The Disparity of Gender in Choir

Why are there more girls than boys in choir? What drew students into choir? Why isn’t it drawing in a more equal number?

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The Disparity of Gender in Choir

Tetrin Presnell, Reporter

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At Scappoose there is a fairly even number of boys and girls in choir. Interestingly, there are still more girls participating with a total of 39 girls to 22 boys. Other schools have an even larger gap between numbers of girls and boys. But why is this gender gap so prevalent?

Austin Leavy, a Junior in choir, answers, “ I feel it’s a lack of self confidence and also just being with a bunch of girls that could overpower you from a musical standpoint.”

Izabella McLaughlin, a Freshman choir member, takes a similar standpoint, “Guys don’t wanna step up to the role. They don’t want to be stereotyped.”

By these accounts, it seems that students view singing as unmasculine and female-dominated, thus making it more intimidating for the average or self-conscious guy to try out for choir. Interestingly enough, history has said the exact opposite and it is only in the last few decades that women and girls have been more often in choirs than boys. Women in choirs, as well as co-ed, did not become more common until post-2000.

Ms. Moorman, the choir director, has seen a good number of both guys and girls and doesn’t view it as distinctly gendered, “There’s more of a positive acceptance. We have someone who plays football, we have people who do track. There’s a lot of crossover between athletics and choir.”

This crossover of extracurriculars is also something that has only become more common in the last decade. Before there were distinct groups that did not intersect, which can still be seen today to a lesser degree. In Scappoose we see a more diverse blend of groups. There are people who do track and band. Or drama kids who also write for the school newspaper. There are still lines in between these groups of people and they are slowly but surely blending, until our community becomes more united.

St. Helens’ choir director, Eric Sterns, has had a different experience, with a whopping 4 to 1 ratio of girls to boys, a total of 141 students. Sterns said, “When we’re kids, boys are encouraged to go outside and play with a ball. Girls would play games with singing.”

It seems gender roles and stigma have a large part to play in this divide. Scappoose does a good job of  encouraging everyone to participate. People are for the most part seen as equal, no matter their appearance or identity. What would it take to have a completely equal set of extracurriculars, devoid of stereotypes and assumptions?