01/13

      Modern Primitive,

      I couldn’t agree more…

    • NSS says:

      10:47am | 21/01/13

      Sorry, Jess .I read the headline and thought “well of course it is. Both sexes have their own issues to deal with,” then decided this was another of the stirring gender wars crap articles which seem to be a 2013 agenda on the Punch and decided I’d read enough.

    • Cedric says:

      11:22am | 21/01/13

      If people tend to be lemmings following trendy parenting, then they’re likely to go over the cliff with the rest. If they have practical commonsense, parenting is not that hard. Look to your parents or grandparents to get some perspective. Most of all, don’t be a bloody trendy sook, or you will have sooky children, the outstanding noisemakers in supermarkets and other public venues.

    • Colin says:

      11:48am | 21/01/13

      “Boy-parents must work just as hard to ensure their young sons realise things other than abs and pecs define success, as girl-parents must to enforce the idea that enhancing your brains, not your boobs will give you the best chance of life success…”

      Unfortunately, Wendy, the parents that have a ‘Muscles - boys, boobs - girls’  mentality are also the ones who want listen one jot to such advice; with such attitudes, they are obviously barely able to walk and chew gum simultaneously.

      And - because of this - it is very difficult to try to inculcate more balanced gender attributes in children because peer-pressure dictates that the attitudes of the majority of the progeny of the knuckle-draggers who perpetuate such stereotypes will, themselves, force these same attitudes on their fellow students…Unless you can manage to have your children educated in a private school that upholds more enlightened views on gender-imprinting biases and shuns the offspring of the legions of the Great Unwashed.

      Which in ‘Straya, of course, is pretty damned difficult.

    • Jason says:

      12:21pm | 21/01/13

      Boys are still disadvantaged by the school system so the primary focus should be evening this out. I will never forget my education and the feminist witches that I had to endure. It wasn’t just Girls are better than boys, it was you Boys created the worlds problems. This was in multiple state schools.

      The numbers of girls going on to tertiary education over boys just shows that the system is still failing boys but I do agree the system is not just to blame. It is parents, the media all painting these stupid gender stereotypes and focusing on one genders problems over the others.

      Its not a simple fix because the education system is so engrained to make girls succeed. Something as simple as delaying when boys start their education so that they are more receptive to teaching is a tried and true method however.

      Until Boys are doing as well as Girls in school, the system is broken. We wouldn’t stand for this if the roles were reversed.

    • SM says:

      01:39pm | 21/01/13

      Feminist witches? The system is broken because boys don’t move towards tertiary education as often as girls?

      What a load of self-absorbed rubbish. I’m guessing you were a right pain in the arse and deserved everything the “witches” served up.

    • ByStealth says:

      02:20pm | 21/01/13

      ‘The system is broken because boys don’t move towards tertiary education as often as girls?’

      The feminists didn’t have a problem claiming the system was broken because of the lack of representation of women in the boardroom.

      There are plenty of stories of anti-male sexism in the classroom and empirical evidence of female teachers marking boys more harshly across the board. Not to mention the attitude of drugging energetic boys so they behave more calmly ‘like girls’.

    • Fiddler says:

      02:46pm | 21/01/13

      SM, you are an idiot.

      I recall in my primary school education being told the whole time by the female teachers (there was one male teacher in the school. I didn’t get him) that girls were better than boys and took every available opportunity to run down males in preference for females. Oh and being told that as white people we “owed” Aboriginals something.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      02:48pm | 21/01/13

      Believe it or not, they do exist.  I was earning mostly As with a few Bs through high school English.  Until I ran into a particular teacher in Year 11 who, I can only surmise, had a particular dislike for males.  Every male in the class failed to score better than a D.  Fortunately, when I moved into Year 12 my results (as well as the other boys), recovered back to their formal levels.  I suppose it’s possible the girls just had an awesome English year and the boys all simultaneously sucked…

    • Colin says:

      03:20pm | 21/01/13

      @ Fiddler

      “...and took every available opportunity to run down males in preference for females. Oh and being told that as white people we “owed” Aboriginals something.”

      Why does the word, ‘Bigot’ spring so readily to my mind..?

    • Modern Primitive says:

      03:49pm | 21/01/13

      I agree Colin, its very bigoted to blame school children for what our ancestors did. Especially when you make the boys feel guilty just because they’re boys.

    • Colin says:

      04:10pm | 21/01/13

      @  Modern Primitive

      “I agree Colin, its very bigoted to blame school children for what our ancestors did. Especially when you make the boys feel guilty just because they’re boys…”

      Oh - ha! - I see what you did there…Gosh but you’re soooo clever..!

      But, hey, you can’t help the way you view the world; even if the reality is that no t all women are Out to Get You…

    • Jason says:

      04:29pm | 21/01/13

      @SM

      I was a triple merit student and dux of my graduate year and I was never in any trouble. But thanks for your extremely witty, self absorbed rant. Hilarious to have someone lecture you on something they didn’t experience and tell you it didn’t happen. Again just blame the boys…. typical!

    • Fiddler says:

      05:38pm | 21/01/13

      @ Colin, because that’s pretty much what they were?

      Bigots come in all genders and angles

    • Robert Smissen of Rural SA says:

      01:02pm | 21/01/13

      Ho kids react to stress will set them up to fail or win. Males both human & beasts when stressed will rush around making noise & movement to frighten off predators whereas females go into huddles & are quiet, hoping not to be noticed. Young kids do what is hard wired in them, girls sit quietly (teachers love this) whereas boys fidget, it is their hard wiring, teachers HATE this. How both genders are talked to is different, so how can you expect them to to have the same results

    • Bec says:

      02:36pm | 21/01/13

      Er… not quite. The majority of my male students are able to work without needlessly disrupting others by calling out, attention-whoring or annoying their classmates. Boys are disadvantaged by disruptive elements too.

    • Bazza says:

      01:27pm | 21/01/13

      Can someone PLEASE supply me with an example of, in today’s society, where a man is paid more than a woman for performing the same role, for the same amount of hours on the virtue of their gender? Not a rhetorical question.

    • Anubis says:

      03:20pm | 21/01/13

      You wont get a response there Bazza because they can’t

    • Colin says:

      03:37pm | 21/01/13

      @ Bazza

      Well, ‘Bazza’; if it weren’t for the insidious effects of rampant Confirmation Bias, you may well be able to do the research yourself and come to the realisation that you need to look at the OVERALL wages paid over a specified period of time to glean that information…I bet you reckon one day’s weather indicates climate too though, hey..?

    • Tubesteak says:

      05:20pm | 21/01/13

      Colin
      “need to look at the OVERALL wages paid over a specified period of time to glean that information”
      That has to be the most illogical piece of drivel you’ve ever written, Colin. For someone that holds “himself” out to be so high and mighty I can’t believe you continually write such drivel.

      If you want to discuss confirmation bias then look at the biased way women choose their work behaviour.

      Lets take my profession: law.
      Many women that graduate gravitate to the “hippie” types of areas such as environmental law or welfare advocacy.
      The few that actually do go to the major top-tier law firms still try to gravitate to public interest advocacy, if they can. Then they’re lucky to spend several years in such firm before getting sick of the 16 hour days 7 day weeks that ou are required to work. Implications of the Apex Fallacy (http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/01/10/implications-of-the-apex-fallacy/) means, if she can, she’ll only choose a man that earns considerably more than her so as soon as she has a ring on her finger and a meal ticket she’s out the door to either the public service, full-time parenthood or some sort of NGO.

      It’s obvious why women earn less: they do less work in lower paying roles. This is entirely their choosing. It has nothing to do with sexism.

      The only issue with pay gap that can ever be analysed is if women are doing the same work, in the same role, for the same organisation, for the same hours, producing the same results, making the same contribution to the bottom line and the only difference in pay is due to gender and it can be displayed categorically and proven quantifiably.

      Don’t believe I have to educate you dunderheads yet again.

    • Testfest says:

      05:40pm | 21/01/13

      In other words “Colin”, you can’t provide a single example of men being paid more than a woman OVERALL during a specified period of time for the same role and same hours based on their gender..?

    • ByStealth says:

      02:23pm | 21/01/13

      Thanks for writing a piece that highlights the difficulties boys have in our education system Wendy. I’ve seen a few articles on the Punch this year with a more egalitarian slant and it makes for a refreshing change.

    • Ruby says:

      02:31pm | 21/01/13

      “A study released by the Australian government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency found the median gap in starting salaries for graduates increased from $2000 in 2011 to $5000 last year.
      “The disparity was the largest in architecture and building occupations, at 17.3 per cent. The starting salary for male graduates was $52,000 compared with $43,000 for women.
      “Female dentistry graduates earned 15.7 per cent or $14,000 less than men whose median starting salary was $92,000.
      “The starting salary for female law graduates was $50,700 compared with $55,000 for men.
      “The agency’s research executive manager, Carla Harris, said there was no adequate explanation for the difference. ‘‘There’s absolutely no logical reason why a male graduate would be seen as better than a female graduate.’‘

      Gender pay gap doubled in a year: http://www.smh.com.au/national/tertiary-education/gender-pay-gap-doubles-in-a-year-20130103-2c78q.html

    • Anubis says:

      03:24pm | 21/01/13

      @ Ruby - as was pointed out on these forums shortly after these figures were released was that type of employment was ignored. Dentistry - most female graduates tended to go to Government employment, male graduates went private or established their own practice - this accounts for differences. The same can be said for Law graduates as well. Whilst an interesting survey they did tend to not include contributory data such as the working hours - if you dig deeper you will find that the female graduates tended to work less hours per week while the male ones were working longer hours per week - also a deciding factor in the pay packet, but a contributory factor ignored in the resultant Report.

    • Joan Bennett says:

      03:13pm | 21/01/13

      Dude’s trying to sell books, is all…

 

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