What Are We Doing to Our Boys?

For many years now the education establishment has been focused on improving the performance of girls in school.  We have initiatives to increase the number of girls going to college, to increase female involvement in STEM courses, even programs for girls to be more physically active.  These programs don’t exist for boys.

Lately statisticians have begun to ring a warning bell.  They note that these programs that confer preferential treatment to girls appear to be doing so at the expense of boys.  Many feminists scoff at that as they consider it boys, or men, finally getting what they deserve.

Because I’ve been running reports I ran one comparing the on-time graduation rates for girls to the on-time rates for boys (see boys versus girls – grad rates).  I didn’t expect to see a significant difference.  I was wrong.

About 48% of the class of 2013 was girls.  About 52% was boys.

About 93% of girls graduated on-time.  About 89% of boys did.

About 63% of girls earned an advanced diploma.  About 53% of boys did.

About 4% of girls dropped out of school.  About 6% of boys did.

Remember, there were more boys than girls in the class of 2013, so you’d expect that there would be more boys than girls graduating on-time and achieving an advanced diploma, but there weren’t.  Instead, girls outnumbered boys in every category, except dropouts.

What are we doing to our boys?

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2 Responses to “What Are We Doing to Our Boys?”

  1. Stacy Shaw Says:

    I think we need to help both. Girls still seem to lag behind in STEM, so I wouldn’t defer any effort there. But, boys are also more likely to pursue the military or a trade than females. Keep in mind, men that don’t go to college are still many times making more money than women who did get their degree. Don’t “throw out the baby with the bathwater,” and stop programs that help females. If the term feminism makes people uncomfortable, can we agree that female empowerment is still a good thing?

    Okay, back to the boys. How can we help them? It depends on how young men learn. I would bet that adding a tradition of pride in school and learning and incorporating “all for one” spirit emphasized on the sports field as private schools often do. Some in-class competition that is surely a motivating factor. Also, I’m guessing smaller class sizes wouldn’t hurt, and more male teachers.

  2. Sally Says:

    We need to stop emasculating our boys. When boys want to play Cowboys and Indians they are told they are being bad. Roughhousing is frowned upon. We are putting our kids on medication so they’ll be able to sit still for 8 hours and not disrupt the classroom. My friend’s school librarian made a judgmental comment about how her son checks out too many books about Hitler. Apparently, they only encourage the “right kind of reading” which is limited to puppies and rainbows. Feminism shouldn’t mean we have to make our boys just like girls. They are different and we should embrace them for who they are and stop projecting the political correctness onto these little guys.


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