Thursday, June 16, 2022

Boys falling far behind girls in HSC and at university

The feminization of education reaps its inevitable rewards. It starts in primary school with the idea that boys are inherently disgusting, obnoxious, violent, and disrespectful, and asking them to sit the heck down during class and pay attention to the teacher. It is a system where boys are punished for behaving like boys and have few if any male teacher role models

Boys are falling far behind girls in school-leaving exams and at university to the extent that a University Admissions Centre (UAC) analysis of results found that being male was “greater than any of the other recognised disadvantages we looked at”.

The centre looked at Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and first-year university grade point average data and found the gender education gap persisted across socio-economic quartiles at both senior school and university levels.

Educators said there could be many factors at play, including different maturity levels, the compulsory inclusion of English in the HSC, which tended to favour girls, the declining popularity of difficult maths and sciences, and the increase in the school-leaving age.

Jennifer Buckingham, a reading expert who has studied the gender education gap in a previous role at the Centre for Independent Studies, said all jobs, including trades, now needed workers with strong literacy and numeracy skills. “The options for boys who don’t do well at school are becoming fewer and fewer,” she said.

“The expectations of what they can achieve change, they set their sights lower, and there are economic consequences of that too.”

The UAC analysis of ATAR data over many years, but particularly from 2020, found there was gender parity at the top end of the ATAR scale, above 98, and at the bottom end, below 39, but boys were far outnumbered by girls in the middle range.

The analysis said boys were under-represented due to a “combination of boys not performing as well as girls placed at similar points in the gender ability spectrum, and, more importantly, boys choosing study patterns that do not make them eligible for an ATAR or an HSC”.

The centre’s analysis found an ATAR-aged boy was 16.3 per cent less likely to obtain an HSC qualification than a girl in the same group, and 15 per cent less likely to complete at least one subject in 2020 than girls. “The effect of being male was greater than any of the other recognised disadvantages we looked at,” the analysis found.

The gap persists into university, the UAC analysis found, with boys enrolling at lower rates, less likely to pass all their subjects, and more likely to fail everything. The issue was across socio-economic quartiles.

NSW Department of Education data also show boys are also more likely to skip school. Attendance among high school girls is more than 82 per cent, compared with less than 73 per cent for boys. Boys also represent 70 per cent of school suspensions.

Robin Nagy, the director of Academic Profiles, which examines data for the independent sector, said the gap could be partly due to NSW requiring English to count towards a fifth of a student’s HSC mark. “On average, girls would appear to benefit more from this requirement than boys, due to the archetype of girls performing better in English,” he said.

Female enrolments outnumber male ones in the harder English subjects, which scale to higher ATAR marks, and boys were over-represented in easier subjects.

Craig Petersen, the head of the Secondary Principals Council, which represents public school principals, said there had also been significant efforts over several decades to ensure girls were catered to in HSC examinations.

“In response to the research that shows girls respond better to narrative questions, we started seeing scientific or mathematical problems voiced as a story,” he said.

This so-called “feminisation” of the HSC physics and chemistry syllabuses, in particular, was wound back in the most recent revision of the syllabuses, released in 2018, which had greater focus on mathematical applications and less on sociology-based content.

Petersen said boys also matured more slowly than girls; the prefrontal cortex, which helps people understand the consequences of their actions, does not finish developing for boys until 25. “That may be the area that says, ‘I want to have a good job, therefore I need to study hard’.”

The decision to raise the school-leaving age to 17 about a decade ago also meant boys who would once have left after year 10 for a trade were now staying on, Petersen said. “[Some] fall into this malaise, they don’t really want to be there, aren’t motivated,” he said.

Melissa Abu-Gazaleh is the managing director of the Top Blokes Foundation, which advocates addressing the health and wellbeing of young men to increase their engagement in school.

She said many young men were still tied to the stereotype that they should not express vulnerability or seek help, and expressed their frustration in outbursts, which led to disciplinary action.

“This then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where the male student then has lower aspirations to be better or achieve more,” she said. Giving male students a different message about seeking help and positive role models would help, she said.

Concerned that boys needed more help, Dapto High principal Andrew FitzSimons appointed a boys’ mentor, Andrew Horsley, who works with the Top Blokes Foundation and local service providers to ensure boys get the support they need.

“For me, it’s all about developing connections,” Horsley said. “With boys, sometimes you need to spend a bit of time and effort and energy to develop those connections, and then they’ll feel safer, if they’re struggling with something.”


California Pride...?

Children in Los Angeles came across Drag Queens throwing lube while exposing bare breasts and male buttocks at the weekend’s Pride Month parade.

Sky News Australia broadcast censored footage of the event.

Australia’s equivalent parades take place at other times of the year, but many Australian governments have promoted the global festival throughout June.

For instance, the streets of inner Sydney are decked with taxpayer-funded rainbow flags, but few understand the consequences of buying into this political symbol.

Mainstream Australians support dignity and non-discrimination for same-sex attracted people so they can get on with their lives, something most want to do without fuss. But it’s quite another thing for mainstream Australians and their children to be forced to celebrate Pride Month and pay for aspects of it through their taxes.

After all, the 1970s rallying cry of the gay rights movement was ‘what happens in the privacy of the bedroom is no one else’s business’.

If only that’s where the political activists left things…

For the duration of June, global Pride Month fosters gender fluidity and radical sexual expressionism onto the rest of the population, including (and especially) children.

We’ve seen all this at Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade held in March each year. Like its LA counterpart, it’s not a family-friendly event.

Victoria’s taxpayer-funded ‘Pride Centre’ in St Kilda is also hosting events this month, including for children who must be ‘accompanied by an adult’.

Since de-gendering marriage, there’s been an aggressive push in schools to indoctrinate children into gender fluid ideology, teaching them their gender was ‘assigned at birth’, not observed, and that it can be changed.

This is having consequences here and abroad.

The number of children and young people in America now identifying as transgender, (or who are confused about their biological gender), has more than doubled since 2017.

Australian statistics from our secretive gender clinics are hard to come by, but it is widely acknowledged Australia has an unprecedented epidemic of gender-confused children.

This comes as international and Australian medical experts urge caution before putting children on the pathway to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery related to the permanent alteration of breasts and genitals.

That hasn’t stopped politicians in Queensland, Victoria, and the ACT banning children from receiving help from anyone other than a therapist who will affirm LGBTQ+ gender-fluid ideology.

New South Wales and Tasmania are about to debate similar laws banning the tried and tested ‘watch and wait’ protocols that successfully helped children (who overwhelmingly grow out of gender confusion) avoid puberty blockers, hormones, or the gender surgeon’s scalpel.

Pride Month seeks to amplify gender fluid ideology and further normalise it.

US Vice-President Kamala Harris did her bit, posing for a photo on social media with a scantily clad person who appeared to a man presenting as a woman.

Another senior American politician, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, celebrated Pride Month by making an appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race television program.

‘Your freedom of expression of yourselves in drag is what America is all about!’

This is something most parents concerned about Drag Queen Story Time events in public libraries might question.

Pelosi finished by saying, ‘God bless America!’ The rest of us mutter, God help America.

Meanwhile, still in the land of the free, the New York Post reports this week that $200,000 of taxpayer money is being spent sending LGBTQ+ drag queens into schools to indoctrinate children into gender fluid ideology, often without parents’ knowledge.

Pride Month is global and it is here. Even Woke corporates like ANZ are getting into the swing of things, folding Marxist Black Lives Matter movement imagery and LGBTQ+ flags into corporate logos.

A legitimate battle for equality before the law has been won, but LGBTQ+ political activism didn’t stop there.

Under the guise of tolerance, the movement demands affirmation, validation, and celebration for everything LGBTQ+.

Politicians and corporates kowtow. No one questions the agenda. None speak out.

So this June, when you see a rainbow flag hanging from a public lamppost in the Sydney CBD or lighting up the taxpayer-funded Pride Centre at St Kilda, remember that your child’s gender is fluid and you were a bigot to ‘assign’ his or her gender based on what the midwife observed at birth. (Or something.)

Happy Pride Month, mainstream Australia.

Perhaps it’s time to get involved in politics because politics sure is getting involved in your kids’ lives.


The Dark Ages for Australian energy

When the sun finally sets on the West, the English-speaking peoples will find out that they are as fragile and expendable as the starving third-world children used by aid organisation to pick pockets.

Modernity is held together by cheap energy, not the rainbow-padding nonsense of progressive politics that does little but catch fire on the frayed wires of civilisation, much like Rudd’s notorious pink batts.

Yesterday, millions of Australian homes on the east coast were told to switch off non-essential appliances after blackouts began and extended short-falls loomed. Energy suppliers cautioned the affluent Teal-heartland of Sydney’s Northern Beaches that they were at risk of losing power as temperatures plunged. Suggestions such as ‘consider how many rooms need to be heated’ were made, presumably targeted to the mansion-dwelling community who voted to put ‘Climate Change’ above energy security.

Green-tinged Queensland suffered a similar problem, with the situation so concerning that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) put in place a $300-per-megawatt-hour price cap.

As a result, everyone is turning to gas suppliers in a panic, demanding that gas companies ‘find gas’ and offer it at ‘low prices’ – or else? This would be after the government went out of its way to deny the gas industry in favour of their preferred ‘renewables’ mates. The gas industry is unsurprisingly reluctant to help out, considering they require $500-per-megawatt-hour to profit.

As a side note, the insists, ‘Output of oil and gas in developed nations needs to be cut by 74 per cent by 2030, with a complete phase-out by 2034.’ That is going to be tricky with renewables leaning on gas to cover the giant voids in output. Basically, if you’re still breathing, somewhat warm, and well-fed – you’re probably a burden to the climate goal.

Back in the real world, if governments and energy suppliers are begging people to turn off their toasters, it’s a good thing the Australian population ignored Labor’s demands to switch to electric vehicles or we’d be waking up to streets littered with expensive, useless cars.

The price cap has created its own problem, with the Australian Energy Regulator issuing a letter to power generators instructing them to ‘bid capacity into the market’ regardless of the cap as blackouts threaten across the country. The existence of price caps causes energy providers to withhold supply to protect revenue – which is why socialist-style intervention on market prices rarely works. The government gives ‘stuff away for free’ but businesses can’t do that or there will be nothing for tomorrow.

According to an article in The Australian, AER chair Clare Savage had this to say:

‘Recently the AER has observed that following the application of administered pricing in the NEM, generators are withdrawing available capacity from the market. This behaviour may be motivated by generators seeking to avoid the administered pricing compensation process in favour of the AEMO directions compensation process. As you know, market participants must not, by any act or omission, whether intentionally or recklessly, cause or significantly contribute to the circumstances causing a direction to be issued, without reasonable cause.’

New Energy Minister Chris Bowen has done a lot of theatrical waving of his hands, pretending that there’s ‘nothing to see here’ as the country faces an energy crisis.

‘The operator tells them there is no need to be concerned about blackouts in the immediate future,’ Bowen said, giving a speech that should never have to be made in a responsible, first-world nation. ‘Nobody should turn off any power usage that they need, that they are using for their comfort or their safety. Nobody should do that.’

When the energy grid was truly competitive, Australia had reliable, cheap, and plentiful energy. The interference of government has had disastrous consequences, with public money being tossed at ‘renewables’ to make them look more ‘profitable’ when in reality, they are propped up by taxes. Productive energy sources have been punished by severe restrictions on access, expansion, and investment. Banks have gone so far as to consider denying loans in the fossil fuel sector to keep green-themed shareholders happy.

The same people who did their best to demonise and dismantle the fossil fuel grid are now complaining about the shutdown of coal-fired plants. Well kids, this is a glimpse of the future promised by Labor, the Greens, Teals, and Liberal moderates.

There is a solution to both ‘climate woes’ and energy security in the form of nuclear energy – a technology for which Australia is uniquely placed to benefit. Labor has given a definitive ‘no’ on nuclear, almost certainly because they felt their green investment portfolio shudder in terror. The introduction of nuclear to the Australian grid erases the need for solar, wind, and battery storage – destroying profits for the ‘green economy’.

At the same time as federal Labor has been out – quite literally – begging coal-fired plants to increase their operation to stave off disaster, Western Australia Labor Premier Mark McGowan has promised to close all state-owned coal-fired plants by 2030 and gift renewables barons $4 billion in public money. He complains that the ‘glut of excess power’ produced by them is costing money – so one is left to wonder why McGowan’s idea of saving $3 billion over ten years involves spending $4 billion.

‘We’re standing at a point where to continue business as usual would lead to around $3 billion of losses by the end of the decade. Those losses either have to be covered by taxpayers or would lead to dramatically higher power bills for West Australians – while still continuing to emit higher levels of carbon emissions. Either way, it’s simply not sustainable in the long term.’

Why not just close the power stations and let the renewables sector expand on its own? Or is it not profitable without a drip attacked to the state coffers…?

No, don’t bother looking for the Liberal Party. It was former-Liberal Leader Zak Kirkup’s idea in the first place. The great news is that Western Australia doesn’t have an extension cord long enough to cross the desert, so McGowan will have nowhere to hide when it all goes horribly wrong.

All this is taking place while bored billionaires purchase coal-fired power stations for fun and shut them down unnecessarily.

The result of closing power plants is a sudden and drastic reliance on gas – of which there isn’t an infinite amount to go around. Shortages are being flagged, even if resources are expanded. Gas was meant to prop renewables up for decades, but the determination for ‘climate action right-now’ is resulting in the ridiculous culling of gas reserves which will, in turn, limit the lifespan of the renewables industry.

This is all complete madness when a few strategically placed nuclear plants could permanently solve the energy crisis with next-to-no emissions. For those who say, ‘oh nuclear is expensive!’ weren’t they telling us that ‘no expense is too much to save the world from extinction?’ We’re not told the total green price tag, but subsidies for renewables alone were set at $11.6 billion in 2021.

The answer is sitting in front of Australia, but governments, the energy industry, and mining companies have no interest in pursuing nuclear until they have dug up and sold every last dollar from other resources that are set to be devalued when the ‘Nuclear Age’ arrives.

Energy supply doesn’t care much for virtue-signalling politics or the ambitions of career politicians. It is a world of engineering absolutes, brick walls, and fail points. Reliable, stable power is essential to sustain the lives of millions of people where even short-lived blackouts pose a serious threat.

Hippy colonies can get away with a few cold nights or a failed market garden by collapsing around a campfire for a bit of weed-induced ‘Kumbaya’ followed by a sneaky trip to the local shops. When the same thing happens to a city, panic takes hold. Investors pull out. Businesses close. The elderly freeze to death.

Covid was not an emergency. Sustained blackouts and a ruined power grid is an emergency.

Any government that chooses to play politics with energy is reckless to the point of criminal. Finally (and just for fun) what happens if Australia finally gets its 100 per cent magnificent wind and solar grid backed up by battery power during the night when there’s no wind?

Uh, blackouts…


Teal zeal

A religion of many delusions

A tweet doing the rounds this week is surely satire? Apparently not. Writing from Sydney’s oceanside suburb of Manly, the spiritual and political heartland of the Teal independents, the writer says: ‘Many houses on the northern beaches were without power this morning and there will be more blackouts to come. I know it’s a bit cold but it’s a very small price to pay as we finally take real action on climate change (the words ‘climate change’ are highlighted in a suitably reverent greeny/teal colour) and ensure we never have bush fires (sic), floods or earthquakes ever again.’

And there in a nutshell (the emphasis being on the word nut) we see the monumental and frightening stupidity that an entire generation of young Australians and arguably (if the recent election is anything to go on) a majority of the population has decided to embrace.

In this brave new teal-coloured world, it is now a virtue to freeze your socks off and to go without the basics of warmth, light and energy (and food?) in order to, er, ensure that we tame nature. The religious zealotry with which the author appropriates traditional religious concepts of suffering and self-denial in order to appease the gods of nature is startling. In that one tweet, centuries of enlightened thinking, science, philosophy, physics and theology are turfed out the window.

The new religion, or Teal zeal as it should be known, is in serious denial about a number of indisputable and rather pertinent facts. Firstly, the current cold snap, which has seen record snow falls, record early snow and snow reported on beaches in south-eastern Australia, not to mention tumbling cold records from Queensland to Tasmania, is in flagrant contradiction to the climate models and predictions from the early 2000s that were themselves built sturdily on the IPCC-sponsored theory of anthropogenic global warming. Indeed, even our most prestigious scientific body joined in the hoop-la best summed up in the media reports at the turn of the century hysterically claiming that children would never again experience snow. In a mark of how idiotic those predictions were, kids pulling on their mittens and beanies to go frolicking in the freezing white stuff this weekend weren’t even born when the climate change cult was already predicting they would never know what snow was.

The refusal to deal in observable realities continues with the ludicrous pronouncement that by cutting down on energy use Australia will never again experience bushfires, floods or earthquakes. This comment is so dopey and irrational but, alas, is something that many a passionate climate academic or eco-warrior today genuinely believes – frequently suggesting that even natural geological events such as tsunamis are somehow brought on by ‘climate change’). As crazy as this sounds, it is at heart nonetheless no sillier from a philosophical point of view than any of the net zero commitments embraced by all our major political parties. Put simply, do we seriously believe that by partially or even totally reversing the 3 to 4 per cent of man-made emissions that make up the earth’s atmosphere that we are suddenly going to usher in a magical world where no cyclones, hurricanes, bushfires, high tides or floods ever occur? Or are we so vain that despite any serious scientific proof we simply cross our fingers and trust that spending trillions of dollars decarbonising our industrialised world will have a blissful, harmonious and beneficial impact upon the climate patterns of our planet, returning us to some imagined Club Med-style Garden of Eden of endless blue skies and balmy breezes?

Apparently so. For nowadays pretty much every type of weather other than Noosa-blue is swiftly categorised by the media as an ‘extreme weather event’. Sadly, adults who should know better are happy to play along with this conceit, tut-tutting about how ‘it never used to be like this’, forgetting of course that weather patterns are by definition changeable. Here in Australia our history is defined by extremes of weather, and always will be.

The real tragedy facing us now is that by embracing this nonsense we have squandered our natural and God-given advantages of cheap, abundant and reliable energy. And we have traded them in for an abundance of environmental zeal and overt stupidity that will cost us dearly indeed.




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