Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Gender Gap Is Hurting Boys

The real “gender gap” in our country is how boys are not doing as well as girls in elementary and high school. This leads to lower high school graduation rates, lower matriculation by young men to college, and even increased criminal activity by boys. Nationwide, 57% of all college students are women, and only 43% are men. If it were not for engineering programs and college football, more than 60% of all college students would be women. Now researchers at MIT and other colleges have performed a study that explains why boys are increasingly underachieving as teenagers, and why there is a growing gender gap of girls doing better than boys in college: the absence of a father in a home hurts boys more than it hurts girls.

Researchers studied ten years of administrative records for Florida students who had birthdays between 1992 and 2002. The researchers found that family disadvantages, which include not having a father in the home, began harming boys more than girls even before they reached kindergarten. The increased harm to the development of boys worsens throughout elementary and middle school, as is shown by boys’ poor academic achievement and greater social problems. By high school, the gender gap is devastating.

All-boy public schools, which exist in some areas but are being challenged by liberals, can provide boys with helpful role models that do not exist in most single-mom homes or in most public schools where the teachers are almost all women.

Treating boys and girls the same certainly does not result in similar achievement by the two groups. Treating boys and girls the same causes a gender gap with too few young men becoming achievers, and that is not good for either girls or boys.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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