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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