In general, there is usually very little difference in levels of misbehaviour between girls and boys. The figures do get skewed a bit however because a blind eye is more likely to be turned to girls' misbehaviour. For example, at a local school, girls can be seen lighting up cigarettes as they leave the building and smoking, often in clear view of teachers as they walk towards the gate. What I found strange was that boys didn't. They wait until they are well away from the school before lighting up and they aren't quite so blatant about it. I mentioned this to a couple of VIth formers I was chatting to at a Blood Donor session and was told that boys get a detention if they're caught smoking but nothing is said to the girls. If, as some do, we measure offences by the number of punishments handed out, it would appear that only boys smoke when, in fact, the majority of smokers are girls.
The school suffers a considerable amount of vandalism, much of which being caused by boys who resent being treated unfairly. Many of the girls are virtually out of control because they know they're untouchable.
It's a great pity because it could be a good school. There are a lot of well behaved children there who are being held back by by the repercussions of unfair policies.
I've seen several contradictory claims regarding relative effectiveness of CP on boys and girls. I attended a very egalitarian school where CP seemed to be equally effective of both sexes. Judging by the number of time I got the cane and slipper, it might not appear to have been very effective with me but it was a lot more effective than anything else would have been. Do you think I would have made any effort to avoid being caught if the penalty were a "telling off"?
Your observations show that CP, or the threat thereof, seems to be more effective with girls. I don't dispute that, they just doesn't concur with mine.
On another forum, the Headmistress of a private girls' school in Australia has said the girls are more inclined to push the boundaries - even though the cane is used there. She also says the girls are more likely to argue the toss even when they're caught bang to rights.
On the same forum, a former deputy Headmaster of a boys' school (the brother school of the girls' school) claims that the cane is unlikely to be effective on girls so should only be used if all other methods fail. The interesting thing is, he also says that the cane is less effective if it's only used as a last resort.
That's makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The slipper and, rarely, the ruler were the usual classroom punishments at my school too but were, almost invariably, administered in front of the class. There was no ceremony - just out to the front, bend over, wait while the slipper was whacked across your bum (usually two or three times) and return to your desk. It wasn't severe or even particularly painful but it was remarkably effective at restoring order in class.
Lines and detentions were very rare and, on the few occasions I got either, I just didn't bother doing them and had the slipper instead. I disapprove of punishments like lines, essays or detentions because they confuse punishment with ordinary school work. What child will make an effort to write an essay (as part of his or her course work) is he or she sees it as an unjust punishment?
Some very interesting information there. Regarding the smoking outside your local school, that seems like a disgraceful double-standard being applied as, if the punishment is a detention, they can hardly claim that it should not be applied equally to both sexes!
I agree that at a certain level, there is little difference in levels of misbehaviour between boys and girls, where I suspect that we boys edged it was in the low level offences, the stupid pranks, tom-foolery and generally showing off, possibly because we did not mature as quickly as the girls. There were certainly as many girls smoking in my class as boys and, I would venture that the girls were probably more likely to play truant than the boys.
I am uncertain about the rules for application of CP to girls at my school. I know that female teachers would discipline both boys and girls but I suspect that male teachers were not permitted to punish the girls. I think they had to send the girl either to the deputy headmistress or to the head of PE to be punished. This would certainly tie in with my recollection of them being punished less frequently as I suspect that a teacher would be more likely to impose a detention, lines etc than send a pupil to be punished by someone else (unless of course the offence was more serious).
A lot of supposition in there on my part but it kind of makes sense to me.
Fascinating observations from the Australian schools. I think that the comment about the girls being more likely to argue the toss is valid in many situations in all walks of life. We males can be too accepting of matters for our own good at times. I have come across the comment that the cane is less effective as a last resort before and am inclined to agree. Suspension then expulsion should be the last resort. The cane needs to be used to be seen to be effective. There will be those who see it's effect on others and it serves as an effective deterrent to them and they never experience it. There are those who experience it once and ensure that they never receive it again and there are those who experience it many times but they are relatively few in number and, were it not for the application of the cane their behaviour would likely be a lot, lot worse.
I don't know about you but I had great respect for the teachers who disciplined me at school. Even the headmaster who caned me after my final exam when he could have let me off
Those that did not and instead were happy to send us to the headmaster for seemingly trivial matters I never had the same respect for. That they were prepared to let someone else punish us in a manner they were not willing to do themselves always struck me as unreasonable. Fair enough if the offence merited it, but not for talking in class, chewing gum and the like. I'd be interested to know if you felt that way towards your teachers.
In respect of being punished in front of the class, thinking back to my infant and junior school days, I think we probably were called out to the front of the class, but that was usually just a smacked bottom or a ruler across the back of the legs and at an age when embarrassment wasn't a factor. I think I would have been mortified by it had it happened at secondary school, but, if it's the system that you are exposed to I guess it just becomes the norm.
Actually, scratch that, as there were times in PE when all the boys in the class got the slipper in the gym, but even that had the benefit of not being just yourself in front of everybody. On a similar thought, I did not mind half as much when there was a group of us up before the headmaster as those occasions when there alone when he had his full attention directed at you and you alone
Like yourself I would rarely complete lines or attend detention, unless it was a teacher who would send me for the cane rather than punish me themself - part of the reason I didn't like them I guess. Our headmaster could sometimes be quite creative with his punishments. There was one occasion when the school was building some rooms for the house masters at the back of the school stage - only wooden frames with plaster board. A group of us were in trouble that week and were offered the option of 3 of the best or to come in and work for three hours on Saturday morning helping build and decorate the rooms, thereby putting into practice some of the skills learned in woodwork and gaining skills that we might not otherwise have been exposed to. I was surprised by how many of the elected to come in on the Saturday, maybe they were more practically minded than me.
Would you be prepared to share the url for the Australian school forum you reference, sounds like there may be some interesting discussion there?