>Report finds no “boys crisis”

>According to a report to be released today by the American Association of University Women, the largest disparities in education remain among the poor and minority, debunking the myth that girls consistently are favored at the expense of boys.

In examining a range of standardized test scores, the report finds some intriguing nuggets about the interplay of family income, race, ethnicity and academic performance. For example, it finds that while boys generally outperform girls on both the math and verbal parts of the SAT, the male advantage on the verbal test is consistent only among low-income students, and that among black students, there was no consistent advantage by sex from 1994 to 2004.

And while boys of all races and ethnicities generally outscored girls of the same group on the math section, the gap by sex for black students was only about half as large as other groups.

The report points out that a greater proportion of men and women than ever before are graduating from high school and earning college degrees. But, it says, “perhaps the most compelling evidence against the existence of a boys’ crisis is that men continue to outearn women in the workplace.”

Read more here.

When I think of the so-called “boys crisis” in our schools, I don’t think of it as being caused by feminism or favoritism towards girls. I think of it as being a self-imposed “crisis,” meaning that it’s manifested by our institutions. Consistently, in my opinion, boys aren’t really encouraged to achieve well in school. We encourage boys to achieve athletically, not academically.

Think about this: how often are boys congratulated for winning the school spelling bee or an academic bowl by the entire school (in some cases, the entire town) showing up and cheering him on? We only see that kind of crowd during during athletic events, not academic events. Our society has come to praise athletic achievements over academic achievements with parades, awards, meaningful scholarships to a prestigious college and even the possibility of fame and fortune by signing with a professional sports team. With all this fanfare, why should boys waste their time on academics when they won’t be rewarded for it?

What do you think of the “boys crisis?” Is there such a crisis? If so, how did it occur?