"What researchers found should track closely with memories of your second-grade self. Those are the years in which children learn how to participate in group discussions. The teacher explains that to maintain an orderly conversation and allow everyone to speak, students should raise their hands when they have something to say and wait to be called on. Simple enough. But what happens next? Usually, the teacher poses a question to kick off the discussion, and several children raise their hands with answers. As the conversation continues, one or more of the boys, either overly enthusiastic about his point or merely impatient, calls out his comment without waiting to be chosen by the teacher. She might stop him and remind everyone of the rule—raise your hand and wait to be called first—but often she just lets him go ahead. It is less disruptive, after all, than letting him jump up and down, waving his hand, and yelling, “Oooh, ooh, me!” But if a girl bursts out with a thought, the teacher's response changes. The Sadkers report that teachers almost always chastise girls who violate the rules. After all, teachers rely on girls—their “good students”—to remain quiet and maintain order in the classroom while teachers focus on the boys, keeping them in line by drawing them into discussions. And so, as the conversation races around them, girls sit, waiting to be called on, first holding up their tired arms with the other, then lowering them, and finally not bothering to raise their hands at all."
~~~A Sullivan, Washington Monthly April 2005