Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Schools favor girls

David Brooks writes:
This year, 133 women will graduate from college for every 100 men. By decade's end, the Department of Education projects 142 female graduates for every 100 male graduates. Among African-Americans, there are 200 female grads for every 100 male grads. ...

One thing is for sure: In 30 years, the notion that we live in an oppressive patriarchy that discriminates against women will be regarded as a quaint anachronism.

There are debates about why women have thrived and men have faltered. Some say men are imprisoned by their anti-intellectual machismo. Others say the educational system has been overly feminized. Boys are asked to sit quietly for hours at a stretch under conditions where they find it harder to thrive. ...

In other words, if we want to help boys keep up with girls, we have to have an honest discussion about innate differences between the sexes. We have to figure out why poor girls who move to middle-class schools do better, but poor boys who make the same move often do worse. We have to absorb the obvious lesson of every airport bookstore, which is that men and women like to read totally different sorts of books, and see if we can apply this fact when designing curriculums. If boys like to read about war and combat, why can't there be books about combat on the curriculum?

Would elementary school boys do better if they spent more time outside the classroom and less time chained to a desk? Or would they thrive more in a rigorous, competitive environment?

For 30 years, attention has focused on feminine equality. During that time, honest discussion of innate differences has been stifled (ask Larry Summers). It's time to look at the other half.
You can sometimes find these NY Times opinion column here.

The notion that we live in an oppressive patriarchy that discriminates against women is already a quaint anachronism. Nearly all the sex discrimination is in favor of women, and it has been that way for a long time.

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