Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Where Are the Men?

Colleges used to have a male-female ratio of about 60-40, and suddenly, we've discovered it's close to 40-60. Men don't like this change; women don't like it; and colleges don't like it. One cause for this dramatic shift is that colleges perceive applications by women to be better than those submitted by men. But, why is it that women knock at the college admissions office with higher high-school grade-point averages, better essays, and even a bigger variety of extracurricular activities than men? Why do fewer boys show significant interest in academic achievement?

The Wall Street Journal calls this the "boy mystery" that "nobody has solved." We should respond with the famous line attributed to Sherlock Holmes, it's "elementary, my dear Watson." The causes originate back in elementary schools, which are ruled by females and dominated by feminists who make school unpleasant for boys from the get-go. Only 10% of elementary school teachers are men, giving boys the distinct impression that school is not for them.

Elementary school teachers used to understand that boys will be boys. Five- and six-year-old boys are not as able or willing as little girls to sit quietly at a desk and do neat work with pencil and paper. Teachers now look upon boys as just unruly girls. Feminists are hostile to males and to masculine traits such as competitiveness and aggressiveness, and instead reward typical female behaviors such as non-assertiveness and group cooperation.

Teachers cannot make gender go away by pretending that boys do not have an innate masculinity, or by trying to suppress it with ridiculous zero-tolerance punishments, banning sports such as dodge ball and tag, and allowing only playground games without winners. Colleges should be told (by regulation or by statute) that a 50-50 male-female ratio is OK and just common sense.

Listen to this commentary:


Jerrod said...

As usual, generic coverage of an issue with worn out misstatements. Men are not struggling with college enrollment. Men of color are struggling. When you look at Caucasian men and women, their enrollment and achievement are equal. The greatest disparity is between African American women and men. We should be having a discussion about what is in place in the system that dissuades or discourages men of color from enrolling in college. Also, having only 10% of elementary school teachers as men, does not teach boys that school is not for them. At most it may teach them that being an elementary school teacher is not for them. Innate masculinity? That is a ridiculous idea for another comment. Gender is a social construct and so is the behaviors that go along with it. Appropriate behaviors are learned and reinforced by our society. "Boys will be boys" has allowed thousands of cases of bullying, harassments, sexual harassment, rape and assault to go unchecked in our school systems. According to the NAEP scores across the country boys do achieve less in english and writing. So let's investigate effective teaching strategies instead of complaining. There are millions of boys who succeed in our public and private school systems every year. If you get down to it, there are more factors in this equation than gender. We need to look at ability, socioeconomic status, race, geographic location, and parental education levels as well as school district achievement. The one thing that I whole heartedly agree with in this post is that we do need to reinstitute an emphasis on physical educaiton and recess in our school system. But to do that we need to get rid of No Child Left Behind that forces schools to teach to tests and eliminate anything that will not maintain or increase standardized tests scores less they face being taken over by the government. Going to college isn't a right, it's a privilege that must be earned. The number one factor related to a student's academic achievement is parent involvement. There are too many variables to simply slap gender on it and expect it to explain everything. Oh yeah, and as a male feminist, I completely disagree with the idea that feminists are hostile toward men. Making a claim about an entire group being the exact same is as incorrect as saying "All Christians are" "All women are" or "All men are." There is nearly always more within group differences than between group differences. I rarely comment on posts but this one was replete with so many incorrect statements that I had to say something.

Anonymous said...

If the problem of why there are fewer boys entering college stems from practices in elementary school, then you would expect to see boys performing poorer in high school. And you don't. Boys tend to do better than girls, expecially in math and sciences.

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