The Globe and Mail is running a series of articles about gender roles in education. In particular, they’re wondering how and why “boys rank behind girls by nearly every measure of scholastic achievement”. From the first article:
Here, a hill of data suggests that boys, as a group, rank behind girls by nearly every measure of scholastic achievement. They earn lower grades overall in elementary school and high school. They trail in reading and writing, and 30 per cent of them land in the bottom quarter of standardized tests, compared with 19 per cent of girls. Boys are also more likely to be picked out for behavioural problems, more likely to repeat a grade and to drop out of school altogether.
I found these facts from the same article particularly compelling:
Compelling insight comes from Statistics CanadaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ambitious Youth In Transition Survey, which in 2000 began tracking 30,000 15-year-olds at 1,000 schools and 23,000 youths between the ages of 18 and 20. It finds that while overall marks, reading ability and study habits are the top three predictors of which teenager will go to university, parental expectations rank fourth.
Nearly 70 per cent of parents said they expected their 15-year-old daughters would complete a university degree. Yet only 60 per cent had the same expectation of their 15-year-old sons.
Here’s a companion piece with a bunch more interesting facts.
I mentioned the piece to an English professor I know. She said that of the 51 students in her classes this semester, 48 of them are female. I know it’s the English department, but that’s 94% women. All other considerations aside, those three dudes better not be sitting home alone on Friday nights.
Another little story: I know somebody who worked at UVic. She said the campus bookstore was having some fun with the gender imbalance by selling t-shirts featuring this graphic:
I don’t have any kids, but even if I did, I think I’d find it pretty hard to get particularly vexed about this issue. It’s not a question of doors being shut to young men, but rather one of the young women outclassing them. I also expect that we can chalk this up to the gender pendulum swinging a little too far in the other direction. That’s refreshing, if nothing else.
Are you concerned about the education of young men?