Ideals of Gender Equality in Education with Gregory Bynum, Thurs. February 28, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. For Faculty, Staff & Students

What is the most powerful envisioning possible of an education that supports the full development of the human personality for all people equally, regardless of gender?  And what explorations of the sources of gender bias can best help us understand why we have not yet achieved gender equality in education?  This talk and discussion will address these questions.  Please bring or send students!

Date:  Thursday, February 28

Time:  3:30 – 4:45 p.m.

Location:  Honors Center, College Hall 111

There exists no robust evidence that someone’s gender brings with it innate, intellectual superiority or inferiority in areas such as math proficiency as measured by standardized tests. (Differences that do occur may plausibly be attributed to environmental influences.)

However, the idea of an innate, gendered intellectual hierarchy continues to interest not only participants in political culture, but also respected scholars in education and psychology.


The lack of a rational foundation for widespread belief in nonexistent, gendered intellectual hierarchy invites the questions:  What might be the emotional experience behind people’s desire for such hierarchy?  And how might understanding this experience help educators better see how to advance ideals of, and justified aspirations to, gender equality in education?

This talk and discussion will explore responses to these questions that were proposed by philosophical anthropologist and psychoanalytic ecofeminist Dorothy Dinnerstein. Dinnerstein examined possible sources of gender bias in early childhood experience; and she suggested that sharing childcare equitably among people of all genders, instead of giving women the lion’s share of childcare, could be an important step towards ending gender bias.

If you have the time, energy, and inclination to come, it would be good to see you there!

Greg Bynum