Carol Platt Liebau: An Ominous Imbalance

Saturday, July 08, 2006

An Ominous Imbalance

This New York Times piece provides an update on an ominous trend -- the gender imbalance in higher education. There are fewer men in college, their grades aren't as good, they take longer to graduate, and they study less.
Why, exactly, is this happening?

As the fabulous Christina Hoff Sommers has pointed out, the myth of girls being shortchanged in school has, in essence, been used to justify the creation of a feminized academic environment from grade school on. As a result, boys, as she puts it, truly have become the "second sex" when it comes to school.

It's worth pointing out that this trend echoes the gender imbalance that's become evident in patterns of church-going, as well. And again, the reasons are analogous. So many church services have become largely feminized -- with far too little in the way of robust, masculine Christianity (no more "Onward, Christian Soldiers!", and not just for political reasons . . .) and much more of the softer, more emotional approach that many women prefer.

It's hard to blame boys and men for their lack of attraction to feminized environments, which increasingly include the school and the church -- I'm a girl, and I wouldn't want to hear about "throwing a touchdown pass" in my spiritual life, for example. And it's ironic that, even as feminist theory has insisted that there are no meaningful differences between men and women, it's likewise been used to change the enivronment in both school and church -- not to even the playing field, but to tilt it against our husbands, sons, fathers, brothers and friends.


Blogger Chad Frederick said...

Now, you blame the bureaucracy, the institution, but how will you feel if you turn out to be wrong?

I'm a male college student, a Christian, a convinced Republican, and I see this. Women are more organized, and you can see them coming to the professors' offices significantly more than boys...doing better on essays, making all the honors presentations, etc. Anecdotally, my girlfriend is always the "breaker-off" in our sessions, always saying she has work to go do, which, I always remember afterwards, is true for me, too.

It's not an illusion or a discrimination. Women are better time-managers and more academically motivated than men. And video games ARE a problem. They make you feel like a powerful Legendary Hero for sitting on your ass for 6 hours.

7:28 AM  
Blogger amber said...

I blame the institution. I understand that it costs more for a public school to educate our children. Public schools have to take every child, no matter their needs, and special needs kids can be very expensive, something private schools do not have to do. However they do waste a lot of money. Alos, my daughter was constantly getting bad report cards. Why? Because she was disruptive? Rude? Did not know the material? No, because she is quiet. I repeatedly asked them to stop reporting on set personality traits and give me things I can work on with her, she will never be a social butterfly, she is quite. She also worked too slow they said. Again, this was a personality trait, she is a perfectionist, I work on it with her, but no matter what I do it will still be with her. I told them to back off or I would take her out of school. Her assignments were always in on time. They did not so now I homeschool her and my younger daughter. They are both doing a lot better.
I need to say that I liked every one of her teachers, I thought they were nice people, but the institution tought them what was good and bad for our children.. What personality our kids needed to display. That is bad.
As far as the boys go, I remember my mother getting mad at his 3rd grade teacher for giving him an A in handwriting when his handwriting was aweful. The teacher's respons was that he is a boy and handwriting is not as important for boys.
I am curious to see how my son will do in standardized tests against the public school boys. I bet he will do a lot better.
Girls play video games too by the way.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Greg said...


"...And video games ARE a problem. They make you feel like a powerful Legendary Hero for sitting on your ass for 6 hours."


My son must be immortal by now!

7:02 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home