Female Supremacy Articles

Girls top of the class worldwide

BBC News 
September 16, 2003

Women have overtaken men at every level of education in developed countries around the world.
And girls are now more confident of getting better-paid, professional jobs than their flagging male counterparts.

International education figures, published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, show a consistent picture, across cultures and continents, of women achieving better results than men.

The OECD survey is a detailed comparison of education achievement and spending in 43 developed countries.

The success of girls is a complete reversal of what would have been expected a generation ago, said Andreas Schleicher, head of analysis at the OECD's education directorate. And he says that the 1990s have seen a remarkable change in women's expectations and achievements.

The survey found that in almost every developed country, 15-year-old girls are more confident than boys about getting high-income jobs.

For example, in the United Kingdom, 63% of girls expect to have "white collar, high-skilled" jobs by the time they are 30, compared to only 51% of boys.

This picture of girls with higher expectations than boys is repeated in the United States, Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Australia.

And girls have good reason to be more confident than boys, because academically, around the globe, they are more successful - which is likely to lead to higher-income jobs.

In literacy skills, 15-year-old girls are ahead of boys in every one of the 43 countries in the OECD survey. In the UK, the gap in literacy scores between girls and boys at this age is 26%.

And this school-age gender gap leads to an increasingly stark difference between the success of male and female students in getting into university.

In New Zealand, 89% of women enter university, compared to 62% of men. In Iceland, 80% of women go into higher education, compared to 42% of men.  

In the United Kingdom, the figures for 2001 show that 49% of women entered university, compared to 41% of men.

And Andreas Schleicher says that much of the rapid growth in higher education places and the larger number of students staying in education can be directly attributed to this growing academic success of women.

But why should boys be falling behind, in so many different countries?

Andreas Schleicher says there are "troubling signs" that boys are more susceptible to being put off education by disruptions in their home environment.

Boys seem less able to overcome obstacles to education, he says, whether it is peer group pressure or a lack of family support.

Girls keep outstripping boys in exams

BBC News 
August 14, 2003

Girls are continuing to outperform boys at A-level, figures show.
In fact, at the top end the gender gap is widening, with the growth in the number of girls gaining grades A to C being greater than the rate among boys.

This year, 70.7% of grades awarded to girls were in this category, up 2.3% from the previous year.

For boys, there was a rise of 2.2% to 63.8%, the Joint Council for General Qualifications, which represents exam boards, found.

Martin Ward, deputy general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said this was a reflection of girls' greater teenage maturity.

He added: "They are more likely to work steadily throughout the course.

"With the emphasis moving more towards continuous assessment at A-level, rather than last-minute exams, this is bound to help them. It could be they are simply better than boys at this."

Mr Ward, who was principal of Wyke Sixth-Form College in Hull until last year, said: "The rise in girls' achievements is an example of them reaching their true level.

"Before, they were held back by the system. Now that is not so much the case."

The A-level pass rate (grade A to E) for girls was 96.4, while for boys it was 94.3. For the genders combined, the figure was 95.4%.

The only major subject in which boys had a higher pass rate was German - 97.7%, compared with 97.3%.

The sexes were evenly matched in chemistry and business studies.

Overall, girls took more A-levels than boys - 404,855 compared with 345,682.

Mr Ward said: "When I was teaching, you noticed that the sixth form was becoming a more female environment.

"At GCSE level you have the question of so-called 'lad culture', which, it has been said, often takes boys away from higher achievement.

"This can lead to male students starting sixth form later than females, when they realize they are in dead-end jobs or want to go further in life."

Listen Up, Boys. Do as you're told!

by Bettina Arndt
Melbourne Age
20th September 2003

The key to a lasting marriage is the man's willingness to accept his partner's influence.

The huge young footballer lay cheerfully baking in the spring sun on the sidelines, his muscular legs spread wide, hands behind his head. With his body covering much of the pathway between the two football fields, the large group of parents cheering on the sidelines were forced to constantly detour around him.

After almost tripping over him as I excitedly followed my son's run with the ball, I couldn't stand it any longer and suggested he sit up and stop blocking the path. His mother, proudly standing next to her hulking young prince, humphed her disapproval at my comment. 

Mother love has clearly blinded her to the fact that males can no longer get away with that sense of entitlement, that expectation that others will tiptoe around them. She's raised an endangered species, a handsome young man destined to be booted out of any future relationship. 

Today's harsh lessons of love ensure he's in for a rough ride.

The major lesson was spelt out clearly by John Gottman, a leading US researcher on marriage and relationships. He had tracked 130 newlyweds, observing their interactions and then following them for six years to see which marriages were happy and stable and which ended in divorce. 

Gottman's advice to men was as follows: "If you want your marriage to last for a long time, just do what your wife says. Go ahead, give in to her. The marriages that did work all had one thing in common  the husband was willing to give in to his wife". 

Other researchers have reached similar conclusions- that the key to as lasting marriage today is the man's willingness to accept influence from his mate. As British social scientist Adreinne Burgess explains in her book Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (Vermillion, 2001), this doesn't mean that women's accepting of influence is of no importance. 

"In good relationships both partners accommodate the other and to much the same degree. But the problem is that men's gender-training makes them more likely to be resistant to influence; it's the man's willingness to accommodate that shows up in their research as more important" says Burgess.

Gottman reported his surprise at the extent of the "loss of power (in marriage) that men have experienced in the last 40 years". 

Having gained economic independence and the power to walk out of relationships where she isn't happy, the woman is now in control. And woe betide any partner who is insensitive to her needs.

The shift has indeed been sudden. It's catching many young men (and their mothers) unawares. But a male raised to assume a privileged position is now heading for trouble.

The task of negotiating relationships with women has become mighty treacherous. There's little tolerance for mistakes, no longer any room for hanky-panky. 

A young teacher recently told me of one of her students was in huge trouble over a prank. He had faked a series of suggestive notes in another student's diary, allegedly written by the teacher herself. It was the stuff of any teenage boy's ultimate fantasy  sexy blonde teacher comes on to the student through a series of raunchy messages. But he had been caught and all hell was about to break loose.

The boy was very, very lucky. The teacher convinced the school authorities she would handle the issue herself. The result was a talk that may just prove a major lesson for life for the young man. She talked to him about harassment, about why his prank put her in an awkward position and undermined her authority. But even more importantly, she warned him of today's oppressive climate where, for some, offensive sexual behaviour has become a hanging crime. 

This time he got away with it, but he discovered that our society has little tolerance for males who step out of line. It isn't easy teaching boys the new rules which aren't always very fair. Recently I had to adjudicate a children's quarrel that had ended in some fisticuffs. " She hit me first," wailed my son. (And she's two years older, he could have added). But the message I had to give him was that that didn't matter. As a male, he couldn't afford to hit a woman  never, ever. It's something good men have always known, but now the stakes are far higher. 

There is a very good reason that domestic violence is now taken very seriously, given the long history of men using physical force to intimidate women. The new rules are there for a reason. He has to get get it, fair or not.

These are tough lessons. No male entitlement, no cock crows or strutting. Now it is the male who faces a lifetime of carefully tiptoeing, perhaps even grovelling, with radar finely tuned to women's whims. 

Women 'better than men at instant maths'

By David Derbyshire and Roger Highfield
(Filed: 11/09/2003)
UK Telegraph News

Women are quicker than men at carrying out a primitive, "instant judgment" type of maths, according to the world's largest mathematics experiment.

In the past few years scientists have found that bees, rats, lions, birds and other creatures can keep track of numbers and work out basic arithmetic.

Now this fundamental skill has been compared among men and women by At-Bristol, the South-West's leading science centre, offering an insight into why girls tend to do better than boys at arithmetic at primary school, and why boys are more at risk of dyscalculia, a basic problem with mathematics akin to dyslexia.

The experiment on 20,000 people was developed by Prof Brian Butterworth and his team at University College London, in collaboration with Dr Penny Fidler, At-Bristol's neuroscientist.

The new results reveal that the brain has two distinct mechanisms for doing maths, solving a question that has puzzled scientists since 1949, said Prof Butterworth.

The first mechanism is the type of instant judgment made when viewing three coins on a table. The viewer instantly knows that there are three without counting, an ability most of us were born with. The second type is the maths people are taught, including counting, addition, subtraction and multiplication.

Animals also seem to have the first, inate type of mathematical ability. Prof Butterworth told the meeting that most animals make the following judgment: "Three bears go into a cave. Two come out. Should I go in?" There are other key uses - for example when tracking friends, looking after eggs and foraging.

Thanks to the very large number of people taking part in the experiment, Prof Butterworth was able to look at overall trends, revealing that women are quicker than men at instant maths.

The experiment, which involved displays of dots, suggested that there are really two processes - what is called "subitizing", for instant recognition, and counting - solving an issue that has raged among scientists for half a century.

"For one to three dots, but not for four to 10 dots, female subjects were slightly, but significantly faster than male subjects," said Prof Butterworth. "They are the same as males on the counting range.

"Because our results suggest that there are sex-linked differences in subitizing abilities (females are slightly better), the human genome may code for building a specific neural mechanism for subitizing."

Academic survey gives women nod as better bosses

by Bonnie Miller Rubin
Chicago Tribune
Aug 17, 2003

CHICAGO - While the debate over "who makes the better boss," men or women, has simmered for some time, both in scientific journals as well in intraoffice e-mails, the latest entry from academia gives women the higher marks, according to Alice Eagly, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, and two colleagues.

The researchers scrutinized 45 other studies conducted between 1985 and 2002 that zeroed in on whether the sexes manage differently and, if so, who gets better results.

The verdict? Females are more likely to serve as role models, mentor subordinates and encourage creativity than their male counterparts, according to the study, published in the current Psychological Bulletin.

"Women came out quite well," explained Eagly, adding that this is the first time such a comprehensive study has been undertaken. "It's more than merely being collaborative. It's everything."

The findings prompt the question: Why aren't women breaking into the upper tier of corporate America?

"The evidence suggests that women should be rising at least as fast as men , if not faster, and that's just not happening." Indeed, 30 years after women started moving into the workforce in record numbers, the number who have climbed the ladder is barely measurable. Only 6 percent of the Fortune 500's top jobs, those of senior vice president and above, are held by women.

Some believe that dissecting the differences between men and women is divisive and ultimately not very instructive.

"Aren't we a little beyond this?" asked an annoyed Janelle Taylor, an administrative assistant for a Chicago brokerage firm. "Wretched bosses can be found in both sexes."

But the researchers found the differences undeniable, said Eagly, whose co-investigators included Mary C. Johannesen-Schmidt and Marloes L. van Engen of Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Specifically, female executives were more likely to be "transformational" leaders, defined as those who mentor, inspire and foster innovation and teamwork, which are the kind of skills that have been shown to strengthen contemporary organizations.

In contrast, men were found to be more "transactional," appealing to subordinates' self-interest and using reward and punishment as incentives.

The researchers also looked at a third category, called laissez-faire style, which is managing by not managing and is another category dominated by men.

Of course, dumping on the boss is a time-honored tradition. And painting with such a broad brush can be patently unfair. But many men didn't dispute the findings.

"You needed a study to tell you that?" scoffed Larry Suffredin, a lawyer and Cook County commissioner for the 13th District. In his previous life as a lobbyist for the Chicago Bar Association, he discovered that his gender had trouble "playing nice."

The most-frequent complaints about men?

Taking credit for the work of subordinates and interpersonal skills that left underlings quivering like tuning forks.

British women overtake men on millionaires' row

by Robert Winnett and Rachel Dobson
7 September 2003
The Sunday Times - Britain

JULIE HESTER, a 41-year-old from Huddersfield, typifies the new breed of wealthy female who has helped to tip the balance of millionaires in favour of women.

Six years ago Hester was a housewife and former policewoman who decided to set up the Property Search Group, a company that checks houses for potential buyers. She now controls 600 staff working in franchised offices throughout the country and is poised to enter The Sunday Times's annual Rich List of the country's wealthiest citizens.

"The hardest thing is juggling everything, the business and my four children," said Hester. "But I have never come up against discrimination since I started the business in 1997. Being a woman has not been an issue professionally."

A report to be published this week by Datamonitor, the respected research firm, will reveal that there are now 299,300 very wealthy women in Britain compared with 271,700 men.

The number of female millionaires in Britain has been rising steadily for many years on the back of social trends, most notably equal treatment for sons and daughters in inheritance and the rapidly climbing divorce rate.

Now, the report's authors say, there has been a surge as a new generation of women, the first to have had an education genuinely equal to men's, have started to prosper in their own right. It is this group, the "sex and the city brigade" who have made their own millions, that has tipped the numbers in favour of women for the first time.

Other new wealthy female tribes identified include the "boomers" who have inherited their husband's wealth and the "Sarahs" (Single And Rich And Happy) who have made their money in the divorce courts.

Over the past few decades girls have consistently beaten their male counterparts at school and university and now women are making serious headway in the workplace.

Philip Beresford, who compiles The Sunday Times Rich List of the country's 1,000 wealthiest people  which names 79 women and hundreds of families where the wealth is shared  said: "More and more successful companies are being run by women and there is evidence that they are more successful entrepreneurs.

"Women have always been more prudent as investors, which has been the right strategy since 2000 because of the collapse in the stock market."

There are now more women than men training to be accountants and lawyers, while City "superwomen" such as Robin Saunders of WestLB bank and Katherine Garrett-Cox of Aberdeen Asset Management are becoming commonplace.

A new generation of female film stars, singers and sports stars has emerged to earn more than their male counterparts. Julia Roberts reportedly earned twice as much as her male co-stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt for the recent Hollywood blockbuster Ocean's Eleven.

Beresford recently forecast 20 people who would be prominent members of the 2020 Rich List. Almost half were women, including the 18-year-old actress Keira Knightley, star of Pirates of the Caribbean, who is predicted to amass a £50m fortune.

Fifteen years ago Rachel Elnaugh, 38, founded Red Letter Days, a company that sells "experiences" such as flying lessons or grand prix racing. Its products are now sold in department stores, earning Elnaugh two homes, a six-figure salary and a multi-million-pound nest egg.

"People tend to underestimate women and don't think that you are a force to be reckoned with," said Elnaugh, who has three children and is about to marry for the second time. "Women set up on their own because glass ceilings exist in big corporate organisations where the existing hierarchy is usually male. "

Yet successful self-made female millionaires are still in the minority. Just one in four of the country's company directors is a woman and a disproportionate number are employed in small firms and charities. Just one of the 100 biggest companies is headed by a woman  Marjorie Scardino at Pearson  and almost 40% have no female directors.

More typical are women such as Lily Safra, Josie Rowland and Janet de Botton who have inherited their wealth. The reality is that the reason there are more female than male millionaires is largely due not to their skills or education but because of inheritance.

Family money is no longer passed solely to the eldest son, as was the tradition for many families, but is split between siblings regardless of gender.Women's longevity is also an important factor. Oliver Guirdham, a wealth analyst at Datamonitor who compiled the report, said: "The majority of wealthy people are over 65 and females make up a large proportion of this group."

This trend is likely to accelerate over the coming decade as the post-war baby boom generation enters retirement. On average, women from this generation will be widowed at 67 and after they inherit their husbands' assets they will live for many more years.

Economists predict this will cause the largest transfer of wealth in history. Changes to the tax laws made in the early 1990s have jump-started this process. Mike Warburton, an accountant at Grant Thornton, said: "Since 1991 it has become tax-efficient for husbands to pass their assets to their wives. This money now legally belongs to the women and men would have to fight for it back in the divorce courts. My wife is certainly worth more than I am."

Financial companies, which buy Datamonitor's research and use it to tailor their services to attract the nation's wealthiest citizens, are waking up to the new trend. Close Wealth Management, an arm of the investment bank Close Brothers, has set up a special division called Solo, which caters purely for wealthy divorced or widowed women. Citigroup offers Women & Co, which takes on only wealthy female clients. Martin Smith, managing director of Close Wealth Management, said: "We identified this trend early on and it has proved a very popular service. There are a great number of women coming into considerable wealth."

David Gregory, head of entrepreneur clients at Coutts, the private bank, said: "We are seeing a sharp increase in the number of female clients banking with our team who specialise in looking after divorcees. But we are also seeing more female entrepreneurs than ever before running successful businesses."

However, some experts believe the current and next generation of women will be less driven by financial reward and are also more likely to remain independent rather than to live off their husband's wealth. Women of the so-called "generation X" are likely to be more interested in their quality of life  characterised by the emergence of "ladettes" who party hard  than to worry about the size of their bank balance.

Typical of the emerging ethos is Julie Pankhurst, 34, who founded the website Friends Reunited with her husband, Steve. She has now decided to take extended maternity leave to look after her two daughters.

"After my first daughter was born and Friends Reunited took over our lives, I thought the only sleepless nights I wanted in the future would be due to my daughter," she said.

"I am now a full-time mum, but I have never felt threatened being a woman."

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