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Dear Amy,

I am an 18-year-old girl from a small town in New York State about a half hour from New York City. At my high school during the second half of our senior year we have the opportunity to participate in either and independent study or and internship. I decided to do an independent study about sexism in American schools. I will be conducting interviews with girls from grade 3 to the high school level. The reason I am composing this email is because I would like to know of any information you could provide me with for example, some informational web pages or just some helpful hints. Anything you can do for me would be extremely helpful.

Thank you very much,




Dear Jessica,

Your project sounds great. What a great high school to encourage these types of independent projects. In general, I have seen sexism in high school come in the following forms:

  • Sports -- girls sports are treated with as much respect. But one way to overcome this is to great as great of a fan base for these teams as for the boys teams. Perhaps interview female athletes about how they fee.
  • Slut Bashing -- girls being called sluts, often by other girls, as a way of discrediting them or really bring them down. Why do we do this -- to get power over other girls?
  • Sexual Harassment -- by a teacher to a student.
  • Teachers are treated differently if they are male or female -- and what message does that send to students?
  • Body Image/Eating Disorders -- mostly happens among girls and the root of it is feeling competative with other girls.

Those are just some things that I have observed among junior high school and high school girls. As for getting in touch with girls -- I would try groups such as:

I hope that helps -- good luck and it sounds like a great project.

-- Amy

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