The New
Gender Gap

 

How the Educational System Bombs Out for Boys
Mysterious Decline -Where Are the Men on Campus?
The Great Lie
Men, Women and Work
In this 6th grade, boys can't talk to girls
Men's life expectancy described as a 'crisis'
Important Books

The following is not about blaming feminists for the outcome described in the various articles below (except those who knew that they were creating a "noble lie*" and the myth that resulted - that school shortchange girls). It is about holding the educational system and government responsible from here on out with the equality of quality education of girls and boys, now that we know that it is a myth.

 

How the Educational System Bombs Out for Boys

The main focus of a cover story in the May 26, 2003 issues of Business Week looked at "Why are boys falling behind girls in education - and what it means for the economy, business and society?"

In the May, 2003 issue of Men's Health magazine, there was a story called "Stiff Competition" which compared the status of women and men today.   It concurred that "in the battle of the sexes, women always seem to have the unfair edge." And, in many cases, these advantages are guaranteed by law - using discrimination to supposedly end discrimination. How quaint.

We reviewed this research in 2,000, which seemed to be pretty much discounted. The fact that mainstream media is just learning what many of us have known for years, is hopeful. In their 1998 publication "The Myth That Schools Shortchange Girls: Social science in the service of deception," the Women's Freedom Network exposed this situation. Copies available by calling 907.474.5266

With all of this information at hand, what are you going to do about it? What can you do? Get copies of the publications and read them for yourself. Then


IMPORTANT BOOKS FOR FURTHER READING

Click on covers for more specific information.

How the Educational System Bombs Out for Boys


The new gender gap - from kindergarten to grad school, boys are becoming the second sex. In the past 30 years, nearly every inch of education progress has gone to girls. Boys are missing from nearly every leadership position, academic honors slot, and student' activity post. At one exclusive private day school in the Midwest, administrators have even gone so far as to mandate that all awards and student' government position be divvied equally between the sexes. It's that boys themselves are falling behind their own functioning and doing worse than they did before.

From his first days in school, an average boy is already developmentally two years behind the girls in reading and writing. Yet he's often expected to learn the same things in the same way in the same amount of time. While every nerve in his body tells him to run, he has to sit still and listen for almost eight hours a day. Biologically, he needs about four recesses a day, but he's lucky if he gets one, since some lawsuit-leery schools have banned them altogether. Bug a girl, and he could be labeled a "toucher" and swiftly suspended - a result of what some say is an increasingly anti-boy culture that pathologizxes their behavior.

If he falls behind, he's apt to be shipped off to special ed, where he'll find that more than 70% of his classmates are also boys. Squirm, clown, or interrupt, and he is four times as likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That often leads to being forced to take Ritalin or risk being expelled, sent to special ed, or having parents accused of negligence. One study of public schools in Fairfax County, VA found that more than 20% of upper-middle-class white boys were taking Ritalin-like drugs by fifth grade.

And, boys are 30% more likely to drop out, 85% more likely to commit murder, and four to six times more likely to kill themselves, with boy suicides tripling since 1970.

Conversely, British educators have waged successful classroom programs to ameliorate "laddism" (boys turning off to school) by focusing on teaching techniques that reengage them. But in the U.S., boys fall from alpha to omega status doesn't even have a name, let alone the public's attention.

Among African-Americans, 30% of 40- to 44-year-old women have never married, owing in part to the lack of men with the same academic credentials and earning potential. Currently, the never-married rate is 9% for white women of the same age. Women are going to pull further and further ahead of men, and at some point, when they want to form families, they are going to look around and say, "Where are the guys?"

Corporations should worry, too. During the boom, the most acute labor shortages occurred among educated workers. A problem companies often solved by hiring immigrants. When the economy reenergizes, a skills shortage in the U.S could undermine employers' productivity and growth.

Better-educated men are also, on average, a much happier lot. They are more likely to marry, stick by their children, and pay more in taxes. For the ages of 18 to 65, the average male college grad earns $2.5 million over his lifetime, 90% more than his high school counterpart. That's up[ from 40% more in 1979, the peak year for U.S. manufacturing. The average college diploma holder also contributes four times more in net taxes over his career than a high school grad. Meanwhile, the typical high school dropout will usually get $40,000 more from the government than he pays in, a net drain on society.

Before educators, corporations and policy makers can narrow the new gender gap, they will have to understand its myriad causes. Everything from absentee parenting to the lack of male teachers to corporate takeovers of lunch rooms with sugar-and-fat-filled food, which can make kids hyperactive and distractible, plays a role.

Schools have inadvertently played a big role losing sight of boys - taking for granted that they were doing well even through data shows the opposite. Some boy champions go so far as to contend that schools have become boy-bashing laboratories. Christina Hoff Sommers says the American Association of University Women report, coupled with zero-tolerance sexual harassment laws, have hijacked schools by overly feminizing classrooms and attempting to engineer androgyny. And, according to Lilian G. Katz, the earliest push, in which schools are pressured to show kids achieving the same standards by the same age or risk losing funding, is also far more damaging to boys. Even the nerves of boys' fingers develop later than girls', making it difficult to hold a pencil and push out perfect cursives. These developmental differences often unfairly sideline boys as slow or dumb, planting a distaste for school as early as the first grade. "Instead of catering to boys' learning styles, many schools are force-fiting them into an unnatural mold. The reigning sit-still-and-listen paradigm isn't ideal for either sex. But it's one girls often tolerate better than boys. Girls have more intricate sensory capacities and biosocial aptitudes to decipher exactly what the teacher wants, whereas boys tent to be more antiauthoritarian, competitive, and risk-taking. They often don't bother with such details as writing their names in the exact place instructed by the teacher.

Experts say educators also haven't done nearly enough to keep yup with the recent findings in brain research about developmental differences. 99% of teachers are not trained in this. They were taught 20 years ago, than gender is just a social function. But, in fact, brain research over the past decade has revealed how differently boys' and girls' brains can function. Early on, boys are usually superior spatial thinkers and posses the ability to see things in three dimensions. They are often drawn to play that involves intense movement and an element of make-believe violence. Instead of straitjacketing boys by attempting to restructure this behavior out of them, it would be better to teach them how to harness this energy effectively and healthily. As it stands, the result is that too many boys are diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder or its companion, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The U.S. - mostly its boys - now consumes 80% of the world's supply of methylphenidate (the generic name for Ritalin). That use has increased 500% over the past decade, leading some to call it the new K-12 management tool. There are school districts where 20% to 25% of the boys are on the drug.

Instead of recommending medication - something four states have recently banned school administrators from doing - experts say educators should focus on helping boys feel less like misfits. Especially given that boys tend to learn best through action, not just talk. Studies have found that boys who attend kindergartens that focus on social and emotional skills - as opposed to only academic learning - perform better, across the board, by the time they reach junior high.

Indeed, brain research shows that boys are actually more empathic, expressive and emotive at birth than girls. But the boy code which bathes them in a culture of stoicism and reticence, often socializes those aptitudes out of them by the second grade. Some executives pay $10,000 a week to learn emotional intelligence which are actually the skills boys are born with.

The service sector, where women make up 60% of employees, has ballooned by 260% since the 1970s. During the same period, manufacturing, where men hold 70% of jobs, has shrunk by 14%. Even in this jobless recovery, women's wages have continued to grow, while men's earnings haven't managed to keep up with the low rate of inflation.

A new world has opened up for girls, but unless a symmetrical effort is made to help boys find their footing, it may turn out that it's a lonely place to be. After all, it takes more than one gender to have a gender revolution.

Legend:
girls
boys
Source: Michelle Conlin, Business Week, May 26, 2003.

Mysterious Decline -Where Are the Men on Campus?


The Trend is clear. Everybody wants to know where all the men have gone. The Washington Post calls their disappearance the "question that has grown too conspicuous to ignore," and USA Today notes "universities fret about how to attract males as women increasingly dominate campuses."

Females now outnumber males by a four to three ratio in American colleges, a difference of almost two million students. Men earn only 43% of all college degrees. Among blacks, two women earn bachelor's degrees for every man. Among Hispanics, only 40 percent of college graduates are male. Female high school graduates are 16% more likely to go to college than their male counterparts.
Source: Philip W. Cook and Glenn Sacks, www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2003/0429sacks.html

The Great Lie


It is time to abandon the myth of "woman as victim" and replace it with "woman as survivor and success."
Source: Wendy McElroy, www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2003/0422.html

Men, Women and Work


Who does the work of the world in a world of over six billion people -- men or women? Who does it in the United States? Source: Glenn Sacks, www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2003/0318sacks.html

In this 6th grade, boys can't talk to girls (4/30/03)


Alarmed by displays of public affection, an elementary school in southern Oregon has banned all conversation between boys and girls.
Source: www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=32326

Men's life expectancy described as a 'crisis' (04/30/03)


The average U.S. man dies almost five years before the average woman, but a medical journal says that is not biologically inevitable, calling the disparity a "silent health crisis."
Source: www.washtimes.com/national/20030430-3227656.htm




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