Thursday, 25 January 2018

Oxford University Lengthens Exam Times to Alleviate Gender Gap

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It is becoming increasingly clear that social justice warriors (SJWs) don’t actually want to achieve “equality,” as in equal access and opportunity, but lower standards to create an illusion of equality. A prime example of this is on display at Oxford University, the once prestigious school in London, where students have now been offered extra testing time during math and science exams in the hopes that it would alleviate the gender gap in which the male students are outperforming the female students.

The U.K.’s Telegraph reports that while the students have been given an extra 15 minutes to complete their papers, no changes were made to the length or difficulty of the questions. The change was proposed by the board of examiners after noting that the percentage of male students awarded first class degrees was double that of women. (This at a time when, in 2017, Oxford has offered more undergraduate slots to women than men for the first time.)

According to internal documents obtained by the Times through a public-records request, female students were the targeted beneficiaries of a change that reduces “the undue effects of time pressure.”

Rather than recognizing this as a statistical reminder of the biological differences between males and females, the board suggested that the department make changes to improve women’s grades, claiming that female students “might be more likely to be adversely affected by time pressure.”

A spokesman for the university defended the changes as “academically demanding and fair.”

This is not the first time Oxford University has justified lowering its standards to alleviate gender gaps. The Daily Mail reported last year that the university changed its final history exam to a take-home test because women tend to do better on take-home exams than men. The Times reported that officials had hoped the change would “close the gap with the number of men getting top degrees.”

SJWs refuse to recognize and acknowledge that biology plays a role in individual traits and academic abilities. Statistically, male students outperform female students in mathematic test scores. In fact, according to a 2016 report by AEI.org, high-school boys outperform girls on the SAT math test by approximately 30 points and have for more than four decades, even when the high-school girls have superior overall high-school records compared to boys.

In areas of mathematics and science, women already have some advantages. According to AEI.org, they outnumber males in AP/Honors math and science classes and are more likely than their male counterparts to take four years of math and science courses. They also get better grades on average and are more inclined to graduate in the top 10 percent of their classes, to graduate from college, and to go on to graduate schools.

And still, despite these advantages, there remains a STEM gender degree and job gap between males and females.  

ETR.org contends that these gaps can be attributed to the gender differences in spatial ability that are noted early in life. Boys tend to show preferences towards spatial systems when they are young, and some researchers believe that men are biologically more lateralized to perform spatial tasks.

And because professors cannot simply shirk science to achieve a political agenda, the science and math gender gap has not changed at Oxford, despite the move to increase test time for female students. According to the Telegraph, “The main effect of the time increase appears to have been an increase in the number of 2:1s overall, with 2:2 figures falling. Men continue to be awarded more first class degrees than women in the two subjects.”

Unfortunately, the SJWs have some convinced that any gap between races, genders, or classes must be the result of an insidious system of haves and have-nots.

Antonia Siu, a female undergraduate representative of Oxford Women in computer science, told the Telegraph she was "uneasy about schemes to favor one gender over another," but said she is "happy when people see gaps between groups of people who should not reasonably have such gaps — such as between genders, races or class — and take that as a starting point to think about the kinds of people they unintentionally are leaving behind."

Meanwhile, not everyone views Oxford’s measures as a positive step in the fight for equality, but rather a slight that rests upon the presumption that women are the weaker sex. In response to the take-home history exam, for example, historian Amanda Foreman told the Telegraph, “It is so insulting. You are saying that the girls can’t take the stress of sitting in the exam room, which does raise one’s anxiety levels. I don’t think girls are inherently weaker than boys and can’t take it.”

Still, Oxford officials state that the departments will continue to use longer exam times, at least for the foreseeable future.

 

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