Oxford University, apparently more concerned about joining the crusade for “social justice” than in keeping their immaculate reputation for academic excellence intact, is planning to change its final exam policies next year to make sure female students get better history scores.
The History faculty at the university gives five final exams at the end of each semester. In 2018, they will make one of these tests a take-home paper because a new study showed that men are more likely to obtain a first class degree in history than women. Only 32% of women will go on to get a first class history degree, while 37% of men will do it, according to the study.
The UK Telegraph quotes from an Oxford document that delved into the gender gap that exists in the university’s history program. “This course in particular showed one of the largest gender gaps in results between women and men,” said the document. “As women and men perform more equally in submitted work, it was proposed that a take-out exam with questions similar to that in a timed exam should be implemented.”
In other words, the assumption is that women cannot perform under the pressure of a classroom environment, while men can take the heat? Well, isn’t that part of why we give final exams in the first place? What’s to stop students from simply opening up their books and using the information available to them through Google? If you go the extra step and just reduce the difficult of the exams enough, you can get first-graders through to a history degree. But what will it prove?
“I think it is extremely well intentioned and I applaud them for taking the matter seriously. But it is so insulting,” historian Amanda Foreman told the Telegraph. “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. Women are not the weaker sex.”
“Insulting.” That’s a great word for it. And it’s the same word that can be applied to any affirmative action-type program whose goal it is to even out the results between races and genders. It’s a tacit admission that one “group” cannot live up to the standards as they are…so we have no choice but to lower the standards. Ah, but you DO have a choice. You can leave the standards as they are and simply not worry so much about equality of outcome.
But that’s a racist, sexist thing to say in 2017, so we suppose we’ll just keep our mouths shut and watch the world burn.