A study on the experiences of black students in suburban schools has found that black boys have an easier time fitting in than black girls.
Black boys can use racial performance to seem tough, cool and athletic. Black girls are often viewed as ghetto and aggressive.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo studied the social impact of a desegregation program. Minority students were bussed to a predominantly white high school in a Boston suburb.
“minority boys, because of stereotypes about their supposed athleticism and “coolness,” fit in better than minority girls because the school gave the boys better opportunities to interact with white students. Minority boys participated in sports and non-academic activities at much higher rates. Over the course of her study, she concluded that structural factors in the school as well as racial narratives about minority males resulted in increased social rewards for the boys, while those same factors contributed to the isolation of girls in the diversity program.”
A separate study took a look at Diversify, a similar program. Northwestern University researcher Simone Ispa-Landa found that gender politics and performances impacted the way that students were viewed at school. Boys were welcomes into suburban social cliques, but girls were stereotyped as loud and ghetto.
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