Friday, October 07, 2005

Aggressive Girls

There was an article in the morning paper about aggressive girls in middle schools. The writer was talking about a middle school in Florida, in which sixth grade girls were becoming as aggressive as boys. The author was also trying to generalize from that school to the entire population of sixth grade girls, presumably in the U.S. The author also said the local study was part of a larger study by professors at Cornell and Columbia. Do I smell the sweet odor of Grant Money in the air?

Having taught in middle schools until last year, I have had an opportunity to observe the same age group of kids. I did not see what little aggressive behavior there was, as changing for the better or worse. I consulted with another teacher who had more years than I and she told me that a change in middle school aggression by girls was news to her.

Oh, once, just after school, I saw two little sixth grade girls using fisticuffs on each other, which was a shock. Girls do not usually do that. What bothered me most, though, was that one of the girls was Chinese and the other was Caucasian. I didn't want any race problems on the campus and I took care of it immediately. Fortunately, there was no resulting racial problem as there was no winner and students probably thought both combatants were blockheads.

How many times do we hear on the radio or TV about some new or imagined health or financial problem followed by the solution, which costs $29.95 plus shipping and handling? Professors seem to be following the same approach, except that they cost a heck of a lot more.


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