Is Northwood going Boy Crazy?

If you’re a returning student, you’ve probably noticed that something seems off about the student body this year. Northwood is now mostly boys, even more so than usual. Many girls report being one of one or two girls in a class, and some boys have classes with no girls.

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Mr. Woo’s B-period math class has no girls. (Photo: Morgan Broderick ’19)

Originally a school for boys, Northwood first accepted girls, temporarily, during World War II, due to a drop in enrollment. In 1971, the school officially went co-ed. There has always been an imbalance of girls and boys at Northwood, but the ratio hasn’t been severely off in years. Girls are just 27% of the student body (53 girls and 140 boys), and the imbalance doesn’t go unnoticed, especially by the girls.

Girls and boys throughout the school have complained about the boy-girl ratio, with both the boys and girls complaining about different reasons. The common complaint from girls is that there are fewer girls to connect with, while the complaint from boys is that there are fewer “options” for romance.

Senior Joanna Rosenbluth said, “I think it’s gotten worse this year, which makes it harder on the girls because we feel more pressure.”

Rosenbluth is not wrong. Boys significantly outnumber girls in all fields. Not only does a girls’ soccer team to match the boys’ squad not exist, but the girls’ hockey team is smaller than either of the boys’ teams in hockey and soccer. The only area where the ratio is similar is the ski team.

“I don’t like it. I think it’s super uneven, favoring the boys rather than the girls,” said Braelyn Tebo ‘20. “There’s always been more than one boys’ hockey team, and for the time that I’ve been at Northwood, there’s only been one girls’ team,” she added.

While the girls are worried about the pressure and the lack of girls to connect with, most of the boys have other concerns. Martin McDonough ‘20 said, “We all like to have relationships with a girl and the odds of that are now worse.”

At the end of the day, however, this gender imbalance could also prove to be beneficial for girls. Rosenbluth said, “I think it may put us at an advantage because it shows us how to be strong and enforce our presence in front of a lot of boys, especially if we go into a male-dominated field.”

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