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Haylee Self

November 17, 2015


Article Critique

W. Smith
Educ 1301

The Myth of Pink and Blue Brains


Lise Eliot, 2011

Lise Eliot in her article The Myth of Pink and Blue Brains discusses the
differences in a childs brain based on gender. She uses several sources to build her
article for reasons a childs brain differs because of gender. While there are gender
gaps, you cannot predetermine a childs success or failures based on gender. When
you cap a child based not only on gender, but any reason you hold that child back as
an educator. You must give a child room to grow and discover their own intellectual
abilities. Eliot covers many of the same thoughts I have in her article.
Society places gender gaps with such testing as the National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP) or the Program for International Student Assessment
(PISA). Such testing states that girls outscore the boys in reading, but boys outscore the
girls in math in these assessments. Which seems accurate because it has been
assessed by the Department of Education; however these statistics vary among several
factors. The factors, as pointed out by Eliot, vary considerably among age, ethnicity, and
nationality. You stereo type children when you make such assumptions about their
intellectual ability based on their gender. I am horrible in language arts and reading, but
have always done well in the math and sciences. Some might call this an exception to
the average, but how many exceptions does it take before the average is no longer
accurate? Eliot explains her view of gender gaps in her statement, When it comes to

gender gaps, boys and girls start out a little bit different, but these differences become
rapidly magnified by a culture that sees themand encourages them to see themselves
as fundamentally different creatures. (Eliot, 2011)
Each student is different because of their own unique personality and character
traits that make up the person they are. Studies that say because you are a certain way
it is because of such reason, or because of such reason you should be this way. As an
educator it is your responsibility to nurture each childs intellectual abilities whether it be
4 grade levels under or 4 grade levels over their current grade. Children are not
programmed to be a certain way because of their gender, race, etc.
Society plays a huge roll in these gender based stereotypes such as girls and
boys have their own sets of toys, and they cannot be mixed. parents discourage
gender-inappropriate play, especially in terms of boys showing too much interest in
sisters Barbie collection. (Lytton & Romney, 1991) Boys are stereotyped for being the
more adventurous of the two genders, and girls like to play house. Where is the grey
area for these black and white statements?
Eliot overall covers all of the flaws in the research that has been done. Opposing
the fact that because of a persons gender they are predetermined to be a certain way,
and have a set intellectual ability. Regardless of race, nationality, or sex a person is
limitless on their personal capabilities. With educators we should not place children into
boxes based on their physical attributes, because that in the end does not define what
they are capable of doing or being.