A while back I wrote about the necessity of homeschoolers to “police our own” when it comes to some of the patriocentric teachings that are making their way through homeschooling groups around the country. The main point I made was that if we do not, someone will do it for us and we won’t like what we get. In that post, I mentioned a research paper that has addressed the disparity between home education for girls and boys that is being promoted in some circles and offered to send copy of that study to anyone who requested it, which I did. Last week I received an updated copy of that paper and I am including an alarming section of this paper today. Please note the footnotes at the bottom of the page and who is mentioned as contributing to what this professor believes is an unconstitutional practice in some homeschooling families. Perhaps this will better explain why I have given so much space to this topic on this blog. I honestly believe that these patriocentric teachings have not only wrecked havoc on families and individuals but it is in the process of threatening the freedoms homeschoolers currently enjoy.
CONSTITUTIONAL CONSTRAINTS ON SEXIST EDUCATION
(excerpt from a research paper by Kimberfly Yuracko at the Northwestern University School of Law.)
Given that states have a constitutional obligation to ensure that homeschoolers receive a basic minimum level of education, the next question becomes whether the federal Equal Protection
Clause entitles at least some children to something more than this basic minimum. A review of popular Christian homeschooling curricula, books and websites reveals an ideology of female
subservience and rigid gender role differentiation. Prominent homeschool curricula, for example, emphasize that girls should be subordinant to their fathers and later their husbands.
Vision Forum Ministries, a group founded by a leading homeschool advocate and influential among Christian homeschoolers, posts articles on its website asserting that women belong exclusively in the private domestic sphere. Several articles assert that women should not work outside the home, with one contending that “God does not allow women to vote.” Not surprisingly, this ideology of constraint also has something to say about girls’ education. In So Much More, for example, a book written by two homeschooled sisters and currently popular in the Christian homeschool community, the authors argued that college is dangerous for young women because it diverts them from their God ordained role as helpmeets for their fathers and husbands. Under existing laws, it is impossible to know how often and to what extent such beliefs lead to significantly inferior substantive educations for homeschooled girls.166 Yet this Part contends that the Equal Protection Clause imposes limits on the degree of sexist homeschooling that states may permit, entitling some girls—those in households where boys receive far more extensive instruction—to a level of education above the basic minimum.
The Equal Protection Clause prohibits states from discriminating against protected group
members in the delivery of goods, services, benefits, and privileges. The clause is importantly
distinct from the substantive Due Process and Privileges or Immunities Clauses discussed in Part
I. While the latter two clauses guarantee fundamental rights to all individuals, the Equal
Protection Clause guarantees equal treatment across protected groups with respect to both
fundamental rights and trivial interests. As a result, the Equal Protection Clause effectively
guarantees individuals a constitutional right to goods and services to which they would not
otherwise have a right.
162 The President of Vision Forum Ministries, Doug Phillips, formerly worked for the Home
School Legal Defense Association and served as Director of the National Center for Home
Education. He also speaks regularly at homeschool conferences around the country.
See Vision Forum Ministries, About the President,
163 See Melissa Keen, Called to the Home—Called to Rule, Vision Forum Ministries, June
(last visited Sept. 13, 2007) (“God did not intend for His women to pursue careers outside the home”);
Vision Forum Ministries Editorial Note, The Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy,
http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/family/biblical_patriarchy.aspx (last visited Sept. 13,
2007) (“While unmarried women may have more flexibility in applying the principle that women
were created for a domestic calling, it is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work
alongside men as their functional equals in public spheres of dominion.”).
164 See Brian M. Abshire, Biblical Patriarchy and the Doctrine of Federal Representation,
Vision Forum Ministries, July 15, 2005,
visited Sept. 13, 2007).
165 See Anna Sofia Botkin & Elizabeth Botkin, SO MUCH MORE: THE REMARKABLE
INFLUENCE OF VISIONARY DAUGHTERS ON THE KINGDOM OF GOD 136-137 (2005) (“For young women, college campuses have become dangerous places of ongoing anxiety, wasted years, mental defilement and moral derangement. . . . Today’s college experience can lead young women away from real knowledge and blessing and into estrangement from both their heavenly Father and earthly fathers.”); see also the Botkins’s website, www.visionarydaughters.com;
see also Stacy McDonald, RAISING MAIDENS OF VIRTUE: A STUDY OF FEMININE LOVELINESS FOR MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS (2005). McDonald explained that a girl’s education “should be focused on assisting her future husband as his valuable helpmate, not on becoming her ‘own person.’” Id. at 55. She counseled girls to “[r]emember that a strong desire to be a doctor or a seemingly God-given talent in math is not an indication of God’s will for you to have a career in medicine or engineering. Sometimes God gives us talents and strengths for the specific purpose of helping our future husbands in their calling.”
Id. at 56. Kevin Swanson, Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado, has argued in his daily radio broadcast that women who focus on education and career will end up having multiple abortions and will be lonely and purposeless in their lives. See Kevin Swanson, Raising Visionary Daughters—An Interview with the Botkin Sisters (June 19, 2007), available at www.kevinswanson.com. Ideas about the inappropriateness of higher education for girls have clearly taken hold among some segment of the Christian homeschooling community.
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