Boys vs Girls State: What's the Difference?

By Lydia Chotrow and Katherine Moore

What is the difference between Boys and Girls State? The truth is: not much. We’ve all wondered about our friendly neighbors next door, but we think it’s finally time to figure out just what the difference is between our very own state and boys’. In a revealing interview with three Boys State delegates, Andrew Meeks, Adam Jensen, and Anderson Guevera, we got a small but important look into the happenings at Boys State.

From what the boys say, there is very little difference between Boys and Girls State. Just like us, the boys have a full schedule with little free time, schools of instruction, and even a lack of trash cans. The differences are few but still prominent in our eyes. Unlike Girls State, they have a point system for their cities, an hour of athletics, and optional formal dress.

Mr. Meeks briefed us on the Boys State schedule, and to many girls’ surprise, it is not much different from the Girls State schedule. Many young women complained of the boys’ excessive amount of downtime, however, Mr. Guevera informed us, “We don’t have all that much downtime.” Mr. Meeks jumped in, “It’s basically just one thing right after another.” Just like Girls State, Boys State tackles long days filled with meetings, scheduled events, and planning time.

That being said, they do have athletic time. Several female delegates believe this to be unfair, but there's more to the story. Young men who choose not to participate in one of the eight athletic events face the consequence of being docked points for their city. Mr. Meeks speaks on the amount of time the boys have to participate in these events: “It varies. I think

yesterday’s was about an hour and ten and today’s is going to be about fifty minutes.”

Something we were a little surprised about was that Boys State has a points system. Each boy can win or lose points for their city. At the end of the week, the Boys State delegates will find out who won the most points and therefore Model City. Mr. Guevera reports, “...competing against cities and whoever gets the most, they take that into account for Model city at the end of the week.” This is very different from Girls State where we compete for Model City by cheering our loudest and decorating our best. Whether or not you see this as a better way to award Model City or a strict rule that we shouldn’t implement, it’s no question that it’s very different from us here at Girls State.

Like most girls have heard, it's true that the boys have the option to dress up for dinner or assemblies. They are told to bring formal clothes for inauguration, just like Girls State, but at no other point in the week are they required to dress up. If there is a predominant difference between the two States, this may be it.

Although many girls believe Boys State offers unfair events and treatment to the boy delegates, Mr. Meek disagrees. After hearing that our schedules are almost exactly the same he said, “I think it’s pretty fair.” Through all the rumors and word of mouth going around, it may be important to take a step back and look at the big picture. Realize that we're not that different and take time to get to know our counterparts just a little better.


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