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‘It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way.’ Why Some Boys Can Keep Up With Girls in School.

来源:纽约时报    2019-01-17 05:12

        Over all, girls outperform boys in school. It starts as early as kindergarten. By the time students reach college, women graduate at a higher rate than men.        整体而言,女生在学校的表现超过男生。这早在幼儿园就开始了。到学生上大学时,女性毕业成绩高于男性。
        But there’s an exception. Asian-American boys match the grades of Asian-American girls in elementary school, a new study has found. For them, the gender achievement gap doesn’t appear until adolescence — at which point they start doing worse as a group than Asian-American girls.        但也有例外。一项新的研究发现,亚裔美国男孩在小学阶段和亚裔美国女孩成绩相当。对于他们,性别成绩差异直到青春期才出现——此时他们的整体表现开始逊色于亚裔美国女孩。
        The study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that boys’ underperformance is not because of anything innate to boys. Instead, it seems, it’s largely because of something external: their school environments and peer influences.        越来越多的研究表明,男生表现不佳不是因为男生内在的任何原因,此项研究进一步巩固了这一观点。看起来,其原因很大程度上来自于外部:他们学校环境和同伴影响。
        Girls are encouraged to be diligent, cooperative and ambitious — all things that serve them well in school. Boys are more sensitive than girls to environmental influences, according to a variety of research, and they feel pressure to be strong, tough and athletic. They get the message that doing well in school is not masculine, social scientists say. Even in peer groups that prize good grades, it’s considered uncool to seem to try hard to earn them.        女性被鼓励要勤奋、合作、有志向——所有这些都对她们在学校很有好处。根据各类研究,男生对于环境的影响比女生更敏感,要强壮、坚韧、擅长运动也让他们倍感压力。社会科学家表示,他们得到的信息是,成绩好是有失男子气概的。即使是在好成绩会获嘉奖的同伴群体中,表现出努力要得奖也被认为不怎么酷。
        Asian-American boys are somehow sheltered from that message in early childhood. The reasons could give parents and teachers information about how to help boys of all races reach their full potential.        出于一些原因,亚裔美国男孩没有在儿童早期受到这种信息的影响。其中的原因可为父母和教师提供参考,了解如何帮助各种族的男孩充分实现他们的潜力。
        “These findings show it doesn’t have to be this way, that boys necessarily have to underachieve,” said Amy Hsin, the paper’s author and a sociologist at Queens College in New York. “How we parent, how we help children think about their masculinity, and school culture and peer norms have effects on their performance in school.”        “这些研究结果表明,不一定非得是这样,即男生一定要表现稍逊,”该论文作者、纽约市立大学皇后学院(Queens College in New York)社会学家艾米·辛(Amy Hsin)说。“我们如何养育孩子,如何帮助孩子思考他们的男子气概,以及学校的文化和同伴准则都对他们在学校的表现有影响。”
        Looking at grade point averages of white and Asian-American students, she found that unlike white students, Asian-American boys and girls have no significant grade differences until ninth grade. Then, boys fall behind girls by the equivalent of one-third of a letter grade, about the same as the gender difference in white students’ grades, according to the new study, published last month in the journal Sociological Science.        她看着白人和亚裔美国学生的平均绩点,发现和白人学生不同,亚裔美国男生和女生在九年级之前没有明显的成绩差别。其后,根据上月发表在《社会科学》(Sociological Science)期刊上的该项新研究,男生落后女生相当于一个字母分数三分之一的成绩,与白人学生成绩的性别差异几乎一样。
        It used data on about 9,200 white and 1,700 Asian-American students from two national studies that followed the same students over time (the groups were too small to analyze differences among Asian ethnic groups.) The results are not definitive. The sample size is relatively small, and the analysis uses grades, which, unlike test scores, are influenced by teachers’ subjective assessments of students. Yet the results fit with other research that shows the effect of outside influences on academic performance, particularly for boys.        该研究使用了取自两项全国性研究的约9200名白人、1700名亚裔美国学生的数据,后者对同一批学生跟踪了一段时间(所选群体规模太小,不足以分析亚裔群体之间的差异)。其结果是不具决定性的。样本规模相对较小,分析过程使用了等级评分,和考试分数不同的是,它是受教师对学生的主观评定影响的。然而研究结果与其他研究相符,表明了外界对学业成绩,尤其是男生成绩的影响。
        One reason Asian-American children do so well as a group is that Asian immigrant families tend to be very focused on education, as the sociologists Jennifer Lee and Min Zhou described in their book, “The Asian American Achievement Paradox.”        亚裔美国孩子作为一个群体有如此良好的表现,原因之一在于亚洲移民家庭倾向于非常注重教育,如社会学家李智英(Jennifer Lee)和周敏在她们的著作《亚裔美国人成就的悖论》(The Asian American Achievement Paradox)中所描述的那样。
        One goal of a 1965 U.S. immigration law, which also abolished severe restrictions against immigration from regions such as Asia, was to give preference to professionals with specialized skills. Partly as a result, a little more than half of Chinese immigrants to the United States have a college degree or higher, versus less than 10 percent of adults in China in recent years, Ms. Lee said. They have tended to prioritize that their children earn straight As; attend a good college; and become a doctor, lawyer, scientist or engineer, the authors wrote. They have also shared information about things like SAT tutors and A.P. courses with their less educated Asian-American peers.        1965年美国移民法的一项目标便是优先选择有专门技能的专业人士。该法律还废除了针对来自亚洲等地区移民的严格限制。部分基于这个原因,移民到美国的中国人中有一半多一点儿拥有大学或更高学位,而近年来中国成年人的这一比例则不到10%。作者写道,他们倾向于优先考虑他们的孩子能拿到全A成绩;上一所好大学;然后成为医生、律师、科学家或工程师。他们还会把诸如SAT指导老师、进阶先修课程等信息分享给受教育程度较低的亚裔美国同伴。
        Another factor is the so-called model minority stereotype — that Asians as a group are supposed to be smart, successful and hard-working. This image masks high poverty and dropout rates among some Asian ethnic groups, yet as with all stereotypes, it can lead people to act in biased ways. Teachers tend to give Asian-American students higher grades and funnel them into advanced programs, the researchers found. Often, lower-performing students have risen to meet these expectations of them, an effect social scientists refer to as stereotype promise.        另一个因素是所谓的模范少数族裔刻板印象——作为群体的亚裔理应聪明、成功、勤奋。这一形象掩盖了一些亚洲少数族群的高贫困率和辍学率,但同所有的刻板印象一样,它会导致人们偏颇行事。研究人员发现,老师往往会给亚裔美国学生更高的分数,让他们参与进阶课程。通常情况下,表现较差的学生会发奋,以求满足对他们的这些期望,社会科学家将这种效果称为刻板印象承诺。
        For Asian-American boys, these influences change in adolescence, Ms. Hsin found, a time when children become more aware of their gender identity and are more influenced by peers. They also have to fight a pernicious perception that they are not masculine enough.        艾米·辛发现,对于亚裔美国男孩来说,这些影响会在青春期发生变化,在这个阶段,孩子们会更加意识到自己的性别身份,也更容易受到同龄人的影响。他们还必须与一种有害的观念作斗争,即他们的男性气概不够。
        “The model minority myth frames Asian boys as being kind of nerdy, caring too much about doing well, so that may cause them to become less academically attached,” Ms. Hsin said. “It’s not as stigmatizing for Asian girls because if you’re good at school and you really care, that kind of plays along with what you should be doing as a girl anyway.”        “模范少数族裔的迷思把亚洲男孩塑造成有点书呆子气,太希望自己表现好,这样可能会让他们不那么喜欢学习,”艾米·辛说。“对亚洲女孩来说,这并不丢脸,因为如果你在学校表现出色,而且你真的在乎自己的表现,这符合你身为女孩应该做的事情。”
        The new study offers a clue about how much school environments affect boys’ academic achievement. Ms. Hsin found that the gender gap for Asian-Americans in high school was smaller in schools that were less sports-focused, and where boys did better over all.        这项新研究为了解学校环境对男孩学习成绩的影响程度提供了线索。艾米·辛发现,在不那么关注体育活动、男生总体表现较好的学校,亚裔学生在高中阶段的性别差距较小。
        Other studies have also pinpointed the importance of the school and social environments, especially for boys.        其他研究也指出了学校和社会环境的重要性,尤其是对男孩。
        One working paper found that the best-performing students had a combination of behaviors typically considered male and female. It used nationally representative survey data about gender norms for about 12,000 high school students, linked with their high school transcripts. The most traditionally feminine girls and the most masculine boys had the lowest grades.        一份研究报告发现,表现最好的学生通常会同时表现出人们心目中男性和女性的典型特点。它使用了关于1.2万名高中生的性别状态与其高中成绩相关联的全国代表性调查数据。传统上最女性化的女孩和最男性化的男孩成绩最低。
        The messages boys receive about how to be masculine come from local influences in their schools and communities and are often tied to to socioeconomic status, other research has shown. Boys perform better in school when achievement is considered to be desirable, and when they believe successful men get their power from education versus strength and toughness. Boys in high-income communities are more likely to get those messages, research has shown.        另一项研究表明,男孩获得的关于如何更有男子气概的信息来自他们所在学校和社区的当地影响,而且往往与社会经济地位有关。当学习成绩好被视为好事,当他们相信成功男人的力量来自教育而不是强壮和强悍时,男孩在学校表现得更好。该研究表明,高收入社区的男孩更容易得到这些信息。
        Teachers’ expectations of students — and the biases behind them — also influence children’s performance. For example, white teachers are less likely than black teachers to refer black students to gifted programs, or to have high expectations for their potential. Yet as with Asian-American students, research shows that when teachers have high expectations for black students, they rise to meet them.        教师对学生的期望——及其背后的偏见——也会影响孩子的表现。例如,白人教师推荐黑人学生参加天才项目或对他们的潜力抱有高期待的可能性低于黑人老师。然而,就像亚裔学生一样,研究表明,当老师对黑人学生抱有很高的期待时,他们就会努力去达到这些期待。
        The fact that boys’ achievement varies in different school environments is a hopeful sign for parents and educators, Ms. Hsin said, because it suggests ways to help all students.        艾米·辛说,男孩在不同学校环境下的成绩有所不同,让家长和教育工作者看到了希望,因为这提示了帮助所有学生的方法。
        Encourage academic achievement, she said, and talk about how it leads to success.        她说,那就是鼓励学生取得优秀学习成绩,并讨论优秀的成绩如何令人走向成功。
        Researchers have other suggestions. Show them role models who got where they are by doing well in school. Emphasize the importance of hard work and daily practice, not innate skill. Encourage both boys and girls to embrace a full range of character traits, and not to feel limited by stereotypical gender roles. Place high expectations on children, and give them opportunities to meet them — regardless of skin color.        研究人员还有其他建议。向学生展示通过在学校表现出色而获得成功的榜样。强调努力学习和每天练习的重要性,而不是天生的技能。鼓励男孩和女孩接纳各种各样的性格特征,不要觉得自己被刻板的性别角色所限制。对孩子寄予厚望,并且给他们机会去达到这些期望——不管他们的肤色是什么。

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