“The deck has been stacked against boys since the early 1990’s in education.”

This is a comment by JustAMan on the post “It Doesn’t Matter Who Wears the Pants: A Response to Hannah Rosin and The New York Times“.

“I think the educational deck has been heavily stacked against boys since the early 1990s.  There are lots of special programs for girls in STEM.  None for boys.  Reading and language skills are essential to scholastic success, even in STEM areas.  Boys typically start to read later.  If you aren’t a great reader by the end of the 3rd grade now, you are tracked into oblivion.  The reading material in grade school is heavily weighted to relationship stories, usually of more interest to young girls.  The most widely hyped books in the elementary grades have leading characters and heroes who are girls.  The boys play bit parts at best.

“Reading curricula in high school are often ‘classics’ written in a 19th century style completely unrecognizable to kids in their teens or twenties.  Girls, having had years of encouragement in reading, with books that are girl-friendly, are just prepared to be more patient when confronted with the challenge of high school reading material.

And don’t get me started about the impact of eliminating recess and teaching to tests and drugging boys (disproportionately) into silence.

“I see it with the kids I work with in an urban, public school system.  The boys drop out in droves in the 9th grade.  The remaining boys see themselves as ‘not as smart’ as the girls.  Far more outside money is available to help girls transition to college.  Educational charities just don’t seem to be very interested in helping boys learn.   It is not a surprise to me that 60%-67% of college graduates are now women.  We constructed a system to produce this result.

“The solution is not to tear down girls.  The solution is to make sure that boys have equal opportunity, and boy-friendly educational methods and materials. When girls were left behind, we saw it as a result of discrimination.  When boys are left behind we see it as a result of their fecklessness, stupidity and inherent inability to compete.  If that isn’t sexist and chauvinist, I don’t know what is.”

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Comments

  1. I’m just curious. What year in the 1990s did that study come out about girls being held back by the school system?

    • I believe you may be referring to the report from the American Association of University Women: How Schools Shortchange Girls

      Judith Kleinfeld debunked their pet theory, which can be found here:

      http://education.nmsu.edu/ci/morehead/documents/the-myth-that-schools-shortchange-girls.pdf

      Conclusion synopsis:

      “The charge that the schools shortchange girls is false political propaganda. In their zeal to advance the interests of women, the American Association of University Women and other advocacy groups have distorted the achievements of women and the experience of girls and boys in schools. But what harm has been done, a sensible person might ask? Government agencies, foundations, and teachers have directed attention and resources to girls and have developed their skills in those areas where girls do lag behind, science and mathematics.”

  2. The reason that boys are doing so badly in school (and getting worse) is that the”who cares” attitude held by society in general, especially the government. The government wants boys to do badly compared to girls. That is a reflection of society in general, since politicians must do the bidding of their constituents, and the left especially wants boys to do poorly compared to girls.

    They don’t care how well or badly boys do as long as girls are doing much better, the bigger the education gap the better.

    Evidence?

    The President of the United States of America celebrated the education gap, applauding the fact that boys and men are behind. He said:

    “More women as a whole now graduate from college than men. This is a great accomplishment for America.”

    When the President and the majority of Congress want boys to fall further behind, there is no hope it getting better overall.

    • I wouldn’t say that the government actively wants boys to fail so much as not caring that they do.

      When the president said, “More women as a whole now graduate from college than men. This is a great accomplishment for America.”

      I don’t think it should be read as hoping that boys fails. But I do think it’s fair to read it as wondering when is he going to say something about how boys are lagging behind and what a “great accomplishment” it would be if they were able to catch up.

      Again I don’t think its so much actively plotting the doom of boys but more of just not caring about them UNTIL they start f’ing up. (Think about it when people want to talk about how men are the architects of their own doom where do they point? They don’t point to the elementary levels where even at that early in life boys are still lagging behind girls. No they jump to the 20 to 30 yr olds that are slacking off on Call of Duty. Why is that? There is poor performance early on but that is regularly ignored in favor of highlighting the poor results later in life.)

      • 53% of black boys fail to graduate from high school. Based on recent trends, by 2030, only 30% of college graduates will be male. The government, including the POTUS, thinks that this situation is a great accomplishment. They know these stats, yet they continue practices that disenfranchise males, especially minorities. I would call that actively working to keep boys and men behind.

      • Again I don’t think its so much actively plotting the doom of boys but more of just not caring about them UNTIL they start f’ing up. (Think about it when people want to talk about how men are the architects of their own doom where do they point? They don’t point to the elementary levels where even at that early in life boys are still lagging behind girls. No they jump to the 20 to 30 yr olds that are slacking off on Call of Duty. Why is that? There is poor performance early on but that is regularly ignored in favor of highlighting the poor results later in life.)

        Danny – you have raised a very valid and on point issue!

        The only problem you will have in getting people to take note is that you have arrived at this point without state funded investigation (of valid or dubious scientific value and statistics), you have also not set up a politically motivated non-profit backed be interested funders and politicians (So you loose the chance to wine them, dine them and get then to agree with a power-point presentation and easy read reports that bamboozle them with statistics), and you are using common sense which happens to be so undervalued that people with it become Billionaires to the mystery of so many others.

        If you wish to be taken seriously, you will have to bight the bullet and take that hard road – but just remember that here at GMP you will always have support!

        See you in 20+ years when POTUS is taking notice! P^)

  3. There are many mechanisms that keep this whole debate and cultural shift on going.

    One is measures of ability and performance which have become gender skewed. Then you have the ongoing reinforcement of stereotypes and the shifting of stereotypes.

    There is a bit of stir occurring at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen, where research on Stereotype Propagation and creation is being presented.

    As the stereotypes evolved, the attributes associated with each group became increasingly polarised.

    “It’s almost as if at the end of a chain you have the good guys and you have the bad guys” – Dr Doug Martin

    It seems in many ways that Stereotyping and spreading of those Stereotypes are inevitable. You get the winners and the losers – and as with everything, the more you have power and win the stronger the stereotype becomes. People and groups get trapped in the boxes they make – and stop thinking about anything that does not fit the box – and worse the “Tick Box”.

    It seems that in many countries the old Stereotype of academic attainment is being pushed in combination with gender – having a piece of paper becomes the goal – the piece of paper gets respected and judged – and the supposed value gets transfer3ed to the person holding the piece of paper . Yet, when you look at the most successful and creative people in wealth generation, they most often have failed under the supposed mainstream educational get a piece of paper paradigm, and gone their own way – seeing opportunities – filling gaps in markets – expanding opportunity.

    In my experience, that pattern has little to do with academic paperwork, and everything to do with taking control and going your own way. I’m just waiting for the backlash, when the pieces of paper are blamed social failure. P^)

    • JOhn Schtoll says:

      Media: As usual you have awesome things to say, though I will pick one bone with the idea that you present about the ‘most successfull’, it is a limited dataset and while the bill gates, steven jobs of the world have billions, I think we should be focusing on the Jane and John smiths of the world and how to make the middle class have some success. This will be done with a degree or certificate of some sort. Not everyone will make a billion dollars and in fact the vast majority won’t, so we have to find a way to make sure as many people are making a comfortable living.

      Pushing the ‘girls have it worse’ meme has created a situation where even the POTUS is in glee that more girls are getting college degrees than boys and by extension and most disturbing that less boys are getting them than girls.

      • Media: As usual you have awesome things to say, though I will pick one bone with the idea that you present about the ‘most successfull’, it is a limited dataset and while the bill gates, steven jobs of the world have billions, I think we should be focusing on the Jane and John smiths of the world and how to make the middle class have some success.

        LOL – see what I mean about stereotypes and pieces of paper?

        Where did I say that ‘most successfull’ is measured by the number of pieces a green paper that a person has in their hands? Stereotypical or what!

        I know far too many people who have, as some put it, opted out and become wealthy in ways that others don’t value. I also know quite a few Jobs/Gates types who have also found that you can only do so much with green bits of paper – and in reality you only need a finite number to be happy. It’s odd too, because people look at little pieces of green paper and attribute value to them, and yet in reality that piece of paper has no value what so ever. It’s only what it gives access to that is of any real value, be that food – a home to live in – eduction – medical care – or what ever someone will exchange for those pieces of paper. It’s just notarised barter under a bank of issue.

        It’s like people who win the lottery – their happiness is relative – and often adversely affected by sudden wealth. In general, people like to either generate wealth or spend wealth, with the average being a balance of income and outgoing. It reminds me of the lovely quote from the Hitch-hikers Guide To The Galaxy:

        This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much all of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

        Source

        There’s a guy round here who seems to know quite a bit about wealth creation – in fact in many ways we are all here at his sufferance. He has lots of green paper and is worried about value that you just can’t buy with green paper! That’s why Tom Matlack set up GMP! P^)

        It’s so interesting that some see great value in allowing issues to be aired and for change to be made.

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  1. […] "I think the educational deck has been heavily stacked against boys since the early 1990s."  […]

  2. […] These are comments by Eric M and Danny on the post “The deck has been stacked against boys since the early 1990′s in education.” […]

  3. […] These are comments by Eric M and Danny on the post “The deck has been stacked against boys since the early 1990′s in education.” […]

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